Posts byWilliam Pesek

Thailand just can’t quit populism

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW OPINION Even if elections clear the political air, country will struggle to reshape economy William Pesek Thailand’s leaders make it all too easy for economists on the hunt for populists. That, unfortunately, includes the current military regime, which grabbed power in 2014 to stabilize one of Asia’s most-promising economies politically and lay
CONTINUE READING

Time to worry about Japanese banks — again

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Growing concern about exposure to risky assets, not least U.S. junk corporate loans William Pesek One of the biggest economic stories in Japan last year received very little publicity overseas and only modest attention at home. Not Donald Trump’s trade war or the winter bloodbath in the stock market. Both may eventually
CONTINUE READING

Bank of Japan’s nightmare year

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW OPINION After starting badly, 2019 promises to pile pressure on Kuroda William Pesek If you think Jerome Powell faces a difficult 2019 as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, consider what awaits Haruhiko Kuroda at the Bank of Japan. The New Year usually gets off to a slow start in Japan, where
CONTINUE READING

South Korea flashes warning signs for 2019

ASIA TIMES As chatter about a global downturn grows in volume, events in Seoul are worth a look By WILLIAM PESEK JANUARY 5, 2019 With its sizable, open economy, South Korea often acts as a weathervane of sorts for trade-flow inflection points. And at the moment, one of Asia’s most reliable early-warning systems is flashing something approaching red. The
CONTINUE READING

Japan’s Abenomics Gets Caught Swimming Naked

FORBES William Pesek Contributor I write about economics, markets and policymaking throughout the Asia. As the Nikkei Stock Average plunges, Japan is producing a bull market in something rather ominous for 2019: déjà vu. The feeling of familiarity concerns a return to recession and deflationary forces. Didn’t Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrive on the scene
CONTINUE READING

Asia’s Next Headache: Trump Vs. The Fed

F FORBES Dec 20, 2018 William Pesek I write about economics, markets and policymaking throughout the Asia. Donald Trump seems happiest when he has a foil to attack –- normally 280 characters at a time. Hillary Clinton, Emmanuel Macron and China rank among his favorite Twitter targets. Yet the U.S. president’s intensifying spat with his own
CONTINUE READING

Japan Hasn’t Given Up on Cryptocurrency

LongHash By ​William Pesek Updated on December 26, 2018 Just last year, Japan was at the heart of the global Bitcoin community. After China banned cryptocurrency exchanges, Japan remained relatively friendly, with more than a dozen licensed exchanges. What a difference a year makes. Japan’s openness was challenged earlier this year when hackers stole more
CONTINUE READING

China is about to stress test the world

Beijing is already in damage-control mode, rolling out tax cuts, new business loans and infrastructure projects to keep growth from plunging below 6% By WILLIAM PESEK DECEMBER 18, 2018 12:41 PM (UTC+8) The Trump administration is about to grapple with the “Pottery Barn rule” as China’s economy hits a wall. The “you break it, you bought it” principle applies
CONTINUE READING

Chinese deflation? A risk for 2019

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW  Inflation concerns give way to worries about Japanese-style price stagnation William Pesek Is China now heading for Japan-style deflation?   © Reuters What a difference a year makes when you are trading Chinese bonds. Twelve months ago, dealers in China’s $2 trillion government debt market braced for a wipeout. Ten-year yields surged above
CONTINUE READING

Japan hit hard by trade woes

ews that the Q3downturn was twice as bad as early data suggested augers poorly for Japan’seconomic year in 2019 By WILLIAM PESEK DECEMBER 11, 2018 Tokyo’s spin doctors are suddenly stumped. When initial indications were that Japan’s economy contracted 1.2% in the third quarter, the talking points were that earthquakes and storms hit growth. Don’t worry, they
CONTINUE READING

Chips in the fryer

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Trade war and Moore’s law combine to raise the heat for manufacturers William Pesek Good news for Toyota Motor may be a bad omen for the global economy in 2019. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. told its executives around the globe in early Dec. to do without the luxury Mercedes-Benz sedans that long transported them to
CONTINUE READING

How Trump will ruin Abe’s 2019

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Needing quick trade war wins, US president will take his fight to Tokyo William Pesek Two years ago, Shinzo Abe placed an audacious bet on behalf of Japan: befriending Donald Trump. That wager at Trump Tower in November 2016 has since grown ever-riskier. No other world leader stepped forward to join Abe.
CONTINUE READING

Populism threatens Thailand again

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Junta prefers handouts to hard work building economy William Pesek As the Group of 20 leaders meets this weekend to assess the global economy, no topic is more pressing than the populist currents battering the world. There is a certain poetry to this meeting taking place in Argentina, a place grappling with
CONTINUE READING

The real lessons of Carlos Ghosn’s downfall

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW As well as pillioring the disgraced boss, Japan Inc. should look at itself William Pesek The Carlos Ghosn scandal concerns far more than one larger-than-life boss and the “serious misconduct” allegedly involved in reporting his oversized pay. The affair raises questions about Renault, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors, the international triple alliance he headed, and
CONTINUE READING

Why Trump will escalate the trade war

ASIA TIMES In two speeches, Vice-President Pence gave up America’s Asia game plan for 2019 – and it won’t be pretty for policymakers, markets or investors By WILLIAM PESEK NOVEMBER 20, 2018 Asia spent the last 22 months fearing Donald Trump’s angry Twitter feed. Turns out, it’s the United States president’s hologram that poses the biggest
CONTINUE READING

NTT Docomo gives Abenomics a rare win

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW The silver lining in the dull pockets of Japanese telecoms William Pesek November 05, 2018 “NTT Docomo signals fierce mobile price war.” The headline would seem to say it all about the epic rout in telecom stocks which followed the Oct. 31 news that the Japanese giant would slash charges by as much as
CONTINUE READING

Brazil kills off BRICS dream

Brazil kills off the BRICS dream with election of strongman Jair Bolsonaro by William Pesek The bright future that then-Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neillenvisioned 17 years ago has had a rough few months. In July, nations comprising the BRIC acronym held their annual summit. Yet by the time leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China converged in
CONTINUE READING

Why Indonesia is on the brink — again

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW As its financial markets plummet, Indonesia has an excess of deja vu William Pesek October 26, 2018 Two decades ago, the Asian financial crisis revealed Indonesia to be the weakest link. While the trouble started in Thailand, it was the collapse of Jakarta’s financial system that generated full-blown contagion. Indonesia experienced another
CONTINUE READING

From bubble to bubble

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW As Abe visits Xi, Japan’s economic record has painful lessons for both leaders William Pesek October 24, 2018 Shinzo Abe’s trip to Beijing is one for the history books. The first formal summit between Japanese and Chinese leaders since 2011 rekindles Asia’s most vital relationship at a pivotal moment. Yet as Prime
CONTINUE READING

Asia’s 2008 seer is worried all over again

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Indian economist Raghuram Rajan, who correctly called the subprime crisis, is worried about growing imbalances and the possibility of another global shakeout Sunday, 14 October, 2018, 2:03pm William Pesek In 2016, around the time Britons were dealing with “Brexit” trauma, Indians were bracing for “Rexit”. The reference here is to Raghuram
CONTINUE READING

Bonds batter Bali

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Facing mounting financial pressure, Asian leaders will rue failure to reform sooner William Pesek October 10, 2018 The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, goes the old adage. The second-best time? Now. Timber-rich Indonesia does not suffer from a lack of forests. But officials in Jakarta are definitely
CONTINUE READING

‘Great Depression’ ahead? IMF sounds dire warning

ASIA TIMES Massive government debts and eroded fiscal buffers since 2008 suggest global dominos await a single market crash By WILLIAM PESEK OCTOBER 9, 2018   Is another “Great Depression” on the horizon? It would be easier to dismiss these words from Nouriel Roubini, Marc Faber or other doom-and-gloom prognosticators. Coming from Christine Lagarde’s team, though, they
CONTINUE READING

Nikkei rally runs ahead of Abenomics

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Stocks look pricey for an aging country with a stagnant economy faced with trade war risks William Pesek October 04, 2018 Stocks look pricey for an aging country with a stagnant economy faced with trade war risks John Templeton, the late, great stock picker, believed booms and busts come in four stages:
CONTINUE READING

Asia’s Paul Volcker moment

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW Indonesia’s central bank takes away the punch bowl September 28, 2018 By William Pesek If you think you are having a frenetic year, spare a thought for Perry Warjiyo. In four months as Indonesia’s central bank governor, he has hiked interest rates four times — roughly once every 32 days. With his
CONTINUE READING

Shinzo Abe, Ford Motor salesman?

ASIA TIMES Tokyo has made clear it favors the multilateral TPP format, but has little choice but to agree to bilateral FTA negotiations By WILLIAM PESEK SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 Shinzo Abe: Ford Motor Company salesman? That, essentially, appears to be the future Donald Trump envisions for Japan’s prime minister. Not in so many words, of course.
CONTINUE READING

Bank scandal highlights BOJ troubles

ASIA TIMES Abe’s corporate governance push is not succeeding and the graying population is impeding growth – this has been highlighted in one corporate scandal By WILLIAM PESEK SEPTEMBER 26, 2018 It’s the rare corporate scandal that says virtually everything about why a top-three economy is underperforming. The shenanigans involve Suruga Bank, a regional institution headquartered in Shizuoka
CONTINUE READING

Forget Lehman, Asia’s lessons are more timely

ASIA TIMES With currencies plunging in Manila, Jakarta and New Delhi, Trump’s trade war is causing havoc with Asian economies By William Pesek Tokyo, September 16, 2018 The 10th anniversary of the “Lehman shock” is dominating headlines around the globe. But the lessons we should be internalizing are from Asia a decade earlier. Though Asia’s crisis began in
CONTINUE READING

Plot thickens for Abe’s third term in Japan

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Shinzo Abe is poised to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister on Thursday, a chance to fulfill his dream to revise the pacifist constitution. Yet Donald Trump’s trade war and slowing demand may get in the way, writes William Pesek. 16 September, 2018 William Pesek Japan’s September 20 leadership contest has long
CONTINUE READING

Trump’s siege of China hits Hong Kong

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW OPINION Hang Seng`s plunge highlights need for urgent economic and social reform William Pesek September 12, 2018 This week’s 10th anniversary of the Lehman shock feels especially raw in Hong Kong, where markets are taking hits from every direction. The Hang Seng Index is down more than 20% from a January high
CONTINUE READING

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
CONTINUE READING

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
CONTINUE READING

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
CONTINUE READING