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  • Top 5 Graphs of the Week: China Focus [View article]
    Hmm yeah, it's kinda a do the best with what you have situation... I'm still ambivalent about the integrity of Chinese statistics, though it's hard to have confidence in it when half the time their websites don't even update e.g. the English version of the PBOC website hasn't got any 2010 data; and none of them are particularly user friendly. I guess it's not a priority for them...
    But in thinking about the fundamentals, the general direction that things are trending doesn't seem too far out of touch - but this is from my view; sitting down the other side of the world...
    Aug 15 06:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China Sees Strength in Exports, But What About Imports? [View article]
    wo hui kan yi dia'r zhong wen, ke shi ni ke neng kan zhe ge: translate.googleuserco...

    (google translate... by the way I was crudely saying in pinyin that I can read a little bit of Chinese)
    Aug 12 06:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Seeking Alpha Celebrates 500,000 Registered Users! [View article]
    Seeking Alpha has kept me hooked on blogging, there was something about the community aspect of it or just the sheer mass of minds musing on the markets that kept me coming back in the early days... and now I'm just plain addicted!

    I really enjoy the possibility of sharing my analysis with a group (I guess at least 500,000 people!) of really smart people with a wide range of views. And one of the benefits I've noticed most of all is the value that commenting and debate has on this website - I'm sure that this has added an extra layer of rigor to my analysis over time.

    As for alpha capture, I've only really been trading binary options lately - and mostly on monetary policy decisions. So I guess sharing my views on monetary policy decisions has helped me crystallize my thinking - as well as putting it out there for debate.

    Keep up the good work!
    ... and look forward to the membership hitting the 1 million mark!
    Jul 6 02:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bucking recently lowered expectations, China puts out a statement ahead of the G-20 summit saying it will "increase the renminbi’s exchange-rate flexibility" following an improvement in the economy. China didn't set a timeline for the change, and ruled out a one-off revaluation, saying there is no basis for “large-scale appreciation."  [View news story]
    Reasonably mysterious announcement... but a win for them, they can now claim to moving on the yuan which will deflect some criticism and move the debate at the G-20 meeting. But just what exactly will happen next (or when) remains a mystery, very interesting!
    Jun 19 03:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rise of the Machines: In today’s exchanges, strong programs prey on weak ones, humans are hard to find, and the SEC struggles to keep up. If the majority of trades racing back and forth are now simply lines of code swapping with other lines of code, what exactly is this thing we call the financial market?  [View news story]
    I have been close to this stuff in the past having worked briefly in markets infrastructure. I can understand the arguments for algo trading e.g. enhanced liquidity, tighter spreads, etc. But I'm often troubled by the fact that so many extremely intelligent and talented people work towards generating revenue without really adding anything to the economy... Sure you can make rationalisations like liquidity provision and tighter spreads etc. But at what point do you stop and say they're just skimming at the expense of everyone else in the markets? I remain ambivalent on the topic...... and one thing too, well worth noting; I am always surprised and amazed by the development of financial markets - let's hope they start putting the megabrains into developing greater market access, capital raising, and investor/human participation in the markets...
    Jun 19 06:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Graphs of the Week: Emerging Markets, Global Rebalancing, Stimulus Exits [View article]
    There is plenty of criticism about the BRIC acronym, and there are plenty of alternatives proferred - just see the wikipedia page for BRIC (e.g. next 11, etc). BRIC was a specific slant taken on which countries will be the next economic heavy weights. It shouldn't be taken as these are the be all and end all in emerging markets - indeed with all the focus on these economies there's probably opportunities in the less talked about emerging markets. I am working on a project to get provide more analysis on countries, and will likely strongly feature emerging markets; both BRIC and 'obscure'. So watch this space...
    Jun 13 01:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Graphs of the Week: Emerging Markets, Global Rebalancing, Stimulus Exits [View article]
    a free floating yuan would be a good thing to see eventually

    If the yuan went to free floating straight away it would fix some of the imbalances, but it would be painful for all involved - US would see rising import prices from China; China would see some businesses that operate on tight margins collapse... there would be a reallocation of resources, but it would be tough. This is why China opts for the gradualist approach... tries to allow enough time for its precious manufacturing exporters to adapt...

    The rising wages aspect is a good interim step, and will have similar outcomes eventually...
    Jun 13 01:44 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How to Bet on Rising Interest Rates [View article]
    If your view is for rising interest rates you could also play some kind of long USD strategy (vs currencies whose rates are expected to top-out/decline/rise at a slower pace). In the short-medium term you could also play binary options on individual interest rate decisions. Eventually I think this will be the right kind of strategy to play (just depends how long eventually is).
    Has similar tones to the short gold strategy - get short when prices are in bubble mode due to panic and safe-haven seeking; collect profits when things normalise...
    Jun 13 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Retail Sales: Down but Still Strong [View article]
    Indeed, I mentioned in my article today that the US savings rate is 3.6% in April, but that it possibly should be higher - and we don't actually want to see a huge increase in retail sales... the US really needs to focus on more savings, more wealth rebuilding and deleveraging.

    The period of over-consumption should be matched by a period of under-consumption... but I'm not overly optimistic that will actually happen ("old habits die hard").
    Jun 12 02:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Wind Companies: Adapt or Die [View article]
    One thing that intrigues me about wind power is the amount of activity going on in people's backyards i.e. the DIY wind turbines (just google something like how to make a wind turbine and you'll see). It's a different angle from the large scale windfarms (in which China probably has a significant cost advantage and will probably end up being the leader in if it can execute on its lofty goals), and I wonder what opportunities may exist in small scale consumer/small business space...
    Jun 9 02:39 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dollar Update: Still Somewhat Weak [View article]
    yeah that's the thing about currencies, it's all relative; the trick will be who does what on the other side of all this... i.e. will the USD's luck continue to run?
    Jun 9 02:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Has the Chinese Economy Made a Complete Recovery? [View article]
    Perhaps... one interesting trend though in the export space is increasing wages, e.g. visible example of Foxconn, et al. It may risk marginally decreasing cost competitiveness, but it also has interesting implications for domestic spending (and investment markets given the high savings rate).

    Anyway, stories like this: could even point to more export demand...
    Jun 9 02:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Graphs Show Emerging Markets Lead the Global Recovery [View article]
    Here it is....
    Jun 7 01:09 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Graphs Show Emerging Markets Lead the Global Recovery [View article]
    Yes, I only indirectly mentioned it and linked to a previous update on the Chinese economy...

    Ben's comment below is about right in this respect
    Jun 6 11:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 5 Graphs Show Emerging Markets Lead the Global Recovery [View article]
    Ok, I was thinking about writing something this afternoon but hadn't chosen a topic yet... but your idea fits in with some other thinking I've been doing... so stay tuned!
    Jun 6 11:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment