What is next for Japan? 25/11/2014 Ever since his election in December 2012, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe has put into action an ambitious economic revival strategy articulated around three arrows: monetary policy with massive liquidity injections, fiscal policy with expansionary additional spending and economic policy with structural reforms. Of the three arrows, only the monetary policy has fully lived up to expectations with a massive depreciation of the yen of around 30 percent. Support from the fiscal policy has been diluted by hiking VAT in April 2014 from five to eight percent that counterbalanced the benefit of supplementary public expenses, while the third arrow of structural reforms has been morphed into a policy of thousand needles of positive but not game changing decisions. Labour reforms have been timid with a continued reluctance to create more flexibility for workers in large corporations, as well as to open Japan to needed immigration workers. The trade negotiations within the Trans Pacific Partnership – a US-led trade agreement involving 11 major pacific economies - have come to a standstill.
Japan - are professional investors backing Abenomics? 24/11/2014 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now dissolved parliament ahead of a snap election for December. Abe has promised new measures to stimulate the consumer economy, plus an extension of the current quantitative easing package. The election has been labelled a vote on Abenomics, an endorsement – or otherwise – of the present government’s economic policies.
Japan – This time is different, or is it? 18/11/2014 Investors seldom feel like talking about Japan. A geographic outlier relative to other global developed markets, the world’s third largest economy has many times emitted false recovery signals. It is hard to fathom that not too long ago, keiretsus, Japanese conglomerates, were dominant global players. Japan’s weighting in the MSCI World Index in 1987 was roughly 40 percent, twice that of Europe and 10 percent higher that of the US. Today its weighting in the popular market capitalisation equity index is around 8 percent. After 20 years of stagnation we believe that the current combination of policy and reform – Abenomics - may just be creating the right conditions for the economy to reinvent itself and become a lot more relevant on a global scale.
Global economic outlook 05/11/2014 Graham Wainer, global head of investments and chair of the investment advisory board, GAM gives his opinions on the global economic picture.
Swiss private banking sector to grow client assets and revenues by 2.8 percent per year, says new report 31/10/2014 The Swiss private banking sector is forecast to grow client assets under management by 2.8 percent a year to 2018, according to a report produced by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) called Actively Shaping Transition - Future Prospects For Banking in Switzerland. As a consequence total client assets under management will amount to CHF 3,540 billion with annual revenues projected to come in at around CHF 30.3 billion.
Are US inflation pressures building? 30/10/2014 There are good reasons to be concerned about deflation risks in the global economy. The Eurozone and Japan have significant output gaps (the gap between the potential growth rate of an economy and the actual growth rate) and chronically high unemployment rates, which are suppressing demand. Meanwhile, weak commodity prices, including both oil and food, and the strength of the US dollar (and sterling) are keeping price pressures low. These disinflationary forces are impacting real economic activity and reducing confidence. Inflation globally has remained absent throughout 2014, and that may well persist in the near term. However, looking at the US in isolation, in our view there is evidence of inflationary pressures emerging that suggest over the medium term that the direction of travel for US inflation is higher, not lower, from current levels.