Economeister

Frederic Neumann: Widodo faces tough choices ahead

The count is in. Despite a legal challenge by his opponent, it looks likely that Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will become Indonesia's next president in October. Investors are cheering and markets are rallying. The hope is that he will deliver far-reachin...

  • Malcolm Hanney: Myanmar needs to press ahead with its 'Big Bang'

    Much trepidation surrounded the U.K.'s so-called Big Bang in 1986. The deregulation of financial services was a central pillar of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's economic reform program. Now, almost 30 years on, Myanmar's Big Bang is under way, bu...

  • Frederic Neumann: Developing Asia eyes boom in south-south funding sources

    The world's changing, again. For years, developing countries -- or, in today's parlance, "emerging and frontier markets" -- received the bulk of their external funding from multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank,...

  • Stephen Grenville: Gloomy Australians underrate the 'lucky country'

    Australians are congenital worriers about their economy, perhaps reflecting the country's history of boom-and-bust cycles. Through a mixture of good luck and competent policy, Australia is now in its 23rd year of recession-free growth, having come th...

  • Frederic Neumann: The Fed's one thing, the BOJ another

    Don't fight the Fed -- especially if you sit in an emerging market. This lesson has been learned, repeatedly, the hard way. Rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve have usually made life tough for investors. No wonder, then, that many are getting twit...

  • George Magnus: Asia looks vulnerable as Fed prepares to change its tune

    Asia-Pacific equity markets have recovered by about 8% from their nadir in February, according to the MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Index. That mirrors a global trend in which equity markets have risen strongly, especially in the U.S., while bond yields...

  • Frederic Neumann: Asia's winds of change are really picking up

    Politicians across Asia are talking about reform. That is standard fare for anyone seeking or occupying higher office, of course. But this time, it feels as if real action might follow. That the region's economies are in dire need of an overhaul ...

  • Japan's labor market tightens, but that won't limit growth

    There are signs that Japan's labor market is tightening. The unemployment rate was as low as 3.5% in seasonally adjusted terms in May 2014. The effective job offers-to-applicants ratio reached 1.09 in seasonally adjusted terms in the same month. We h...

  • Frederic Neumann: Don't give up on Abe just yet

    The first two "arrows" of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic revival program -- fiscal and monetary easing -- have hit their mark. It's now all about the third: a viable growth strategy. Structural reforms are needed, and the pressure ...

  • Peter Tasker: What the World Cup says about the world

    Football has become a global language. The FIFA World Cup Final, to be held on July 13, is likely to attract an audience of over 1 billion people, according to accountancy firm Deloitte. The viewers will range from Russian oligarchs in London penthou...

  • Stephen Grenville: To understand inequality, should we look to Piketty, Deaton or both?

    It might seem puzzling why Thomas Piketty, a French academic economist, has become a rock star with his book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." This 700-page tome has fallen with a thud into what was already a long-running debate on income inequa...

  • Frederic Neumann: Modi's first big test -- a budget that works

    India is riding high. Justifiably so. May's election delivered a stunning mandate to new Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, to implement far-reaching reforms. We believe these are urgently needed to restore the count...

  • Standards? Show me the money!

    Hungry? How about a bite of the standards pie? It's a big one. In a seminal paper on standards and competitiveness published in 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimated that standards and related conformity assessment activities (verifying tha...

  • Frederic Neumann: It's eerily quiet out there

    The current calm in financial markets feels a little unnatural. Maybe it's because we've been through several years of extreme turbulence and are no longer used to such tranquility. Investors had quite a lot to digest: the U.S. subprime crisis, t...

  • The dollar reigns supreme -- by default

    The dollar has been the pre-eminent global reserve currency for most of the past century. But its dominance appears under threat. The global financial crisis, which had its epicenter in the U.S., has heightened speculation about the currency's loomin...

  • Frederic Neumann: First India, now Indonesia?

    India's election was a game-changer. Narendra Modi's thumping victory holds out the prospect of far-reaching reforms that will ultimately foster growth, even if this may take a little more time than investors would like to believe. Now hopes are ...

  • Export performance under depreciation

    Gross domestic product numbers for the first quarter of 2014 were revealed on May 15. The seasonally adjusted real rate of growth over the previous quarter was 1.5 percent, or 5.9 percent in annualized terms. In addition to the high growth rate, what...

  • Frederic Neumann: Thailand's 'Teflon' coating gradually peels away

    Investors seemed to take it all in stride as Thailand's military removed the government and suspended the constitution last week. There was barely a wobble in the stock market, with bonds and the baht holding their own as well. The country has ha...

  • Frederic Neumann : With election done, it's time for India to roll up sleeves

    It is an overwhelming victory by any measure. India's opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has won a powerful majority in the country's national elections. Together with its allies, it will hold around 336 out of 545 seats in parli...

  • Peter Tasker: Capitalism's champions head East

    The bid by Pfizer, the U.S. pharmaceutical giant, to take over AstraZeneca, one of Britain's largest pharma groups, has generated uproar across a broad range of circles in the U.K. Pfizer's chief executive was hauled before a parliamentary committee ...