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September 2013
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Institutional Investor (September Issue)

2013/ 09/ 30 by jd in Global News

“While Abe may have won the first couple of rounds, he will need to win plenty more before he can declare final victor in his high-stakes bid to turn around Japan, Inc…. For one, unless structural changes are made, demographics are likely to prove disastrous to Japan’s economy. For another, Japan’s nominal GDP is still at 2008 levels, meaning that it has stood still for the past five years. Finally, with public debt now exceeding 1,000 trillion yen ($10.2 trillion), time may be running out for Japan to sort out its problems.”


Euromoney (September Issue)

2013/ 09/ 29 by jd in Global News

“There is nothing understated or stumbling about the recovery in Japanese markets since the Abe government took power last December with a pledge to lift the country out of a prolonged slump. The overvalued yen has plummeted giving a massive boost to beleaguered Japanese exporters, while the Tokyo stock market has gone from global backwater to top performer.”


The Economist (September 28)

2013/ 09/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Has Brazil blown it?” The nation had been flying high, with an economy barely impacted by the Lehman crash and the prestige of being selected to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. “Since then the country has come back down to earth with a bump. In 2012 the economy grew by 0.9%. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in June in the biggest protests for a generation, complaining of high living costs, poor public services and the greed and corruption of politicians.” The Economist believes “Brazil is not doomed to flop,” especially if it makes progress in cutting “red tape, merging ministries and curbing public spending.”


Reuters (September 25)

2013/ 09/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Long-term foreign investors are looking into small cap Japanese shares…. Some fund managers have been dabbling in subcontractors of big Japanese exporters while others look at companies whose coverage by analysts is low and have been neglected by international investors.” At recent Tokyo conferences, the number of overseas money managers has dramatically increased, with many attendees driven by a desire to find out more about small caps.


Washington Post (September 25)

2013/ 09/ 27 by jd in Global News

“If the federal government shuts down Oct. 1, a depressingly plausible prospect, D.C. residents will feel the impact more than most Americans because the city is barred from spending its revenues absent a federal appropriation. Even though D.C.’s budget is largely comprised of locally raised taxes, in a shutdown only essential services can continue. That translates into fewer garbage pickups, no street cleaning and shuttered libraries and recreation centers.”


Financial Times (September 25)

2013/ 09/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Congress needs to regain its senses before disaster hits.” Without Congressional action, the government will shut down next week and in several more begin defaulting on its sovereign debt. “As the sole superpower and provider of the international reserve currency, the US owes a duty to the world, as well as to itself, to uphold one of the most basic functions of a nation state. Flirting with a government shutdown is pantomime enough. Toying with whether the US will honour its sovereign debt obligations is pure recklessness.”


New York Times (September 23)

2013/ 09/ 25 by jd in Global News

The U.S. “has made commendable progress in reducing its emissions, and is halfway toward meeting Mr. Obama’s pledge at the Copenhagen climate summit meeting in 2009 to reduce its emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.” Globally, however, progress is not being made. “Steadily increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, rising sea levels, more violent weather events, persistent droughts…. The burden on the United States to set a positive example is as heavy as ever.”


Daily Nation (September 23)

2013/ 09/ 24 by jd in Global News

As the standoff at Kenya’s Westgate Mall enters the third day, “all round, there is a sense of gloom and doom. Tension is palpable and the citizens are worried about the grotesque drama…. The stand-off and uncertainty are taking a huge toll on the economy as businesses remain closed and many people kept away from work. Worse, the tragedy has sent the wrong message that Kenya is an unsafe destination even when it is clear that terrorism knows no borders.”


The Economist (September 21)

2013/ 09/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Nine of the world’s ten most valuable firms are American.” A rising stock market and the euro crisis are partly responsible, but the reasons go deeper. “First, America’s mix of resilience and renewal. Three of its nine biggest firms have their roots in a 16-year period in the late 19th century—Exxon, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson. Their durability reflects their powerful corporate cultures. But the country still does creative destruction, too. IBM and Intel have slid down the rankings to be replaced by Apple and Google. Chevron, an energy firm, has gone from a laggard to a world-beater. Success has been anything but parochial. Six of the nine biggest firms sell more abroad than at home.”


Wall Street Journal (September 20)

2013/ 09/ 22 by jd in Global News

“What will German voters be choosing when they go to the polls on Sunday? A new Parliament, definitely, but not likely a new direction for their government. In this year’s federal election campaign, the parties’ platforms could have been written two years ago, the candidates for Chancellor are allergic to bold ideas, and opinion polls have been flat for months, only tightening a little in the last few weeks. Europe’s most important election since the financial crisis is an election about nothing.”


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