Posts byWilliam Pesek

China’s bill for debt binge coming due

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Yuan flashes warning signs amid slowing economy and widening trade war William Pesek August 03, 2018 The 2008 “Lehman shock” is finally catching up with China. Beijing beat the odds for a decade, with the Chinese economy growing at above 6.5% year after year. It managed that feat with an epic explosion
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What Einstein could teach Japan

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW The Bank of Japan just admitted defeat With monetary policy failing, Kuroda should switch target from consumer prices to wages William Pesek August 02, 2018 The Bank of Japan did nothing on Tuesday. That, at least, is the considered view of the financial intelligentsia, which had been bracing for policy fireworks. It
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China’s four trump cards in the trade war

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Beijing is deploying weapons the US did not anticipate July 27, 2018 William Pesek “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” So claims Donald Trump. Interesting, then, to look at how China’s Xi Jinping is proving the U.S. president wrong on both accounts. Trump’s description of trade wars as “good” is given
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Duterte’s ‘Game of Thrones’ alarms Philippines investors

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Federalism plan would boost president’s hopes of staying in office William Pesek July 25, 2018 Filipinos love “Game of Thrones” as much as anyone. HBO’s sweeping medieval fantasy drama about rival dynasties plotting for supremacy wins huge ratings in Southeast Asia’s third biggest economy. But are the nation’s 105 million people ready to be
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Xiaomi and the Chinese delusion

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW The company misjudged the market. Beijing risks misreading the global tech trade war William Pesek July 12, 2018 As Xiaomi stumbled this week, China’s great smartphone hope generated a bull market in scapegoating. Investors are unconvinced by CEO Lei Jun’s internet strategy, some complain. Others say the initial public offering price was
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Japan’s eerily quiet #MeToo moment

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has failed to enact specific and clear reforms designed to empower women in spite of pledges to do so Monday, 09 July, 2018, 8:45am William Pesek It’s the BBC documentary Prime Minister Shinzo Abe doesn’t want you to see. Ostensibly, “Japan’s Secret Shame” tells the story
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Japanese casinos are a real gamble

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Tokyo has a lot to tempt operators but it is late entering a crowded Asian market William Pesek July 05, 2018 For two decades, Las Vegas billionaires salivated over the idea of casinos in Japan. Arguably, only China holds greater potential than the affluent, gambling-crazy East Asian archipelago. Tokyo may hate to
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The fears haunting China’s markets

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Last week’s equity tumble shows instability will persist without serious economic reform William Pesek July 02, 2018 Economic reforms are needed to keep investor uncertainty from resurfacing.   © Reuters Barely a month ago, the MSCI index company gushed that China’s inclusion in the premier emerging-market stock benchmark could “change the face”
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Bank of Japan’s attempt at reflating the economy is getting trumped by US trade war threats

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST June, 17 2018 William Pesek In his 63 months helming the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda has run into many an obstacle: frugal consumers, testy politicians, skittish corporate executives, assertive currency traders. But the mercurial US president may trump them all. It’s not like Governor Kuroda’s historic easing programme was gaining
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Get the popcorn as Soros trolls Trump

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST William Pesek Sunday, 03 June, 2018 For a man of his vintage, 87, George Soros has some serious social-media-age game. Arguably no one in finance gets under US President Donald Trump’s skin – or that of his investing peers – more than the Hungarian-turned-American billionaire. Soros did it again last week,
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Why Asia is on front lines again

India is holding its own at the moment. While fragilities remain, including Narendra Modi’s slow pace in raising New Delhi’s economic game, Asia’s No. 3 economy may be sitting this one out Thu, May 31 2018 William Pesek It’s feeling a bit like 2013 in Indonesia as a run on the rupiah brings back traumatic
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The chill as Trump-Abe bromance cools

Industry suffers as U.S president combines attacks on cars and China William Pesek May 31, 2018 Nissan’s cuts in North American production point to industry anxiety over U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policy. As Nissan Motor slashes North American production by as much as 20%, the popular narrative is that the carmaker misread the market and is
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Time to scrap Hong Kong’s currency peg

Defending the US dollar link wastes money better spent on housing and social care William Pesek May 28, 2018 Defending the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the U.S. currency takes away resources from spending for a better economic future. Hong Kong is waging an intensifying battle against currency traders. Since April, the territory spent at
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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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