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How Japan’s moment of glory has become a millstone for the economy. “Japan is back!” declared Shinzo Abe, the then Japanese prime minister, after he made a surprise appearance dressed as Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Tokyo 2020 was supposed to be a moment of national glory, a chance to put the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 firmly in the past, and to showcase Japan’s technological pre-eminence in spearheading an environmentally sustainable... Read More >

Recent Articles:


The biggest risk a business faces is having bad management. That’s according to Warren Buffett in his latest shareholder meeting. I agree. Assessing company management is one of the most important jobs an investor faces, but it’s far from Read More >

If you are reading this, congratulations on surviving the latest Independence Day festivities, which our society somewhat arbitrarily celebrates on 4 July. Independence Day 2026 will mark the nation’s 250th 'birthday', but Americans that day Read More >

Monetary policy isn’t about interest rates. It’s about money. Specifically, it’s about the supply of money relative to the demand to hold it. But you wouldn’t know that from financial journalists’ constant focus on interest rates. Read More >

Leigh Perkins died last month. Most reading this likely weren’t aware of his passing or who he was for that matter. But his story has broad relevance in consideration of the times in which we live.   About Perkins, his New York Read More >

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met this week to decide the stance of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. In its official statement, the committee chose to maintain its effective federal funds rate target in the range of zero Read More >

Housing is a topic that gets everyone riled up. Where you live is a sign of success, socially and financially; we take pride in what our houses are like and certainly their location. If you got in on the booming housing market at almost any time Read More >

Suppose you lent someone $100 and when they paid you back they only handed you, say, $99 or $80. Would you consider the borrower to have kept his promise and contractual obligation? Or would you think that he had cheated you out of a part of the Read More >

As a once-devout environmentalist, I have a T-shirt with a slogan heavily used by activists. Often credited to the Abenaki Alanis Obomsawin, it speaks directly to our modernity-hating followers in the Church of Climate:  When the last Read More >

I’m a heretic in a world where environmentalism is a leading religion. I think it’s OK to use a lot of paper and I generally ignore the little exhortation at the bottom of so many emails saying, ‘Think about the environment before printing Read More >

In the early 2000s, before the financial crisis, a debate dominated central banking: whether central bankers should try to reign in financial bubbles in what was called ‘lean against the wind’. That is, over and above their macroeconomic Read More >

President Joe Biden delivered a speech to a Joint Session of Congress on 28 April 2021, where he made the following remark that should be seen as a red flag: “America is moving – moving forward – but we can’t stop now. We’re in Read More >

Globally cities have taken a hit, but that’s a blip – and the UK capital in particular is set to thrive London is in crisis. Over the past year the UK capital has experienced population loss of biblical proportions. A mass exodus in the Read More >

Journalism is hard. To portray the world accurately to a lay audience without delving into the complexities and nuances of the universe we inhabit, writers must always simplify, explain, and make difficult content relatable for their readers. Read More >

In a market economy, consumers vote with their dollars. The survival and growth of a business depends pivotally upon how effectively it convinces customers to buy its products over those of its competitors. But recently, consumers seem to expect Read More >

The state of New York is an economic disaster area. New York is ranked #50 in the Economic Freedom of North America.New York is ranked #48 in the State Business Tax Climate Index.New York is ranked Read More >

The late Everett Dirksen, a long-serving Minority Leader of the Republicans in the US Senate, is famously quoted as saying a billion here, a billion there, and soon we’re talking real money. That was back in 1969. At the time, a billion Read More >

An event in 1989 shook the world and radically changed how critical institutions operated. No, I’m not talking about the fall of communism and the following disintegration of the Soviet bloc, but of an obscure change of public policy in a land Read More >

Nicholas Kristof is elated. Of course, there lies the problem with elation found in the overly emotional. It’s not always grounded in reality. To see why, consider what has the New York Times columnist overjoyed. It’s the $1.9tn Read More >

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” as Donald Rumsfeld once said when asked whether intelligence gathered had been shared adequately across the US intelligence community. Applied to the economies of Africa, the meaning goes even deeper, Read More >

With its resurrection following the Second World War and the unification of East and West, Germany has had a remarkable journey over the past 75 years. In particular its stable and reliable public service has been a model for others. This has Read More >

For decades, those of us sceptical of our central banks’ monetary experiments have tried to punish them for their excesses – rein them in, have them follow a stated rule, or at least provide a way for us critics to opt out of their system. Read More >

Recently I wrote part 1 of this article in the hope that with the coming of a new presidential administration we can start to think rationally about dealing with what is a tricky adversary. Tricky because it is clear that China is an existential Read More >

US-China relations have an incredibly complicated history that dates back many years to when the United States first interacted with imperial China. There have been some periods of mutual benefit and trade. There have also been numerous armed Read More >

Investing is one of those rare pursuits where amateurs can have an advantage over the professionals. It happens in almost no other field. If I competed against any professional sports person, I’d lose every time. If I was asked to perform Read More >

I read with interest the recent piece in the Property Chronicle entitled “Universal Basic Income Decimates Big Cities”. The thought of UBI as a modern-day Godzilla stomping across our city landscapes decimating all in his path is one that I Read More >

The research department behind this piece is run by Steen Jacobsen. A million years ago I worked with Steen Jacobsen on the trading floor of a large US investment bank. Steen was then, and still is, a brilliant, polemic mind. For 30+ years he Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

Two of our top contributors, Bill Blain and Ethan Yang, argue it out over bitcoin. Is it no more than imaginary money we'd be foolish to trust, or could it be a medium of growing substance that at the very least is telling us something Read More >

Forget the doomsayers: we are on the verge of a golden age. Former US vice-president Dan Quayle once said: “The future will be better tomorrow.” Right now, I’m willing to risk the ridicule of using this statement. Although it might not Read More >

On the ghoulishly appropriate date of 31 October – Halloween – Boris Johnson announced new lockdown measures. “These measures above all will be time-limited,” the prime minister assured the people. “They will end on Wednesday 2 Read More >

Early in the pandemic I advised readers to zone out, take a break, and read fiction and other works of art that have stood the test of time. There’s only so much crazy we can deal with and there’s only so much mental benefits to be had from Read More >

The morning after Trump was elected, people in my university class were crying.  Fair enough, you think: you’ve heard about the emotional fragility of today’s youth, and perhaps you’ve read Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s Read More >

On 12 October 1864, Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the Dred Scott decision, passed away. Abraham Lincoln (finally!) had the opportunity to replace that man. There was never a doubt that Lincoln would nominate a successor. On the other Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker will reflect on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Read More >

The late Anwar Sadat, when president of Egypt, called 1973 his autumn of destiny. I call 2020 my autumn of destiny because four of the world’s top software/fintech will go public in IPOs in Hong Kong or New York. Each of these IPOs will be Read More >

Do Americans “vote with their wallets?” This near-ubiquitous cliche seems at first to pass the test of common sense. Why wouldn’t people vote for the candidates under whom they’ll do the best financially? A wealthy voter should favor the Read More >

Money is an indispensable part of modern economic activity. It was not always so: barter, where goods trade directly for other goods, was the norm for most of human history. But the rise of money as an economic institution greatly increased Read More >

City centres and suburbs have been subject to both centripetal and centrifugal forces in modern times. During the first four decades after World War II, rapidly growing middle-class incomes in the Western world translated into expanding city Read More >

Inflation came in much stronger than economists anticipated across the major western economies in July, highlighting that the effects of the pandemic are not purely deflationary. In the UK, CPI inflation jumped up from +0.6% in June to +1.0% in Read More >

Price discovery in the private real estate market is always a challenge when there is a sudden change in the market as we have now with COVID-19.  As happened during past recessions, the number of transactions grinds almost to a halt Read More >

There is something slightly soul-crushing about the news that the Government is mulling a new digital sales tax to ‘save the high street’. It isn’t just the prospect of ministers raising the cost of living for online shoppers at a Read More >

From the beginning of this virus, political elites have used the language of war. The invisible enemy would be contained, suppressed, and beaten into submission. Then….it would go away.  The tactics would be travel bans, shutdowns, Read More >

THE IMPACT of the coronavirus crisis on London is becoming clear to see. Yesterday the Evening Standard laid bare the scale of the economic devastation to the British capital.  Let’s take the headline numbers: “50,000 West End Read More >

Many millions of people have spent the last four months in sadness and depression. It’s hard to watch the world shattered by the bad behavior of governments – and to see too many among us cheer the destruction – and not feel a sense of Read More >

In over 30 years of involvement in US real estate, I have never encountered a dilemma in institutional office investment similar to what we are experiencing today. About half of my peers at Barings, and around the industry, are expecting a Read More >

Assuming the U.S. elections still happen in November  2020– how might that affect the U.S. economy and investment returns going forward? While no one can yet predict the outcome of the November election – it may be instructive Read More >

Netflix has added twice as many new subscribers as it expected during lockdown. I am one of them, signing up to watch “The Last Dance”, a documentary based on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls. I loved the series, Read More >

It’s hard to overstate the power of incentives. Charlie Munger says: “Show me the incentive and I will show you the outcome”. The biggest factor determining how well incentivised you are is whether you own something. If you own your own Read More >

When your ideology states that climate change is the most important thing facing the world and some pesky pandemic has the poor judgement to interrupt The Cause, you need to act fast. There must be something that connects the pandemic back to my Read More >

The spread of coronavirus has required us all to change our behaviour. One of the most significant shifts as far as property is concerned is the abrupt switch to home working by most office employees. The majority have found this a smooth, Read More >

Balance sheets show the trade-off between resilience and optimisation  % of companies with net cash Source: CLSA, Factset as at 21 April 2020 As we highlighted last month, coronavirus is especially dangerous for patients with Read More >

We are starting to appreciate some of the damage that the Covid-19 crisis is doing to the economy but in the western world the first warning lights came when stock markets lurched downwards in late February. In the past 6 weeks There has been Read More >

For most of human history matters of life and death lay almost entirely outside the material world. Saving a life at any cost feels to most of us like a moral imperative, but the astonishing leaps forward in science and technology that define Read More >

In engineering, noise is a disturbance around a signal and engineers have become good at extracting signals from the noise.  In investing, noise comes in many forms and actions are determined by noise, signals or a combination of Read More >

In this article I look at the S&P 500’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the impact on CAPE valuations and what that means for the index’s expected ten-year returns. The world is in the grip of a rapidly expanding pandemic Read More >

Featuring

Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Technology

Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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Uncorked

A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the real estate/investment world.

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The Historian

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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