Posts byWilliam Pesek

Sony needs a new Walkman

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW OPINION After restoring its finances, the Japanese group must rediscover its lost spark William Pesek Longtime Sony watchers can debate when exactly one of Japan Inc.’s best turnaround stories began. April 1, 2014 is as good a guess as any. That was the day then-CEO Kazuo Hirai plucked Kenichiro Yoshida from relative
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Malaysia’s Trump moment

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW OPINION Mahathir must get over shock of winning and tackle corruption and reform William Pesek May 14, 2018 Malaysians now understand the shock Americans felt in 2016 after Donald Trump’s election win. Few expected the Barisan Nasional’s 61-year reign to fall victim to Mahathir Mohamad, a 92-year-old has-been, out of power for
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A bullish sign from Malaysia, of all places

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Column by William Pesek Mahathir Mohamad’s return to power sends a message that the popular will can turn on privileged and entrenched state power Sunday, 13 May, 2018 The last three months gave Southeast Asia little to celebrate. The MSCI Asean Index has suffered amid US-China trade-war threats, rising global bond
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South Korea’s economy has a Pyongyang problem

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Seoul’s focus on nuclear deal distracts from challenging domestic issues William Pesek April 30, 2018    “Constructive make-believe.” It is hard to beat or quibble with economist Yanmei Xie’s pithy take on the gush-fest over Friday’s summit between North and South Korea. Yes, history was in the air at the truce village
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Why Japan Is Begging Trump for Help

POLITICO Why Japan Is Begging Trump for Help By WILLIAM PESEK Escaping overseas as scandals explode at home is perhaps the oldest of political strategies. Japan’s Shinzo Abe hopes to make it seem new again as he arrives at Mar-a-Lago this week. There are few better distractions—or shinier objects—than President Donald Trump. And Prime Minister
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How Trump Brought Asia’s ‘Frenemies’ Together

FORBES As China And Japan Talk, Has Donald Trump Brought Asia’s ‘Frenemies’ Together? William Pesek Mr. Pesek is a Tokyo-based journalist and the author of “Japanization: What the World Can Learn from Japan’s Lost Decades.” Even his most ardent supporters never thought one of the things Donald Trump might “make great again” would be Japan-China relations. In 15
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Japan inches toward ‘Abexit’

By William Pesek Is Japan’s Shinzo Abe done? The roughly 50,000 protestors who turned up outside the parliament building on Saturday are surely gunning for what political wags call “Abexit.” As a year-long cronyism scandal deepens, even Abe’s mentor, Junichiro Koizumi, thinks Japan may have a new prime minister come September, when Abe’s party elects
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Trump’s chaos making emerging markets great again

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Trump’s escalating trade war is putting sizeable, rapidly-growing nations less integrated with global trade flows at a unique advantage, says William Pesek Sunday, 08 April, 2018 William Pesek Rather than making America great again, the White House seems set on establishing an own-goal record. Trump’s chaotic and erratic swings (and misses)
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Indonesia’s new central bank chief faces election pressures

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW April 05, 2018 Warjiyo must control inflation without hitting growth before 2019 presidential poll William Pesek Perry Warjiyo, next governor of Indonesia’s central bank, will take over an economy faced with risks of both slowdown and inflation. © Reuters Perry Warjiyo, Jakarta’s next central bank head, is as battle-tested as monetary policymakers get.
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Asia’s dollar problem just got worse

LIVEMINT Asia’s export-reliant economies will be collateral damage from any exchange-rate stunts from the Trump White House Fri, Mar 23, 2018 William Pesek The best way to destroy the capitalist system, Vladimir Lenin said, is to debauch the currency. While Lenin didn’t live to see arch-rival America do just that, another Russian leader named Vladimir—Putin—is
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Trump keeps making China great again

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW While Xi cements power, US president fumbles economic policy moves March 19, 2018 William Pesek It is hard to recognize the turning points of economic history. Developments can come very gradually. But the stark contrast between events in Beijing and Washington last week may hold a special place for posterity. President Xi
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Donald Trump vs Kim Jong-un

LIVEMINT By acting as mediator and adult, South Korea President Moon Jae-in has managed to herd two of the globe’s wildest personalities—Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un—into a shared orbit of potential negotiation Fri, Mar 16 2018 William Pesek   It’s hard not to marvel at how South Korea President Moon Jae-in played Donald Trump and
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Donald Trump’s ‘Dutertefication’ of the White House

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST William Pesek says one can joke about the similarities between the American and Philippine presidents, but the likeness goes deeper than their crude statements, and Trump’s embrace of strongman politics puts the whole world on edge William Pesek 16 Mar 2018 When Rodrigo Duterte ran for the Philippine presidency in 2016, the international media couldn’t
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Scandal or no, Aso should quit

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Finance minister bears responsibility for economic reform failures William Pesek For Shinzo Abe’s government, it is the scandal that just will not go away. A year ago, his premiership was threatened by allegations of cronyism involving a sweetheart land deal. Abe’s inner circle denied directing the sale of state-owned land at 14%
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Progress for Asia’s women loses momentum

ASIA TIMES The region has progressed economically but women’s empowerment has not kept pace and the economic price has been high By WILLIAM PESEK MARCH 12, 2018 Few Asian paradoxes boggle the mind more than the region’s relationship with gender. It is awash in gaping disparities, even in its most developed nation, Japan. And yet Asia has
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South Korea’s bubble troubles

ASIA TIMES Governor Lee Ju-yeol must tap his inner rebel and beat the odds with a regimen of slow, but steady tightening By WILLIAM PESEK MARCH 11, 2018 South Korea’s Lee Ju-yeol has beaten the odds three times in four years. First, in 2014 when he was chosen to run the Bank of Korea after dispensing withering criticism of
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Xi’s lifetime rule should worry Hong Kong

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW March 8, 2018 William Pesek Territory must defend economic freedom and fight inequality Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong sent Xi Jinping’s censors scrambling last week with a two-word tweet. The offending Twitter post carried a photo of a fanged, menacing-looking Winnie the Pooh and the caption “Emperor Xi.” Few references troll
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Trump walks into a trade-war trap

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW US tariffs hark back to lost 1980s world March 5, 2018 William Pesek “No one will emerge as the winner in a trade war.” This was Xi Jinping’s pitch in January 2017 to the masters of globalization in Davos, Switzerland. There, China’s president promoted his economy as an alternative to an America
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Hats off to Singapore for raising taxes

Nikkei Asian Review March 1, 2018 7:00 am JST William Pesek City-state’s brave move offers a new model for Asia As Singapore meddles with the ultimate taboo — hiking taxes — Lee Hsien Loong’s government is offering something truly shocking: leadership. Japan’s population is aging as rapidly as Singapore’s and fertility is just as scarce,
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Japan asks wrong question about Olympic Games

JAPAN TIMES BY WILLIAM PESEK FEB 27, 2018 The amazing Olympics extravaganza South Korea just pulled off in Pyeongchang is raising stress levels in Tokyo. How, oh how, do we top that? The geopolitical kumbaya moment with North Korea. That K-pop show of force. Those adorable mascots that went viral. That otherworldly closing ceremony. The splashy
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China, Japan diverge on US Treasuries, too

ASIA TIMES Policy uncertainty in Washington may force a rethink of Beijing’s buying spree By WILLIAM PESEK FEBRUARY 16, 2018 Japan versus China intrigue now extends to US Treasury holdings, too. In 2017, Japanese holdings of dollar-denominated government debt fell roughly $30 billion. China, meanwhile, couldn’t seem to get enough of Uncle Sam’s IOUs, adding about $127
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Beijing’s eerie calm has hidden dangers

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW  February 12, 2018 William Pesek Current market turmoil had only limited impact on China, but risks are lurking As global markets crater and central bankers from Washington to Tokyo scramble, where is China? Asia’s biggest economy has been remarkably quiet as echoes of the 2008 Lehman shock ricochet through bourses everywhere. World
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Trump’s tariffs may hurt his Asian allies, along with the US

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST William Pesek writes that the Trump administration’s fervour for tough trade measures may hurt China, but China is too important to friendly nations in Asia and it has several means of retaliating against the US PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2018 William Pesek Should China label Donald Trump’s America a currency manipulator? It’s doubtful
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Tokyo to investors — don’t panic

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW February 8, 2018 Japan’s long experience with zero interest rates shows there is no quick exit William Pesek After surviving the biggest shock on Wall Street in years, many global investors have their eyes firmly on new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for guidance and comfort. They may find more of both
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Trump, bubbles and bitcoin

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW China’s new central bank chief will face over-flowing agenda February 5, 2018 William Pesek With China’s widely respected central bank head retiring at any moment, Beijing is increasingly abuzz over who will replace Zhou Xiaochuan: a fellow-minded progressive to modernize the economy or a Communist Party lackey? Zhou, China’s most important change
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