July 24, 2017
By Piya Sinha-Roy

Recessions and market collapses usually occur when central banks and governments decide they need to rein things in to control inflation. I do not see any need of that in the advanced countries of the world any time soon. I am continuing to run the FT fund with the maximum 60 per cent allowed in shares under the risk control rules we used when setting it up, where 50 per cent bonds and 50 per cent in shares is the neutral position. As a central banker once put it, they see it as their job to remove the punch bowl when the party is in full swing. This time there is some suggestion they might remove the punch bowl before many people have had...


By Philip Stephens

 Among this year's under-reported events was the opening of a new rail freight route. A locomotive, pulling wagons loaded with Chinese manufactures, set out in early January from Yiwu in Zhejiang province. Some 18 days and seven countries later it arrived at a goods depot almost 7,500 miles away on the eastern edge of London. The jury is out on the economics of this latest reincarnation of the ancient silk routes. That is beside the point. The journey above all else was a statement of China's geopolitical intent. In truth, it took several trains to complete the trip. The freight containers had to be switched at various points to take...


By Ihtasham Ul Haque

INSIGHT All official projections and estimates set for 2017-18 are fast getting unattainable mainly due to the political battle on Panama leaks, with International Monitory Fund (IMF) painting a depressing picture of the struggling economy for the first time. The political battle has been ongoing for the past 15 months. The IMF has said new taxes, worth Rs425 billion, would have to be imposed and all new subsidies withdrawn to pull through the current financial year. This is happening for the first time in the country’s 70 years history that budget estimates are projected to be significantly readjusted by having new taxes in the...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

MANAGEMENT The title of this piece is interrogative. And the answer is, it is possibly a fading facet in all walks of life. The moral standards of this nation till about the decade of the seventies were in harmony with the precepts of the State’s official religion and also with universal truths. However, come the Zia regime, it has eroded to the new base level. In my childhood and teenage years many of the current things that have come to be accepted by the society were then considered repulsively unacceptable. A smuggler’s house in the locality would remain identified, a tax evader would be identified and the morally deviant...


By James Saft

MARKET With equity indexes at all-time highs, global mutual fund and ETF investors may be choosing now as the time to reverse a long-running move into bonds and out of equities. That’s either in harmony with retail investors’ legendary ability to pick the top or a canny bet on global reflation. Since the great financial crisis the broad global trend has been for mutual and exchange-traded fund investors to load up on bonds while trimming equities. Globally, funds held in equities vehicles went from above 90 percent of the whole in 2007 to about 70 percent now. And while that figure for U.S. funds bottomed at about 60...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS The international agency, Moody’s, while retaining  Pakistan’s B3 rating maintained that the country’s medium-term economic outlook was strong on the back of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, aimed at addressing critical infrastructure constraints and continuing macroeconomic stability-enhancing reforms initiated under the International Monitory Fund (IMF) three-year Extended Fund Facility which ended last year. However, it drew up a long list of vulnerabilities for Pakistan’s economy, particularly the burgeoning current account deficit caused by the rising imports and falling exports as...


By Gillian Tett

If somebody had suggested a year ago that Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs president, might be the next Federal Reserve chair, his colleagues would have guffawed. Mr Cohn might have chuckled too. After all, Mr Cohn, 56, has built his career by navigating the markets with skill, and wielding power with ruthless efficiency. But he has never presented himself as a soaring intellect or economic expert. Indeed, he sometimes jokes that he only scraped through college by using ferocious willpower (he is dyslexic) and got a job on Wall Street by hustling hard (he comes from a blue-collar background and had to fight for every chance). But these...


By Web Desk

How much is reputation worth to a national stock exchange? The government of Saudi Arabia is shopping. What do Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, the London Stock Exchange - and indeed the City of London itself - have to sell? Two things: size and prestige. The Saudis are looking for a place to list a 5 per cent stake in their state oil company, Saudi Aramco. They aim for a $2tn valuation for the whole enterprise ( others take a more modest view). That would make the stake sale the biggest public offering ever. The size shortens the list of exchanges that could accommodate the deal. New York and London are the main candidates....


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS For well over three years, finance minister Ishaq Dar has been excessively quoting IMF praise for his economic management at the public forums to assure the nation that all is going well with the economy of the country. But the latest vibes from the international financial institutions show that all is not well and Pakistan’s economy will slide back to the situation it was in, a decade ago. The not-so-good reports about the state of the economy from the IMF came at a time when the government is grappling the political crisis generated after the release of the damning JIT report on Panamagate investigations. It has triggered a...