Tag: Sharing Economy

January 20 – January 25, 2017

San Francisco becoming a childless city. Now China is making it difficult for banks to move currency overseas.

This week’s post is going to be short a day – I’ll cover it in next weeks’ post – as me and my family are in the process of moving to Phoenix, AZ. Enjoy. 


FT – China GDP hits 2016 target as Trump headwinds loom 1/19. Like clockwork.

Bloomberg Businessweek – Drug Cartels Are Looting Mexican Gas Pipelines 1/12. A reduction in fuel subsidies has caused the price of gas to jump about 20% in Mexico, a side effect – cartels and entrepreneurs are siphoning about $1 billion a year from Pemex (the state oil utility).

WSJ – BT’s Italian Scam Is Just One of Many Problems 1/24. British Telecom’s Italian subsidiary had some shady practices, specifically borrowing cash and disguising it as sales, about £500 million in sales actually…

CoStar – Blackstone’s New REIT Makes First Acquisition 1/25. Blackstone’s new non-traded REIT bought a hotel at UC Davis, more importantly are the different characteristics of Blackstone’s non-traded REIT versus the industry norms. Specifically, fees capped at less than 8.75% and a hurdle rate of 5% before Blackstone participates in the upside.

NYT – When Snap Goes Public, Some Shareholder’s Voting Rights May Disappear 1/24. Sounds like a good deal… for the founders.


  • Yuan Yang and Xinning Liu of the Financial Times highlighted Didi Chuxing’s recent dramatic workforce cuts following Shanghai’s and Beijing’s new anti-migrant rules.
    • “Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant car-sharing company, is gutting its fleet of drivers in Shanghai to comply with the city’s new regulations restricting car-sharing platforms to the use of local drivers and locally-registered cars.”
    • “Less than 3% of Didi’s 410,000 drivers in Shanghai have a local hukou (household registration) that would allow them to continue picking up passengers via the platform, according to the company.”
    • “Compliance with the new regulations will further discourage Didi’s already-disgruntled drivers, who have seen subsidies plummet since Didi bought out its major competitor Uber in August. Last month, two Didi drivers were arrested in Fujian province for protesting the reduced subsidies. Drivers in Liaoning staged a similar protest.”
  • Leslie Hook of the Financial Times covered the recent $20m fine paid by Uber for misleading drivers about their potential earnings.
    • “Uber has agreed to a $20m fine to settle claims that it misled drivers with inflated promises about potential earnings, the latest in a series of fines and settlements the company has faced around the world.”
    • “According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) statement, Uber had claimed its drivers in New York had a median income of more than $90,000, while drivers in San Francisco made over $74,000. Instead, the FTC found that the drivers’ actual median income in those cities was just two-thirds of what Uber had claimed.”
    • “The suit over misleading earnings claims highlights a persistent complaint from many Uber drivers who say they barely make enough to cover their costs.”
  • Mehreen Khan of the Financial Times discussed rating agency Fitch’s recent report on economic growth in China being fueled by unsustainable stimulus.
    • “Responding to official government figures which showed the Chinese economy expanded by 6.8% in annualized terms in the fourth quarter, Fitch said developments in the Chinese economy are becoming a ‘significant risk to medium-term macroeconomic stability.'”
    • “In particular, the agency noted Beijing’s attempts to pump ‘direct fiscal expansion and quasi-fiscal stimulus’ into its state-owned enterprises (SOE’s), where the annual pace of investment growth climbed to 19.1% from 10.7% from 2015.”
    • “‘Outside of the SOE sector, fixed-asset investment growth slowed markedly, underlining the importance of stimulus in propping up demand and highlighting the risk that the economy might lack self-sustaining growth momentum,’ said Fitch.”
    • “It pointed to climbing credit growth, capital outflows, and depreciation pressures on the currency which could all combine to result in slowing growth. China should however avoid an ‘outright financial crisis’ due to the over-sized role of the state in managing economic decline, said Fitch.”
  • Esther Fung of The Wall Street Journal pointed out how many Mall Owners are divesting themselves of their less desirable malls by giving back the keys to the lenders.
    • “Mall landlords are increasingly walking away from struggling properties, leaving creditors in the lurch and posting a threat to the values of nearby real estate.”
    • “In the period from January to November 2016, 314 loans secured by retail property – totaling about $3.5 billion – were liquidated, 11% more loans than in the same period a year earlier, according to data from Morningstar Credit Ratings. The liquidations resulted in a loss of $1.68 billion.”
    • And it’s not just companies with financial difficulties. Retail landlords with billions in market cap and plenty of cash are walking away from properties, i.e. Simon Property Group and Washington Prime Group. But don’t you worry, their credit ratings haven’t been effected…
    • “Despite a strengthening economy in 2016, the delinquency rate for loans backing retail property rose by 0.6% point last year to 5.76%, according to Trepp LLC, a real-estate data service. Special servicers, which deal with troubled commercial mortgage securities, managed $3.1 billion worth of mall-backed loans last year, up from $2.9 billion in 2015, according to Trepp.”
    • “One reason mall owners struggle to restructure loans is that many were packaged into commercial mortgage-backed securities, and these bonds in turn are owned by numerous investors, making it difficult to negotiate new deals.”
  • Alan Rappeport of the New York Times reported on the recently released report by the CBO indicating that the Federal Debt is projected to grow by nearly $10 Trillion over the next decade.
    • “After seven years of fitful declines, the federal budget deficit is projected to swell again, adding nearly $10 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The numbers reveal the strain that government debt could have on the economy as President Trump presses to slash taxes and ramp up spending.”
    • “The deficit figures released Tuesday will be a major challenge to House Republicans, who were swept to power in 2010 on fears of a bloated deficit and who made controlling red ink a major part of their agenda under former President Barack Obama.”


WSJ – Daily Shot: India’s Currency in Circulation 01/22


WSJ – California Housing Crunch Prompts Push to Allow Building – Chris Kirkham 1/25



*Note: bold emphasis is mine, italic sections are from the articles.

San Francisco Asks: Where Have All the Children Gone?. Thomas Fuller. New York Times. 21 Jan. 2017.

“A few generations ago, before the technology boom transformed San Francisco and sent housing costs soaring, the city was alive with children and families. Today it has the lowest percentage of children of any of the largest 100 cities in America, according to census data…”

“As an urban renaissance has swept through major American cities in recent decades, San Francisco’s population has risen to historical highs… at the same time, the share of children in San Francisco fell to 13%, low even compared with another expensive city, New York, with 21%. In Chicago, 23% of the population is under 18 years old, which is also the overall average across the United States.”

“In an interview last year, Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley investor and a co-founder of PayPal, described San Francisco as ‘structurally hostile to families.'”

“Prohibitive housing costs are not the only reason there are relatively few children. A public school system of uneven quality, the attractiveness of the less-foggy suburbs to families, and the large number of gay men and women, many of them childless, have all played roles in the decline in the number of children, which began with white flight from the city in the 1970s. The tech boom now reinforces the notion that San Francisco is a place for the young, single and rich.”

China clamps down on banks moving currency overseas. Tom Mitchell, Gabriel Wildau, and James Kynge. Financial Times. 22 Jan. 2017.

“Chinese regulators are stamping out moves by banks to shift renminbi out of the country as they attack one of the few loopholes remaining in the country’s strict new capital controls regime.”

“According to several people briefed on rules introduced this month, banks in Shanghai must ‘import’ Rmb100 for every Rmb100 they allow a client to remit overseas, ensuring no net outflows of the Chinese currency. Shanghai-based banks had been allowed to remit Rmb160 overseas for every Rmb100 they brought back into China.”

“The clampdown goes even further in Beijing where banks must import Rmb100 for every Rmb80 they remit overseas on behalf of clients, ensuring a net inflow into the capital.”

“Overseas banks, whose domestic market share in China is tiny, have been more affected by the clampdown because they derive a higher percentage of revenues from cross-border business. ‘This regulation is a bigger nightmare for foreign banks because we are more reliant on cross-border business than Chinese banks,’ one banker said.”

“Bankers have also complained that the central bank and Safe are only communicating regulatory ‘window guidance’ over the phone or during face-to-face meetings, rather than in writing.”

“They added that Safe (State Administration for Foreign Exchange) has instructed banks not to inform clients why their overseas remittances are being rejected and is checking their net renminbi flows on a weekly basis, compared with every month previously.”

Other Interesting Articles

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Economist

Bloomberg – Hedge Funds Risk Treasuries Wipeout After Bearish Bets Soar 1/22

FT – ECB to buy bonds below deposit rate: but what does it mean? 1/20

FT – China’s ‘Kamikaze Squad’ hedge fund leader jailed for five years 1/22

FT – Hong Kong SFC to take legal action against Hanergy directors 1/23

FT – Hong Kong watchdog seeks disqualification of Hanergy founder 1/23

FT – Hedge funds’ bets on rising oil prices hit record high 1/23

FT – China corruption prosecutions drop for first time in five years 1/24

NYT – Doubts Arise as Investors Flock to Crowdfunded Start-Ups 1/24

NYT – In Its Third Month, India’s Cash Shortage Begins to Bite 1/24

WSJ – How Electric Vehicles Could End Car Ownership as We Know It 1/15

WSJ – The Mortgage Market’s $1 Trillion Pocket of Worry 1/19

WSJ – Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight 1/25



December 23 – December 29, 2016

A review – how India and Indonesia have gone about chasing tax revenue. Global bond sales hit a record in 2016 led by corporations. US housing gains highlight the growing economic divide.

First, Happy New Year! 


Special Reports / Opinion Pieces


  • Yuan Yang and Sherry Fei Ju of the Financial Times highlighted how China city governments have collided with Didi over migrant drivers.
    • “China’s ride-sharing platforms face their biggest regulatory test so far after city governments in Beijing and Shanghai approved a policy of ‘local cars, local drivers’ on Wednesday.”
    • “Migrants from rural China constitute the core of the workforce for not only car-hailing apps but some of the country’s largest internet groups including Alibaba and Meituan-Dianping, all of which rely on low-paid drivers and couriers.”
    • “The regulations say you can be fined Rmb10,000 ($1,440) if you are discovered. But 99% of passengers don’t want us to be checked, or they wouldn’t be able to take taxis, so they won’t report us.” – Mr. Huang, a driver in Shanghai originally from Jiangsu
    • “About 40% of Beijing’s and Shanghai’s combined 43m residents are from outside the city, according to the cities’ statistics bureaus.”
    • “China has over 270m rural migrants who have moved to cities to seek a better livelihood. But they are kept under firm restrictions by China’s internal passport rules, the hukou system, under which people receive different benefits depending on whether they have an urban or rural registration and where they are registered.”
    • So two things: 1) you have a huge section on the economy that operates at an equilibrium that requires subsidized labor and investor losses in order to provide products at a price point where consumers will pay for them, and 2) there are millions of people that are forced into a “second-class” citizenship (with rights similar to those of illegal immigrants in the US) by a registration system that seeks to control migration patterns.  Think about it.
  • Tom Mitchell of the Financial Times covered how the lease renewals in Wenzhou have eased homeowner fears.
    • “In an announcement at the weekend, the land ministry said that 20-year residential property leases in the eastern city of Wenzhou would be automatically extended without charge, ending speculations that homeowners would face steep renewal fees equivalent to one-third of their property’s value.”
    • “Ever since Deng Xiaoping’s landmark economic reforms were introduced in the early 1980s, allowing people to buy land and property for the first time since the 1949 communist revolution, titles in the world’s most populous country have been limited by fixed-term leases.”
    • Wenzhou was the first to the fixed-term leases to expire – clearly garnering national and global interest.  Granted, the city is unusual with its 20-year leases versus the norm of 70-years; “the shorter leases were introduced in Wenzhou in the 1990s to make properties more affordable.”
    • The bigger issue at hand is the moral hazard that it represents. Presumably buyers believed that the government would come to their rescue at the end of their lease terms – probably the punters selling the units assured the buyers of the same – and low and behold, they did.  While the lease rollovers represent a huge revenue source for municipalities, actually letting market forces take hold would put many homeowners in dire straits when their leases expire.  Further such a course of action would send shivers across the country when all property owners suddenly realize how precarious their land tenures are… which of course would limit property appreciation – likely to send it down meaningfully, and so on and so forth.
    • To be sure the special case of Wenzhou “does not signal a final resolution of the issue.” The government is “studying a new law that would regulate lease renewals nationwide.”
  • Bruce Einhorn, Peter Pae, Jungah Lee, Kanga Kong, and Abhishek Vishnoi of Bloomberg Businessweek featured the current unrest in South Korea as the country seeks to rein in its corporate elite.
    • The recent impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the scandal surrounding it has brought to the surface the anger and frustration “of a population struggling with the transition to a slow-growth era.”
    • “Economists expect South Korean gross domestic product this year to expand 2.7%, marking the first five-year period with growth below 3.5% since the 1950s. Manufacturers are suffering from the slowdown in China, South Korea’s top export market, and soft demand elsewhere. Export growth has declined in 21 of the past 23 months. Youth unemployment is 9.3%, in part because rigid labor laws discourage employers from hiring young graduates. ‘ Without some serious restructuring,’ says Emily Dabbs, an economist for Moody’s Analytics in Sydney, the outlook ‘is going to be quite weak.'”
    • “Monthly household incomes for urban salary and wage earners grew 1.7% in the third quarter from a year earlier. As recently as 2012, income growth regularly topped 5%.”
    • Worse, “many jobs are low-paying temporary positions without the insurance, pensions, and other benefits regular workers enjoy. Temporary employees, who make up one-third of the workforce, earn on average about 41% of what a full-fledged employee does.
    • “Since the end of military rule in the late 1980s, an unwritten social compact has allowed corruption among the political and corporate elite as long as ordinary Koreans enjoyed solid economic growth.”
    • This story line is being played out all around the globe…


WSJ – Paying to Lend: The Negative-Yield Story of 2016 – Richard Barley 12/27


WSJ – The Mystery of Japan’s Stagnant Wages – Anjani Trivedi 12/27


WSJ – As Home Prices Rise, Flippers Make a Comeback – Kirsten Grind and Peter Rudegeair 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED Declining US Homeownership Rate 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED US Home price growth vs. Wage growth 12/28

Doesn’t help that rents and home prices are outpacing wage growth


WSJ – Daily Shot: FRED US Housing Cost Inflation 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: Prescription Drug Price Inflation 12/28

Another place inflation has been taking off


WSJ – Daily Shot: US Food Deflation 12/28

And a place where it is not


WSJ – Daily Shot: Declining Cost of Chinese Imports 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: Value of US Manufacturing Shipments 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: China Central Government Stimulus 12/28

As things are slowing down in China, the government has been stepping up its stimulus


WSJ – Daily Shot: China Private investment growth 12/28

While the private sector has been hitting the breaks


WSJ – Daily Shot: China 20yr Government Bond Yield 12/28

Doesn’t help that the cost of funds is jumping


WSJ – Daily Shot: China AA+ Corporate Bond Yield (Index) 12/28


WSJ – Daily Shot: Family Incomes spent on childcare 12/28

I can relate to this.


Comstock’s – California to Pay Billions More After CalPERS Cuts Assumed Rate – Romy Varghese 12/29


Bloomberg Businessweek – Mapping the Growth of Disability Claims in America – Brendan Greeley 12/16


Visual Capitalist – These 5 Big Companies Control the World’s Beer – Jeff Desjardins 8/4



*Note: bold emphasis is mine, italic sections are from the articles.

How India and Indonesia are chasing tax revenue. Erwida Maulia and Kiran Sharma. Financial Times – Nikkei Asian Review. 25 Dec. 2016.

The Financial Times put together an interesting article on Indonesia’s and India’s efforts to increase their tax revenue base.

In Indonesia, they have “calculated that political stability and a dramatic drop in the tax rate could help to bring home an estimated 11,400tn rupiah ($851bn) parked overseas.”

To help repatriate this wealth, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has launched a massive tax amnesty campaign. “More than 10,000 people a day answered the president’s pitch in September: declare assets now and take advantage of a discounted tax rate – as little as 2% compared with 25% – and, in turn, be part of Indonesia’s future.”

The good news for some of this money is that “beyond the new low rates, the amnesty doesn’t require tax officials to trace the origins of the assets and it prohibits the disclosure of information, even to law enforcement.”

Granted, not everyone is happy about the repatriation. “The efforts to corral big assets unsettled Singapore, one of Asia’s leading financial centers, which is estimated to hold more than $200bn in assets for Indonesians. Account holders who notified financial institutions in Singapore that they would apply for the amnesty suddenly found the financial police involved. Singapore policy and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the financial industry watchdog, had informed banks there to file suspicious transaction reports whenever anyone sought to participate in the amnesty.”

“According to financial sources, Singapore banks offered some of the wealthiest Indonesians better interest rates if they would declare but not repatriate their money.”


“As of December 19, 141tn rupiah had been committed for repatriation, just 14% of the target. The number of participants declaring assets, though, has been far more encouraging. From July to mid-December, there were 508,000 participants and a total of 4,035tn rupiah of assets declared, equal to 30% of the country’s gross domestic product.”

“While Indonesia has pursued a single, clear and well-publicized program to find hidden assets, India has launched a multi-faceted assault to find revenue in a country where only 1% of the 1.25bn population pays income tax.”

“It has made for a tumultuous year for nearly every Indian household.”

“From June to September, the government embarked on a much-publicized program for people to self-declare secret assets. The first such tax amnesty in nearly 20 years drew in a disappointing 673bn rupees ($9.93bn) from 71,726 people. Soon after, Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) authorized raids of high-net-worth individual’s homes and offices.”

And then “November 8 was the game-changer. From midnight, the government declared a withdrawal of high-denomination notes, sucking out 86% of the currency in circulation by value from a predominantly cash economy. People were given until December 30 to deposit the banned notes into their bank accounts.”


The affects are still being felt, especially as new notes have been slow in their roll out. “Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an economist, said the national income could decline by 2%.”


Hopefully it was worth it.

Bottom line, “sophisticated investors and wealthy families will always be searching for privacy and confidence in how their money is secured and governments will be hard pressed to keep pace. ‘Thinking of Indonesia in 1998 or India’s latest currency reforms gives you a good idea as to why people in these two countries want a safe place for their money,’ said Jason Sharman, professor of governance and public policy at Griffith University in Australia. ‘Offshore is often told as a story of greed, which it often is, but it’s even more a story of fear. Often justified fear.'”


Corporates lead surge to record $6.6tn debt issuance. Eric Platt. Financial Times. 27 Dec. 2016.

“The bond rally that dominated the first half of the year helped entice borrowers that issued debt via banks to take on just over $6.6tn, according to data provider Dealogic, breaking the previous annual record set in 2006.”

“Companies accounted for more than half of the $6.62tn of debt issued, underlining the extent to which negative interest-rate policies adopted by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, as well as a cautious Federal Reserve, encouraged the corporate world to increase its leverage.”

“While US government bond yields touched their low in July, the prospect of Mr Trump cutting taxes and injecting fiscal stimulus has accelerated a move higher in interest rates that some investors fear will make debt burdens harder to bear in 2017.”

“After touching a record low of 1.32% in July, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury – an important benchmark for corporate borrowing costs – has surged more than a percentage point to 2.57%.”


“With the universe of negative-yielding bonds touching almost $14tn at one point, money managers were willing to stomach lower returns. The year’s debt sales were buoyed by China and Japan-based issuers, up 23% and 30% respectively, from a year earlier.”

“Investors say they expect 2016 is likely to prove a high-water mark for debt issuance in this cycle, with the Fed forecast to raise rates further and question marks growing over the future of bond-buying programs from the BoJ and the ECB.”

Housing Gains Highlight Economic Divide. Laura Kusisto. Wall Street Journal. 27 Dec. 2016.

“The volatile housing market of the past 15 years is widening the divide between pricey urban and coastal areas and more affordable inland regions, creating large swaths of winners and losers based largely on geography.”

While the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index is up 5.6% in the last twelve months through October, however, “adjusted for inflation, prices are still roughly 15% below the peak.”

“Much of the spoils have been concentrated on the high end. A study by Weiss Analytics, a housing-data firm, found homes in ZIP Codes where the median value is $500,000 to $1 million are now worth 103% more than they were 16 years ago, before a boom in the mid-2000s was followed by the worst housing crash since the Great Depression. Home prices in those areas have shot up 39% since the bust.”

“In ZIP Codes where the median home was worth $100,000 to $150,000, prices have risen 16% since the trough of the market and are now worth 24% more than they were in 2000.”


Adding a political lens to this, “in counties that voted for Mr. Trump, home prices have been largely flat for the past 15 years, according to a county-by-county analysis of home values and voting patterns by real-estate tracker Zillow.”

“In January 2000, just before the housing market’s boom-bust cycle began, homes in counties that voted for Mrs. Clinton in 2016 were worth $36,000 more than those in the counties that voted for Mr. Trump, according to the Zillow analysis. Today, the gap stands at almost $97,000.”

“The difference is even starker in counties that changed how they voted in this election. In counties that swung for Mrs. Clinton, homes are worth about $147,000 more than homes in counties that swung for Trump.”

Other Interesting Articles

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Economist

Bloomberg – Forget Rogue One, Disney Is Rebuilding the Entire Star Wars Universe 12/15

Bloomberg – It Was Going to Be the Year of the REIT 12/27

FT – Five industries under threat from technology 12/25

FT – Cristina Fernandez charged in Argentina corruption case 12/27
FT – Toshiba writedown warning revives financial stability fears 12/27

FT – China debt: long time coming 12/27

FT – Bond investors must accept low-for-long era is over 12/27

FT – US hits Russia with tough sanctions over election hacking 12/29

Investment News – Coming off a disastrous 2016, sales of nontraded REITs could bounce back in 2017 12/27

Naked capitalism – A Tale of Two Retirements: The Great Divide Between CEOs and Everyone Else 12/28

NYT – Growth of U.S. Population Is at Slowest Pace Since 1937 12/22

NYT – Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking 12/29

WP – The Arctic is showing stunning winter warmth, and these scientists think they know why 12/23

WSJ – Italy’s Bank Rescue Is a Precarious Balancing Act 12/23

WSJ – Xi’s Power Play Foreshadows Historic Transformation of How China is Ruled 12/26

WSJ – The Real Story About Rising Home Prices 12/26

WSJ – Plain-Vanilla Real Estate Gains Clout With Chinese 12/27

WSJ – Aluminum Billionaire Planning Escape From China: Lawyer 12/28

WSJ – China’s Currency Drops But Pressure Still Builds 12/28


October 28 – November 3, 2016

Declining global trade. Chinese bank loan loss provisions. Pending auto loan crisis?


Special Reports / Opinion Pieces


    • “Earlier this year, One Kings Lane, the online home goods retailer once worth almost $1 billion, sold itself to Bed Bath & Beyond, one of the companies it was supposed to displace, for just $12 million. Jawbone, the maker of sleek wearable fitness hardware once seen as a threat to Apple’s, has seen its value fall 50%. Since 2015, researcher CB Insights has counted 80 ‘down rounds,’ instances of a startup accepting a reduced valuation to raise more venture funding. ‘There was this fog hanging over Silicon Valley in 2001,’ says Botha (Roelof Botha, partner at VC firm Sequoia Capital) referring to the last big tech bust. ‘And there’s a fog hanging over it now. There’s no underlying wave of growth.'”
    • Yet at the same time VC funds are flush. “A few years ago, a big VC fund might have had about $500 million to play with. Today, ‘big’ means well over $1 billion. VCs raised $12 billion in the first quarter of 2016, which the industry’s trade group says marked a 10-year high. ‘The world has never seen an investment climate like this one,’ says Bill Gurley, a partner with Benchmark who led the firm’s investment in Uber. ‘It’s hard to express how much money is out there.'”
    • As Benchmark’s Gurley puts it “we’re in a slow correction. You might see a unicorn go down once a quarter.”
    • “Grocers are struggling to lure e-commerce-loving millennials into their aisles amid what experts say is a permanent shift in shopping patterns among consumers.”
    • “I don’t think we’ve seen shopping change so dramatically ever. Those things in the past that have been real drivers for grocery in terms of freshness and quality aren’t the key drivers for millennials.” – Marty Siewart, senior VP for consumer and shopper analytics at Nielsen
    • “Consumers between 25 and 34 years of age last year spent an average of $3,539 on groceries, about $1,000 less in inflation-adjusted dollars than people that age spent in 1990, federal data shows.”
    • Of course it doesn’t help that “the more than 75 million Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s are also delaying marriage and childbearing, milestones that traditionally lead people to start making big trips to the grocery store.”
    • wsj_grocery-slump_10-27-16
    • Austria just sold 70-year bonds at a yield of 1.5%. On the same day the country also sold 7-year bonds at a sub-zero yield.
    • ft_annual-sales-of-long-dated-debt_10-27-16
  • Peter Wells of the Financial Times pointed to the ‘real’ reason why AIA has a fall in insurance policies underwritten.
    • “UnionPay customers from the mainland (China) will only be allowed to use their credit and debit cards to buy accident, illness and tourism-related insurance policies in Hong Kong, the state-backed bank card provider said on Saturday through one of its subsidiaries.”
    • Why the sudden change…
    • “UnionPay said it ‘has observed a significant increase in overseas insurance transactions by cards issued from mainland China’ and is now preventing its mainland customers from buying insurance products that include ‘investment-related contents.'”
    • “The purchase of insurance products overseas, particularly in Hong Kong, had become a popular way to move money offshore, particularly after the devaluation of the renminbi in August 2015.”
  • Danny Hakim of the New York Times covered the new findings about genetically modified crops and how the results haven’t quite lived up to the promises.
    • The skinny: “genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.”
    • “An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields – food per acre – when measured against Western Europe, a region with comparable modernized agricultural producers like France and Germany. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that ‘there was little evidence’ that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.”
    • “At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States, even as major crops like corn, soybeans and cotton have been converted to modified varieties. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides.”
  • Mary Childs of the Financial Times discussed some of the changes afoot in the private equity business.
    • A new trend is taking place in the private equity world, one that is promising to hold investor money for longer periods in return for less returns.
    • Granted, “private equity has become a victim of its past success: its strong performance relative to other asset classes looks increasingly difficult to replicate as high valuations and stiff competition among private equity groups make new deals more expensive.”
    • Thus new funds are “offering investors vehicles that will run for 14 years or more, rather than the traditional 10 years, and offer 15% returns or less, lower than the 20% in a typical fund.”
    • “Already the industry’s average returns are slipping below the 20% mark: for 2015, buyout funds generated an average internal rate of return of 17.1%, according to data from Preqin.”
    • “Fund managers are deploying less money, sitting on a record $839bn of so-called dry powder at the end of the third quarter, according to Preqin. Many buyout chiefs say they are modelling potential investments with the expectation that they will be selling into a lower stock market.”
    • Speaking to the timelines of these new funds, the intent is to match investment returns to investor’s long-term liabilities and to avoid forced sales due to too-short investment time horizons.
  • Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times posted about a recent agreement between Dalian Wanda Group and the City of Beverly Hills on a real estate development that sets quite a precedent – good or bad depending on which side you’re on.
    • The benefits of being a city where entitled land is scarce and money flows abundantly… or a further sign that this real estate development cycle has been going on too long such that municipalities can continue to up the ante.
    • The City of Beverly Hills and the Dalian Wanda Group (large Chinese developer) just inked perhaps the most advantageous deal to a municipality – ever.  Granted, Dalian Wanda wouldn’t have done the deal if it didn’t make sense to them – at least on paper.
    • “The terms are still subject to approval by the Beverly Hills City Council, which will launch a three-day round of hearings on the development Monday. The terms include a doubling of the upfront payment from Wanda to the City from $30 million to $60 million; a quadrupling of environmental mitigation and sustainability fees to 1.25% from 0.45% of the sale of any portion of the development, including the condos, and an additional 2% of any subsequent sale; and hotel occupancy surcharge of 5%, on top of the city’s statutory transient occupancy tax of 14%.”
    • “The city says it expects the terms to yield $820 million in revenue over 30 years, an increase of $560 million over the previous terms.”


FT – Spanish unemployment rate below 20% for first time in 6 years – Tobias Buck 10/26


Visual Capitalist – Prices Are Skyrocketing, But Only For Things You Actually Need – Jeff Desjardins 10/28


FT – Solar industry rollercoaster offers a bumpy ride – Ed Crooks 10/30


FT – US mobile advertising surges 89% – Anna Nicolaou 11/1


Daily Shot – Nigeria’s FX Reserves 11/1


Economist – Angling for the future of TV 10/29


Bloomberg – What Rising Bond Yields Are Trying to Tell Us – Mark Gilbert 11/3


FT – Millennials drive Chinese online consumer boom – James Kynge 11/2



*Note: bold emphasis is mine, italic sections are from the articles.

A Little-Noticed Fact About Trade: It’s No Longer Rising. Binyamin Appelbaum. New York Times. 30 Oct. 2016.

“…Trade is no longer rising. The volume of global trade was flat in the first quarter of 2016, then fell by 0.8% in the second quarter, according to statisticians in the Netherlands, which happens to keep the best data.”

“It is the first time since World War II that trade with other nations has declined during a period of economic growth.”

Further, “the United States is no exception to the broader trend. The total value of American imports and exports fell by more than $200 billion last year. Through the first nine months of 2016, trade fell by an additional $470 billion.”

“In better times, prosperity increased trade and trade increased prosperity. Now that wheel is turning in the opposite direction.”

Worse, “there are also signs that the slowdown is becoming structural. Developed nations appear to be backing away from globalization.”

“The World Trade Organization said in July that its members had put in place more than 2,100 new restrictions on trade since 2008.”

“During the 1990s, global trade grew more than twice as fast as the global economy. Europe united. China became a factory town. Tariffs came down. Transportation costs plummeted.”

“But those changes have played out. Europe is fraying around the edges; low tariffs and transportation costs cannot get much lower. And China’s role in the global economy is changing. The country is making more of what it consumes, and consuming more of what it makes. In addition, China’s maturing industrial sector increasingly makes its own parts. The International Monetary Fund reported last year that the share of imported components in products “Made in China” has fallen to 35% from 60% in the 1990s.”

“The result: The I.M.F. study calculated that a 1% increase in global growth increased trade volumes by 2.5% in the 1990s, while in recent years, the same growth has increased trade by just 0.7%.”

Now, there is excess capacity in the world’s shipping lines. “In 2009, the world’s cargo lines had enough room to carry 12.1 million of the standardized shipping containers that have played a crucial, if quiet, role in the rise of global trade. By last year, they had room for 19.9 million – much of it unneeded.”

Further, automation is making it difficult, if not impossible, for developing nations to follow in China’s footsteps. “Dani Rodrik, a Harvard economist, calculates that manufacturing employment in India and other developing nations has already peaked, a phenomenon he calls premature deindustrialization.”

It doesn’t help that the benefits of globalization were oversold and that now nativists and protectionists are overstating the downsides.

China banks in stand-off with regulators on loan loss provisions. Yuan Yang. Financial Times. 30 Oct. 2016.

“China’s banks are in a deepening stand-off with regulators over the level of provisions they must make to protect against loan defaults as bad debts continue to climb.”

Current provisions call for a loan loss provision ratio target of 150%.  As it stands at least two of China’s largest four banks are below the coverage ratio. As of the third quarter Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has a coverage ratio of 136% (down from 143% in the second quarter). And that’s based on officially recognized non-performing loans.

“Officially, 1.8% of all Chinese loans are non-performing, although the credit rating agency Fitch puts the true figure at more than 15%. Following a huge credit boom, the outstanding amount of non-performing loans doubled in the two years before June 2016, reaching Rmb1.4tn.”

Hence, will the banks have to raise their loan loss reserves or will the regulators reduce the target ratio?

As Zhang Yingchao, a banking analyst at NSBO China – an investment bank, aptly puts it “setting standards is a tussle between the banks and the regulators. Who gets the upper hand depends on the state of the economy. If increasing the credit supply is necessary to meet the growth target of 6.5-7%, then the regulators will need to relax standards.”

Fears rise over auto loan crisis as repo men see sales’ dark side. Joe Rennison. Financial Times. 1 Nov. 2016.

“Repossessions in the US hit 1.6m in 2015, the third highest level on record for data going back 20 years, falling short of the 1.8m and 1.9m peaks seen in 2008 and 2009, respectively.”

“That number is predicted to rise to 1.7m this year, according to Tom Webb, chief economist at Cox’s Automotive.”

However, one of the key differences between this cycle and last is that whereas many of the repossessions in 2008 and 2009 were from fraudulent schemes “people renting cars under a fake name and not returning them, for example,” this time there has been a boom in subprime auto loans and people just not able to repay their loans.


The auto market is booming and correspondingly or really as a result of the growth in the auto loan market. “The auto loan market has grown from $750bn in 2011 to $1.1tn at the end of June, according to data from the US Federal Reserve.”

According to Peter McNally, a senior analyst at Moody’s – the rating agency, “while we have seen a gradual loosening in underwriting in recent years it has gotten to a point now where it is becoming unstable.”

“The subprime auto ABS market has grown to $38.1bn, down slightly from its second quarter high of $41.2bn, according to data from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Fitch Ratings defines subprime ABS as a deal with expected net losses above 7%. Net losses across subprime auto ABS hit 9.29% in September, according to Fitch – 23% higher than a year earlier.”


“The fear is that if losses continue to climb, investors will stop buying bonds issued by less diversified companies. If their access to funding stops, it could impair the credit quality of the issuer itself, throwing doubt over the quality of existing bonds and ricocheting through the market, raising borrowing costs for other issuers as well.”


Other Interesting Articles

Bloomberg Businessweek

The Economist

FT – Apple’s profits in China down by almost a fifth 10/26

FT – China pension reform to send flood of cash into domestic equities 10/26

FT – China property developers feel chill as cooling measures bite 10/27

FT – Credit Suisse plans cost-sharing project with another bank 10/29

FT – Russia prepares for deep budget cuts that may even hit defense 10/30

FT – Japan insurers prepare for age of self-driving vehicles 10/30

FT – China’s strongman rule sets a test for the west 10/30

FT – Venezuela’s crisis comes to a head in the streets 10/30

FT – Shell and BP warn not to expect strong oil rebound in 2017 10/31

FT – Forget the IMF: global chemicals are your guide to future performance 11/1

FT – China’s corporate governance standards fall 11/2

FT – Egypt devalues currency and begins free float to secure IMF funds 11/3

NYT – China’s Communist Party Declares Xi Jinping ‘Core’ Leader 10/27

WSJ – The Worrying Weak Point for Super-Strong Bonds 10/28

WSJ – Why Everything Isn’t All Right With China’s Economy 11/1

WSJ – More Americans Leave Expensive Metro Areas for Affordable Ones 11/1


October 21 – October 27, 2016

Renewable energy sources overtake coal as the world’s largest source of power capacity. The effects of ageing on the markets.



  • Gavyn Davies of the Financial Times highlighted the importance of demographics on long-term interest rates.
    • In understanding the long-term direction for interest rates, Gavyn Davies, points to a couple key trends that are likely to imply low interest rates are hear to stay in developed economies.
    • First, the decline in the labor supply growth rate has led to an abundance of capital that doesn’t have a ready place to go, hence higher demand for what investment projects do exist and with capital competing amongst itself, rates go lower/stay low.
    • Second, an increasing dependency ratio (number of young and old people relative to the number of people in the labor force). Not enough savers… this should help raise interest rates considering that less capital is being accumulated; however, there is a nuance in point three.
    • Third, the increasing life expectancy of the population. Well, with people living much longer, people are reluctant to spend as they enter their later years.
  • Chris Newlands and Madison Marriage of the Financial Times covered a recent report that indicates 99% of actively managed US equity funds underperform.
    • According to S&P Dow Jones, “99% of actively managed US equity funds sold in Europe have failed to beat the S&P 500 over the past 10 years, while only two in every 100 global equity funds have outperformed the S&P Global 1200 since 2006. Almost 97% of emerging market funds have underperformed.”
    • Accordingly, “assets held in passive mutual funds have grown 230% globally, to $6tn, since 2007. However, assets held in active funds total $24tn.”
  • Sarah Mulholland of Bloomberg illustrated how rent hikes have been leading to increasing vacancies in retail real estate.
    • With retail lease rents at record highs, tenants are pushing back and vacancies are up. According to a recent report from Cushman and Wakefield, retail vacancy on Fifth Avenue in New York are up to 15.9% in the third quarter, up from about 10% a year ago.
    • As Richard Hodos, vice chairman at CBRE Group Inc, “property trades are being based on achieving ever-higher rents, and nobody every really looks at what retailers can afford to pay. In some cases, rents need to come down 30% or more for rents to be at levels where retailers are able to make sense of them again.”
    •  Bloomberg_Retail Rents on Fifth Avenue_10-25-16
    • The issue isn’t just limited to NYC. “Retailers are being squeezed across the U.S. In 2016, malls and other types of shopping venues have been hit by 280 major-brand store closures, totaling 12.8 million square feet (1.2 million square meters), data from Reis Inc show. Another real estate research firm, Green Street Advisors LLC, estimates that several hundred malls around the country will cease operations over the next decade.”


WSJ – City Construction Set to Beat 2007 Peak – Josh Barbanel 10/25

WSJ_NYC building volume_10-25-16


*Note: bold emphasis is mine, italic sections are from the articles.

Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of power capacity. Pilita Clark. Financial Times. 24 Oct. 2016.

“About 500,000 solar panels were installed every day last year as a record-shattering surge in green electricity saw renewables overtake coal as the world’s largest source of installed power capacity.” 

Granted capacity does not mean electricity generation – “the amount of energy a plant actually generates varies according to how long it produces power over a period of time.” Thus, traditional sources of power – which generates power constantly (regardless of wind and darkness) – i.e. coal power still generate the majority of the world’s power. “Coal power plants supplied close to 39% of the world’s power in 2015, while renewables, including older hydropower dams, accounted for 23%, IEA data show.” 

Regardless, “two wind turbines went up every hour in countries such as China, according to International Energy Agency officials who have sharply upgraded their forecasts of how fast renewable energy sources will keep growing.”

A large part of the growth has been a result of rapidly declining costs.

“Average global generation costs for new onshore wind farms fell by an estimated 30% between 2010 and 2015 while those for big solar panel plants fell by an even steeper two-thirds, an IEA report published on Tuesday showed.” 

“An unprecedented 153 gigawatts of green electricity was installed last year, mostly wind and solar projects, which was more than the total power capacity in Canada.” 

The agency now predicts that “renewables’ share of power generation to rise to 28% by 2021, when it predicts they will supply the equivalent of all the electricity generated today in the US and EU put together.”

However, there are still policy risks that could slow the advance of renewable energy.

Demographics and markets: The effects of ageing. John Authers. Financial Times. 25 Oct. 2016.

“The new Fed paper suggests that ‘demographic factors alone account for a 1.25 percentage point decline in the natural rate of real interest and real gross domestic product growth since 1980.’ This is a huge claim, as it implies that demographics – rather than fiscal or monetary policy, technology or other changes in productivity – are responsible for virtually all of the decline in economic growth over the past 35 years.” 



“In short, low yields may be unavoidable and much of the current policy debate may be misguided.”

Fortunately, a reckoning can be delayed by encouraging and allowing workers to work later into their lives.


Other Interesting Articles

Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg – N.Y. Governor Cuomo Signs Bill to Fine Illegal Airbnb Hosts 10/21

FT – Financing ‘trick’ boosts lucrative private equity fees 10/19

FT – Why bond yields are so low 10/19

FT – China’s housing frenzy starts to calm 10/20

FT – The 1890s and the end of the great bond bull market 10/23

FT – Exposure to air pollutants linked to high blood pressure 10/24

NYT – Living in China’s Expanding Deserts 10/24

WSJ – Park Hyatt Hotel Destined for Oceanwide Development in Los Angeles 10/24

WSJ – A Startup’s Pitch: Come Invest With Your Rich Uncle 10/25

WSJ – Blackstone Enters Nontraded REIT Sector 10/25

WSJ – China’s Latest Debt Crackdown Just Delays More Serious Action 10/26

WSJ – How to Get Out of Chinese Property When the Price Is High 10/27


November 27 – December 3, 2015

Moral Hazard in the Chinese bond markets. Chinese buying US real estate. The new global oil economy. So just how much do Airbnb hosts in NYC make?

Another big week… the renminbi will be added to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies (currently made up of four currencies: USD, Euro, Yen, and Pound Sterling) in October of next year – importantly it will be given a greater weight than both the Yen and the Pound Sterling – and the ECB cut its deposit rate to -0.3% from -0.2% (granted less than the financial markets had expected).  Even with these happenings, the four articles I am going to cover this week are 1) “China’s bond market – Pricing Risk” in The Economist, 2) “Chinese Cash Floods U.S. Real Estate Market” by Dionne Searcey and Keith Bradsher in The New York Times, 3) “Understanding the new global oil economy” by Martin Wolf in The Financial Times, and 4) ““Five Numbers From Airbnb’s Just-Revealed New York City Data” by Eric Newcomer in Bloomberg Business.

*Note: bold emphasis is mine, italic sections are from the articles.

China’s bond market – Pricing Risk. The Economist. 28 Nov. 2015.

Essentially as China continues to employ quantitative easing in its economy the cost of funds continues to decrease, regardless of increasing use of leverage. Sounds familiar.

“China’s domestic bond market has never been riskier. It was only last year that it suffered its first default. This year at least six companies have defaulted.”

While six is barely any in comparison to developed world economies, it is a dramatic shift from the status quo.  Credit risk is increasing and the economy on the whole is slowing with some sectors in meaningful decline (particularly those that are capital intensive).

“A gloomy outlook of this kind would normally lead investors to demand a premium before buying bonds. Instead, they have lapped them up, making it cheaper for China’s companies to borrow. Bond issuance has boomed this year, reaching almost 12 trillion yuan ($1.9 trillion) so far, up from the record 7.7 trillion sold in all of 2014, according to Wind Information, a data provider.”

China has become the world’s third-largest bond market behind the U.S. and Japan.

“For most of the past five years, yields on highly rated corporate bonds were two or three percentage points higher than on government bonds of the same maturity. This year the spread has narrowed, hitting a low in early November of just 1.3% points. This implies that investors think corporate bonds have become less risky, despite the proliferation of defaults.”

Granted, much of the activity is from existing borrowers rolling over higher cost loans.

“The increase in issuance has been exaggerated by a debt swap: local governments are on track this year to replace about 3 trillion yuan of expensive loans with cheaper bonds. The average interest rate paid on outstanding debt in China has fallen from nearly 7% last year to just over 6% this year, according to Hua Chuang Securities.”

To be sure,

“China is willing to let some companies fail, but so far no big firms in which the central government retains a sizeable shareholding have met that fate. Instead, those that have got into trouble have been rescued, leading investors to treat their bonds as virtually risk-free.”

Chinese Cash Floods U.S. Real Estate Market. Dionne Searcey and Keith Bradsher. The New York Times. 28 Nov. 2015.

Faced with these conditions and the prospect of declining currency relative to the greenback as the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) implements measures to further reduce capital controls in accordance with IMF guidelines prior to the renminbi being integrated into the SDR basket, it is no surprise that Chinese nationals are placing cash abroad.  The news is that their presence is increasing and it is effecting more and more markets across the country.

“This year, Chinese families represented for the first time the largest group of overseas home buyers in the United States.”

This is also due to the drop in the value of the Canadian dollar, curbing Canadians enthusiasm for U.S. real estate.

“While Chinese purchases make up a small sliver of overall sales in the United States, they have had a disproportionate impact on the market for more expensive properties, buying one in 14 homes sold for more than $1 million. On average, buyers from China, including the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, pay $831,800 for a home, more than three times as much as Americans spend, according to a National Association of Realtors survey.”

“The price of property in Beijing is very high, the stock market is crashing, and the real economy is not stable… The people here have some money, but they don’t have enough good ways to invest their money.” – Eric Du, a management and investment consultant from Beijing.

“Chinese buyers spent $28.6 billion on American homes in the year ended in March, more than double their purchases two years before, according to the Realtors association. Chinese purchases in overseas commercial real estate jumped 49% last year, Jones Lang LaSalle, a big real estate brokerage firm, has estimated.”

“An estimated $590 billion moved out of China in the 12 months through June, according to Fitch Ratings… In the past, they tended to stay under $200 billion a year.”

“But the highflying deals may have only just begun. By the end of last year, Chinese insurers had only 1.44% of their money overseas (they can now allocate up to 15%).”

“A majority of home purchases by Chinese buyers – 69% – are entirely cash, according to the Realtors association.”

“Outside the United States, the Chinese demand has been so great that some places are trying to temper it.

Hong Kong and Singapore have each imposed 15% taxes on nonresident buyers of residential real estate. In Australia, the State government of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, introduced a 3% tax on overseas buyers.”


“Overseas real estate speculation by Chinese investors started to rise after the recession in America began to recede in 2009. The two markets have been out of sync, creating opportunities. American home prices have been in a recovery phase, while the Chinese boom has been fading.”

Understanding the new global oil economy. Martin Wolf. The Financial Times. 1 Dec. 2015.

Are the drop in oil prices temporary or structural?

“With US consumer prices as deflator, real (oil) prices fell by more than half between June 2014 and October 2015. In the latter month, real oil prices were 17% lower than their average since 1970, though they were well above levels in the early 1970s and between 1986 and the early 2000s.”

Spencer Dale, chief economist of BP (and former chief economist of the Bank of England), believes that the general belief of oil as an exhaustible resource with prices that tend to rise over time is false. The key disrupter has been the US shale revolution.

“…the global supply capacity is not only enormous but expanding. Forget peak oil. As Mr Dale notes: ‘In very rough terms, over the past 35 years, the world has consumed around 1tn barrels of oil. Over the same period, proved oil reserves have increased by more than 1tn barrels.‘”

An important byproduct of the US shale revolution “… is a huge shift in the direction of trade. In particular, China and India are likely to become vastly more important net importers of oil, while US net imports shrink. Quite possibly, 60% of the global increase in oil demand will come from the two Asian giants over the next 20 years.”

“By 2035, China is likely to import three-quarters of its oil and India almost 90%…. If it does, it demands no great mental leap to assume that US interests in stabilizing the Middle East will shrink as that of China and India rises. The geopolitical implications might be profound.”

“The problem is not that the world is running out of oil. It is that it has far more than it can burn while having any hope of limiting the increase in global mean temperatures over the pre-industrial levels to 2⁰C. Burning existing reserves of oil and gas would exceed the global budget threefold. Thus, the economics of fossil fuels and of managing climate change are in direct opposition. One must give.”

Five Numbers From Airbnb’s Just-Revealed New York City Data. Eric Newcomer. Bloomberg Business. 1 Dec. 2015.

I’ve included this article because it provides some real stats on Airbnb in NYC.

Due to requests from New York City, Airbnb just released anonymized host data for approximately 59,000 listings in the city between November 1, 2014 and November 1, 2015 outlining the information on the type of listings in the City offered by its users and their earnings from the activity.

  • 16% of hosts list their full time home or apartment on Airbnb for more than 121 days per year. 3% of hosts list for 271 days or more and more than half list their full homes or apartments for between 1 and 30 days.
  • The median annual earnings by hosts in NYC is $5,110.  SoHo and East Village hosts have the highest median rent ($6,558) and the Bronx the lowest ($3,249).
  • 126 New York City hosts made between $100,001 and $350,000 a year from Airbnb. 888 hosts made between $50,000 and $100,000 and the majority less than $10,000 a year.
  • 25% of the revenue going to active hosts went to those with more than two listings.  Airbnb projects that this number will decline to 7% in the future.
  • The median Airbnb property is rented out 42 nights a year or approximately 3.5 nights per month.


Other Interesting Articles

The Economist


BloombergBusiness: World’s Biggest Pension Fund Loses $64 Billion Amid Equity Rout 11/29

FT: Classic cars and fine wines leave Warren Buffett trailing 11/26

FT: John Cryan is right, bankers’ pay has to fall further 11/29

FT: The rise of liberal intolerance in America 11/29

FT: IMF gives renminbi strong weighting in currency basket 11/30

FT: Sovereign wealth fund pullback hits Aberdeen Asset Management 11/30

FT: Brazil’s economy shrinks by record 4.5% 12/1

FT: Our virtual reality future is bigger than it appears 12/1

FT: Signs of froth in China’s debt market 12/1

FT: Global defaults climb to 6-year peak of $95bn 11/30

FT: ECB pledges to extend easing until March 2017 ‘or beyond’ 12/3

FT: Google steps up push into wind, solar energy 12/3

FT: Saudi Arabia throws down challenge on oil production cuts 12/3

Globe Street: Underwriting Relaxes in Multifamily: Trepp 11/25

Investment News: How Vanguard pulls billions from Wall Street every year 12/1

National Real Estate Investor: No Reason Yet to Fear a Bubble, CRE Industry Pros Say 12/2

NYT: Macau Gambling Industry Faces Challenges on Multiple Fronts 11/26

NYT: Private Equity Market Is Expected to Attract $629 Billion in 2015 11/30

WSJ: China’s Globetrotting Tourists Face Trouble at Home 11/30

WSJ: European Retail Property Deals Surge 12/1

WSJ: Bottom Keeps Falling for Energy-Debt Investors 12/2

WSJ: China’s Property Rally Has Dubious Foundations 12/3