Which are the fastest growing economies in ASEAN?

Published on Jun 03, 2016

World Economic Forum

A longa luta dos norte-coreanos por liberdade

Publicado Originalmente: 20/05/2016

Economia global enfrenta seu maior desafio desde a crise de 2008

Publicado originalmente em: 24/01/2016

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O tom de chumbo que predominou nas reuniões desta edição do Fórum Econômico Mundial tem uma explicação imediata: muitos dos participantes perdiam bilhões na Bolsa enquanto estavam na reunião na Suíça. As dúvidas em torno da China surgem como primeira explicação, mas não a única. As previsões de crescimento são progressivamente reduzidas, a queda do preço do petróleo ameaça provocar uma onda de quebras no setor, os países emergentes têm que lidar com uma crescente desconfiança dos investidores, e as moedas despontam como próximo ponto de conflito entre as economias.

“Não é 2008… ainda. Mas os Governos precisam agir rápido”, alertou num dos debates em Davos o economista Nouriel Roubini, apelidado de Doutor Catástrofe. Roubini perdeu parte de sua autoridade em razão de seu pessimismo empedernido, mas suas palavras não caem nunca totalmente no vazio. Com uma queda do índice acionário norte-americano S&P 500 de 6,7% neste ano, não é de estranhar que os executivos de Davos passem por episódios de ansiedade. O Fundo Monetário Internacional (FMI) publicou logo antes da reunião na Suíça uma redução das previsões globais de crescimento, para 3,4% neste ano e 3,6% no próximo, 0,2 ponto percentual abaixo do previsto em outubro e o terceiro corte em menos de um ano. “Em 2016 o crescimento será modesto e desigual. Há um otimismo moderado, mas os riscos são significativos”, disse no sábado a diretora gerente do FMI, Christine Lagarde.

Os investidores estão desconfiados, e a prova disso é que pedem juros mais altos para os empréstimos de curto prazo que no horizonte de dez anos, fato que é chamado de curva invertida de taxas de juro e é um dos indicadores que sinalizam uma recessão. Embora nem sempre, segundo o presidente da empresa de investimentos Bridgewater, Ray Dalio, que considera mais provável que a economia continue sofrendo com uma notável fraqueza. “Mas, caso tenhamos uma recessão, ela será mais difícil de reverter. Este é o momento de maior desafio desde a crise financeira”, explica, numa sala com lareira e vista para a montanha que por estes dias é seu escritório temporário.

A bala de prata que se acreditava estar nos bancos centrais e nas novas medidas de estímulo monetário não consegue tirar da letargia a economia global. “Apesar da enorme quantidade de dinheiro posta em circulação ao longo destes anos, as pressões deflacionárias são constantes”, diz Dalio, que põe o dedo na ferida de um dos temores mais profundos dos analistas: a falta de ferramentas para responder a uma nova crise.

Na atual conjuntura, todas as estradas levam à China. A transição para um modelo de maior demanda interna e os passos em direção a maior abertura financeira estão se mostrando uma combinação difícil de manejar para Pequim –e difícil de interpretar, para os investidores. As autoridades chinesas em Davos insistiram que a segunda maior economia do mundo está se adaptando a uma nova normalidade, de crescimento mais baixo, e que se trata de um problema somente na hora de comunicar suas políticas. “O setor financeiro está mais desconectado que nunca da economia real”, afirmou Shi Wenchao, presidente da Unionpay. Mas há uma longa lista de tarefas ainda a resolver. “A China precisa reestruturar suas dívidas e sua economia, que se está debilitando e exige um relaxamento da política monetária, enquanto está sofrendo uma considerável saída de capitais”, rebate Dalio.

A desaceleração provocada por esse caminho para uma nova normalidade chinesa provocou um terremoto nos mercados de matérias-primas, como mostra o colapso do petróleo. “A baixa do preço do petróleo vai forçar muitas empresas a suspender pagamentos, e isso vai trazer muita instabilidade”, disse Larry Fink, presidente da maior gestora de ativos do mundo, a BlackRock. Após uma quebra de empresas fica uma dívida sem pagar, e os balanços dos bancos não têm condição de suportar maiores exigências de capital.

Fuga de capitais na China

O Instituto de Finanças Internacionais (IIF, na sigla em inglês) revelou que, pela primeira vez na história recente, a China sofreu no ano passado uma saída de capitais, de 676 bilhões de dólares, 90% de todos os fluxos que deixaram os mercados emergentes (735 bilhões de dólares). A entidade prevê outro saldo negativo para este ano, de 448 bilhões de dólares. “As perspectivas para esses países ficam mais sombrias”, afirmou o presidente do IIF, Tim Adams. O futuro escurece, e as moedas se desvalorizam, o que deixa em sérios apuros as economias com elevada dívida em dólares, como Brasil, África do Sul e Turquia.

“A situação na América Latina se parece cada vez mais com a crise da dívida dos anos oitenta, embora ela não deva ser tão danosa”, afirma Dalio. Se houve algum consenso em Davos é que as quatro reduções de taxas de juros esperadas do Federal Reserve (banco central dos EUA) serão diminuídas para no máximo duas. A combinação de dólar forte e pressões deflacionárias pode ser fatal para a recuperação. “O dólar pode aguentar durante um tempo, acho que em torno de um ano, como a moeda forte”, crava o financista.

Fonte: El País

Asian markets mixed after global shares turmoil

Publicado originalmente em :  21/01/2016

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Asian stocks opened with slight gains after turmoil on financial markets saw European and US indexes tumble following another oil price fall.

But the small rises on Thursday pale in comparison to the losses the financial markets have seen over past days.

Investors remain worried over slumping oil prices and slowing growth in China.

On Wednesday, stocks had dived to their lowest levels since May 2009, with UK, French and Japanese shares falling more than 20% below their 2015 highs.

Wall Street was not immune either. The Dow Jones closed 1.6% lower after a volatile trading day had seen stocks as much as 3% down.

“Overnight markets in the Europe and US had a terrible day, where sentiments around a ‘drunk’ Asia spilled over,” market strategist Bernard Aw of IG explained in a note.

Mixed open in Asia

Mainland China’s main market in Shanghai fell by another 1% at the start of trading, confirming international concerns over the world’s second largest economy.

Hong Kong, though, managed to come back slightly from the previous day’s record loss. The Hang Seng index recovered 1% after losing almost 4% on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Australia was the first to buck the share market rout, with the ASX/200 gaining 1%.

The rise came despite Australia being particularly dependent on China’s economic performance as most of the commodities driving the economy down under are exported to China.

Japan and South Korea were also higher with the Nikkei up by 1.3% while the Kospi rose by 0.4%.

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Commodity slump

“Markets are just very uncertain about the slowdown in the Chinese economy,” Stephen Koukoulas, chief strategist TD Securities, told the BBC.

“We saw the official numbers, but frankly not many people put a lot of weight on the reliability of them and instead look at commodity prices as a barometer for how the Chinese economy is going.”

Oil prices have fallen below $28 a barrel, while coal, iron ore and other metals are all also in a drawn-out slump.

“So, investors are particularly nervous about the loss of momentum in China,” Mr Koukoulas said. “The question is: Is it just an adjustment to some of the previous excesses or is this the start of something a little more nasty that will drag the economy to a much weaker growth path?”

Analysis: Andrew Walker, economics correspondent:

Some observers think that many markets were riding for a fall. Asset prices were pumped up by ultra-low interest rates in the developed world and also by the central banks that have engaged in quantitative easing, buying financial assets with newly created money.

That happened with shares, with bonds and with commodities. For commodities the boom is well and truly over, partly due to the slowdown in China and in the case of oil mainly due to plentiful supplies.

Clearly there are some troublesome developments and the IMF has a warning: “If these key challenges are not successfully managed, global growth could be derailed.”

That at bottom is what the markets are worried about.

Fonte: BBC

CrossTalk: China’s South Sea? (Ft. Pepe Escobar)

Publicado em 20 de mai de 2015

Beijing and Washington are not mere ships passing each other in the South China Sea – they are the two countries vying to play the commanding role in Asia. While China seeks to redress what it sees as violations of its sovereignty, Washington does have policy options, but are any of them effective?
CrossTalking with Pepe Escobar, Zachary Keck and James Bradley.

BBC Documentary Our World Flashpoint: South China Sea

English subtitles

Fonte: BBC

The economics of Asian geo-political stability

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Author: Paul Hubbard, ANU

What can economics tell you about the geo-political challenges in Asia? Many strategic thinkers focus on defence capabilities, ideology, politics, environmental threats or history to envisage strategic futures. Economics provides a lens to focus on the fundamental drivers of regional power relations. National income limits a country’s capacity to mobilise resources for power projection, and hence influence the regional security order. For example, North Korea may be a security nuisance, but its pockets simply aren’t deep enough to be more than a bit player.

Australian Treasury’s long term international GDP projections are therefore a good starting point to considering strategic futures. They rely on slow moving variables, such as labour force and institutional capability, to project regional economic growth out for decades. The results are startling – Asia overtakes the traditionally ‘advanced’ economies on a PPP basis around 2020. This is led by China, which by 2030 could be producing a quarter of the world’s output. For comparison the United States at the end of the cold war produced 23 per cent of global output.

Some commentators disagree, pointing to the United States’ continued edge in technology. But ideas are easily copied and modern technology and international education means ‘catch up’ is getting faster. Others believe that GDP at market exchange rates is more relevant than ‘purchasing power parity’ for projecting power — to buy guns you need foreign currency, not bowls of rice. Using that measure, China doesn’t overtake the US until 2025, just a decade away. But market exchange rates are subject to market fluctuations, and PPP provides a better indicator or an economy’s underlying potential. Finally, other commentators note that the US will still have double China’s GDP on a capita basis by 2050. But this is much less relevant for geopolitics than raw command over resources; Singapore and Brunei both have per capita GDP higher than the United States or China. But they won’t decide the regional security order.

China has had consistently impressive growth record since starting reform and opening up in 1978. But current reforms to financial and capital markets are far more risky and ambitious than shifting workers from agriculture to industry. Continued economic growth requires increased reliance on markets to allocate capital. However, the effects of the Asian Financial Crisis on Indonesia, and more recently the wash-up of the Global Financial Crisis on Greece, have made the Chinese authorities well aware of the political risks of ceding control.

So what does this mean for Australian economic diplomacy? It’s hard to over-state Australia’s interest in drawing newcomers in to the open, rules based system. Both Australian commercial and strategic interests should be to see China integrate into world markets and regional institutions.

A little discussed role for Australian economic diplomacy is engaging its friends and allies on ways to bring China voluntarily into the self-constraining rules based market system. Part of this is advocating institutions that maintain an open trading and investment environment (such as the IMF) to become more inclusive of emerging countries’ interests. It also means prioritising institutions for the next fifty years, rather than those which consolidate cold war alliances. This means prioritising RCEP negotiations (which includes India and China) over TPP (which does not).

Another thing economics teaches us is that competition, not cartels, delivers the best value. Upsetting business as usual for the ADB (traditionally led by Japan) or the World Bank (headquartered in Washington DC) isn’t a good argument for shunning China’s first big multilateral initiative in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

At the highest level, it means encouraging the United States towards a regional trade and investment system where it realises its own interests are served through peaceably sharing regional leadership with China. Where possible, we should politely, but firmly, rebut US denials of China’s economic rise.

The projections also show that countries which might help balance China’s growth in the region, particularly Indonesia and India, are lagging their potential. Australia should be doing all it can to build the institutions of economic governance needed for a prosperous and coherent ASEAN. By contrast, Japan is more of a demonstrative footnote, given its precipitate decline. We should help a fellow democracy to grow old gracefully, not expect a great power renaissance.

Changing economic fortunes need not cause conflict; but misperceptions of national strengths and objectives do. Australia’s geo-political challenge is not just that for the first time its key strategic ally is different from its principal trading partner. It is that the key players in our region have different interpretations of the economic writing on the wall and haven’t yet realised that it’s in Chinese.

Paul Hubbard is a doctoral candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. He is currently on leave from the Australian Treasury as a Sir Roland Wilson Scholar, and is former Fulbright Scholar in international relations. The views in this paper do not reflect those of the Australian Treasury.

 Fonte: East Asia Forum