The leading Japanese stock index, the Nikkei 225, briefly hit a level of 40,000 at the end of 1989. Guess what? In 2019, the Nikkei 225 index is still at 21,085, a full 47% below the all-time high 30 years later. The Nikkei has bounced around a lot over the decades, but it has never
China has now adopted a new strategy in the ongoing trade war with the U.S. Their strategy is “Blame Trump!” China is taking the position that their requests are reasonable and that only Trump’s intransigence is holding up an agreement. Wall Street is cheering China because an end to the trade war will likely bring
Readers know about the recent action in gold prices. The dollar price of gold moved from $1,270 per ounce to $1,440 per ounce from late May to late June. That’s a 13.3% gain in one month, which annualizes to a 160% return. Of course, gold is likely to level off a bit until we get
The South China Sea is a crowded place. It is surrounded by six countries (China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; Taiwan is on the periphery, leaving aside the issue of whether Taiwan is a “country”). All of these countries lay some claim to exclusive economic zones that overlap in complicated ways because of
Although this may come as a surprise to some Americans, especially those stuck in the gig economy who have not had wage increases in years, the U.S. just set a record for the longest U.S. economic expansion ever recorded. As described in this article, the expansion began in June 2009 and just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The political and social situations in Venezuela are well-known. Venezuela is worse than a failed state. It is a humanitarian crisis of the utmost gravity. Its currency and economy have collapsed. Its role as a major oil exporter has been greatly diminished by economic sanctions. Venezuela’s illegitimate president, Nicolás Maduro, is holed up in the
There’s an old saying in poker: If you’re in a three-way poker game and you don’t know who the sucker is… you’re the sucker. The idea is that in a three-handed game, two players will disadvantage the sucker by coordinating their betting and not raising each other. Eventually, the sucker is cleaned out and the
Jurisdictions around the world are running out of money. That’s because they waste the tax revenue they get, and they can’t get more revenue because growth is slow. Of course, imposing more taxes slows growth even more, but that never seems to deter governments from trying. Meanwhile, debt burdens grow faster than the economy so
Several years ago, I had the honor of joining Mahathir Mohamad and a small group to celebrate his 90th birthday at a restaurant in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Mahathir was the longest-serving prime minister in Malaysian history, having been in office 22 years, from 1981–2003. When we met in 2015, he was retired.
A lot of the criticism of Trump’s trade war tactics with China is based on a misunderstanding of the dynamics of global trade and global supply chains. When the U.S. imports goods from China and then imposes a tariff, the analysts simply multiply the quantity of goods by the size of the tariff and proclaim