February 19, 2018
By Paul Hodges, Daniël de Blocq van Scheltinga and Paul Satchell

Surprise and confusion seem to have been the main reactions to this month’s sudden downturn in western financial markets. Yet across the world in China, warning signs of a potential downturn have been building for some months, as discussed here in June.As the chart below shows, President Xi Jinping’s decision to move away from stimulus policy will have a direct impact on the global economy, as this has been the main source of the liquidity that has boosted financial markets over the past decade.China’s official and shadow bank lending totalled more than $20tn between 2009 and 2017. By comparison, the US Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan,...


By Daniel Thomas

Amid all the political hand-wringing over Brexit this week, some of the most important conversations were not in Brussels or Downing Street but in the kitchens and living rooms of those learning their fates in the first wave of company relocations.My Valentine’s Day supper was peppered with too much talk about cutting ties — with my partner’s firm looking to shift staff to Amsterdam. And I’m not the only one. Many others I know have held similar chats recently on relocating: about elderly parents and young children, high mortgage costs versus low rents. And always, among our gang at least, about the schools.The debate is far from...


By Mehtab Haider.

Insight Pakistan’s economy and the lives of its inhabitants are facing a combination of problems, especially on the economic as well as global political front. The worsening macroeconomic conditions on account of the twin deficits and rapidly depleting foreign currency reserves, combined with expected developments in the Financial Action Task Force meeting later in Paris this week would have far reaching impacts on Pakistan. Add to this the period of political uncertainty within the country, which is soon going to go through transition with the interim government taking over for general elections, and later handing over the reins...


By Richard Branson

ColumnQ. I’m an avid follower of Virgin inventions as well as a marketer. How do I improve my sales? I sell life insurance and would like to build a company from scratch. — Maina Gachanjah, Kenya A. The key to improving sales is to make sure your business or product stands out in the marketplace. We have always tried to ensure that Virgin products are innovative, that they offer good value and that there’s a great attitude about service. When you have those basics right, you need to make sure people know about your business: Too many great businesses remain well-kept secrets for too long and never get the attention they need to...


By Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui

Labour The February 2 accident, in which 32 Pakistanis drowned after a boat capsized off the coast of Libya, has once again highlighted the severity of human trafficking and smuggling from the country on one hand, and on the other, the intensity of unemployment among youth in Pakistan. The illegal immigrants intended to go to Europe in search of livelihood. Corrupt practices on part of the government’s law enforcing agencies and laxity exercised to control the crime, coupled with poor economic conditions and exploitation has resulted in unabated and massive smuggling of job-seekers for long, by land, sea and air. Reports of...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS World over, crackdown on dirty money is intensifying each passing day.It is not just the United States and its European allies which have stepped up their war on black money and are tightening their laws to stop the unbridled spread of this money into their economies, but they are also putting pressure on nations across the world, including their Gulf friends, to heavily scrutinise their exchequers for such money. The United Arab Emirates has been regarded as one of the choicest destinations for keeping such money, but in recent years it has introduced strict laws to discourage flow of black money into the country.Under...


By Tim Harford

What happened in the markets this week? That depends on how often you were looking. It was a brutal Monday — the S&P 500 was down more than 4 per cent, the worst day on the market for more than six years.Tuesday continued the rout — at least at first. But anyone who had paused for a leisurely coffee on the way to the office might have wondered what all the fuss was about: by 9.25am on Tuesday morning, New York time, the S&P 500 was up 2 per cent from the opening plunge. After various adventures, Tuesday ended up the best day in more than a year.Twenty-five minutes for coffee is a very long time in the life of a high-frequency trading...


By Web Desk

A week of turbulence in global stock markets appears to reflect broad concerns about the return of inflation to advanced economies. Despite the pick-up in US wage growth that triggered the volatility, there is little evidence as yet that strong growth — in the US or elsewhere — is pushing up against supply constraints in a way that would create rapidly rising inflation. An exception, however, may be the UK.That was the hawkish message of the Bank of England’s latest forecasts, which suggest that the global upswing will boost UK demand more than policymakers expected in November — and that the economy’s supply capacity will not...


By Mehtab Haider.

All efforts of the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government to control the yawning trade deficit have failed to deliver. The PML-N regime tried to slap tariff and non-tariff barriers to achieve the desired results, however the method failed due to some apparent factors.The first and foremost factor was finalisation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as it was done in haste and without proper homework.There is need to do some soul searching at this stage when the pace of CPEC is expected to slowdown in the wake of the ongoing political transitions happening in both Pakistan and China. The change of government will happen in...