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28
Aug
2015

Profits of China's major industrial firms dipped 2.9% year on year in July, sharply down from a 0.3% decline posted in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Beijing said on Friday. China also announced Friday that restrictions on foreigners investing in property would be eased. With the Federal Reserve's annual symposium for central bankers set to open today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, concerns about the Chinese economy will be a big issue through the week end. However, despite the focus in recent times on China, there are over twenty economies generally classified as emerging markets (EM) and they are not all in the same sinking boat.

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27
Aug
2015

The scale of the economic challenges facing China is starkly illustrated by the quadrupling of total debt to US$28tn in the period from 2007 to mid-2014.  Fueled by property and shadow banking, China's total debt has nearly quadrupled, rising to $28tn by mid-2014, from $7tn in 2007 according to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).

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26
Aug
2015

"May you live in interesting times,"* is said to be a Chinese blessing or curse and we are today living through not only interesting times in economics and finance but unique ones in the history of commerce..."At a Parliamentary Committee hearing a few years ago I asserted, boldly, that global interest rates were at their lowest-ever levels. A wise colleague challenged me afterwards: "How do you know they weren't lower in Babylonian times?" Several exhausted research assistants later I can report that, luckily, I was on safe ground. Interest rates appear to be lower than at any time in the past 5000 years."

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21
Aug
2015

At 71%, the vast majority of the world's population remained either poor or low income in 2011 and while the global middle class almost doubled from 7% in 2001 to 13% in the decade to 2011, when compared with the Western standard both the number and level of income are not as high as previously thought. The Washington DC-based Pew Research Center in a recent report said that nearly 700m people emerged from poverty between 2001 and 2011— however, most only barely, with many continuing to live a "low-income existence."

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