Weekend links – 16th January 2016

I am posting this mid-week into the following week. Was travelling over the weekend.

The rainfall in December (1-29) in the UK was still lower than the rainfall on one day in Chennai on Dec. 1. Chennai has coped better. May be, Storm Frank added more to the rainfall total.

My friend Bharath Krishna Shankar drew my attention to this delightful piece in ‘Project Syndicate’ on the cosy, incestuous club of economists – they are mostly white, Caucasian males above 60!

If one has worked too long for investment banks, one hesitates to call a spade a spade. George Magnus analyses the situation in China well but tries to draw an optimistic conclusion as research reports from investment banks tend to.

George Magnus is somewhat more forthright in his piece for FT: “The credit binge, then, will continue until it can’t.” He anticipates more credit easing.

Raghuram Rajan on the global non-monetary system in a world of non-growth. No solutions. Cannot blame him.

Larry Summers: “Policymakers should hope for the best and plan for the worst”. Spoken like a management consultant.

MINT carries a piece by Chris Balding, first published in Bloomberg, on China’s crash scenario. The title does not do justice to the content.

“China is a great opportunity like it has been for the last 20 years,” Ermotti said. UBS plans to expand staff in China. Good luck to him.

Gabriel Wildau of FT reports sympathetically on PBoC’s ‘Blow hot, blow cold’ strategy on the Yuan.

Tom Mitchell in FT makes amends for Gabriel Wildau.

The meaning of missing booksellers in Hong Kong.

A good summary of issues in EM economies. Complements last week’s charts on Emerging Economies.

I agree with Wolfgang Muenchau that Capital Controls will become de rigueur.

Blackstone to invest USD1.0bn in India in 2016, reports FT. So far, it has invested USD5.0bn since 2005. Private Equity Funds invested USD21.0bn in India in 2015, beating the previous high of USD18.0bn in 2007.

After Germany, Sweden to investigate a cover-up of sexual assault that happened two years ago.

Worst start to the year for Ms. Merkel with the Cologne sexual assault. Public outrage intensifies.

Beer consumption set to rise in Vietnam while it is set to drop in Thailand in the next few years.

After the news of Barclays shuttering its Asian equities unit, it is now the turn of BNP Paribas to outsource its Asian Equities Trading to Instinet – an electronic trading platform.

Zug, a Swiss canton, asks taxpayers to delay paying tax bills. The earlier they pay, the more the money in the bank that attracts negative interest rates!

Pavan K. Varma talks a lot of sense here. India needs a balance between myth making and the ignorant, rootless modernisers.

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