Abenomics has over-promised and under-delivered

May 17, 2016

Shinzo Abe has spent more than three years pushing for higher growth, faster inflation and a nimbler economy. But success eludes the Japanese prime minister, who has been too timid with the public purse. Keeping the project going calls for extra spending and even easier money.

Money trail shows China sticking to bad habits

May 16, 2016

Total credit jumped again in April, suggesting Beijing is making little progress weaning the economy off its addiction to debt. Infrastructure and property investment are still expanding quickly. Despite renewed talk of reform, growth still seems to be the main priority.

India’s Modi can reclaim his “wow” factor

May 16, 2016

Two years after a landslide election, business executives are losing confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Passing a bankruptcy code last week was a major achievement but other landmark reforms look harder to achieve unless Modi reins in his party from divisive politicking.

China and India reform hopes are on hold

April 15, 2016

New leaders in both countries raised hopes for restructuring banks and state-owned companies. But current plans are not bold enough while the window for action is narrowing. Beijing’s investment habit and New Delhi’s obstructive bureaucracy are proving stubbornly hard to shift.

Chancellor: Lessons from the Mississippi Bubble

March 23, 2016

This year marks the 300th anniversary of the start of John Law’s ambitious, and ultimately failed, economic experiment. Much like today’s central bankers, Law thought printing banknotes and forcing interest rates lower would solve all of France’s problems. He was so very wrong.

Japan index: Modest beginnings for the new year

March 15, 2016

Our Abenomics Index rose slightly in January compared with the year-end, creeping closer to a 15-year high. Gains in manufacturing production and a slight uptick in loans, consumption and wages helped. But falling stocks and consumer prices were still a drag.

China’s growth fixation will scupper other goals

March 7, 2016

The country’s leaders have reiterated their pledge to lift GDP by 6.5 percent a year until 2020. That’s slower than before, but still too high. Unrealistic targets distort the economy by delaying rebalancing and boosting debt. They also ignore the risk of external shocks.

Big economies are ill-equipped for next emergency

February 29, 2016

That’s the main lesson from the G20 confab in Shanghai. Financial leaders bickered about monetary policy and the scope for more state spending. Host China focused mainly on domestic concerns. Though fears of a crisis look premature, it doesn’t bode well for the next downturn.

Central Asia needs life support as Russia suffers

February 25, 2016

Tajikistan has appealed to the International Monetary Fund for help. Falling oil prices and sanctions have hit remittances from migrant workers in Russia that are the lifeblood of its economy. Other countries in Moscow’s economic orbit may need similar treatment.

Myanmar’s “lady” faces challenge of a lifetime

February 24, 2016

Aung San Suu Kyi will realise a long-held dream when she takes effective charge of the Asian country on April 1. The democracy champion’s first test will be to build on rapid reforms undertaken by her predecessor. Suu Kyi also needs to act to fill a leadership vacuum around her.