Posts byWilliam Pesek

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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‘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
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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:
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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