All posts by Houdini

Houdini

After Donald Trump was elected president, a lot of the fears and concerns that were once so common among conservatives and libertarians, seemed to fade. That state of relief was proven to be temporary, but fears of financial collapse and social disintegration still aren’t as prevalent now as they used to be. A lot of people have let their guard down, because they think things will be alright since “their guy” is in office. But they should be concerned, because while they’ve been breathing a sigh of relief, wealthy elites and celebritiesRead More
The West could learn a thing or two 20 years after the region plunged into turmoil. Twenty years ago, I was working at the International Monetary Fund in Washington that would scramble — like almost everyone else — to understand and respond to cascading financial disruptions that would throw Asia into a deep recession. Important lessons were to emerge from an Asian miracle that was taking an unexpected turn for the worse, with frightening systemic implications. Asia painfully learned, and adapted well, and what it taught us remains valid todayRead More
Twenty years ago, Malaysia was caught up in the turmoil of a currency crisis that began in Thailand and swept across Asia, battering economies, pushing millions into poverty and forcing governments to seek emergency bailouts. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was chief economist of Malaysia’s central bank at the time — later becoming governor — recalls her experience of the crisis, including having to implement policies that went against the conventional economic wisdom of the time, such as pegging the currency and imposing capital controls on foreign investors. This is an abridgedRead More
THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century. – At the beginning of 1988Read More
SHANGHAI (July 7) Virtual currencies like bitcoin are assets but bitcoin in itself does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency that could meet modern economic development needs, a Chinese central bank adviser said. Sheng Songcheng, adviser to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), made the comments in an interview with financial magazine Yicai published late Thursday. “Bitcoin does not have the fundamental attributes needed to be a currency as it is a string of code generated by complex algorithms…But I do not deny that virtual currenciesRead More
It appears a trend is taking shape. Following a former Goldman HFT trader’s massive initial coin offering, another Wall Street-er has come to the dark side of virtual currencies. A former senior manager at consulting firm Bain & Company, is launching a Bitcoin fund, providing access to the cryptocurrency to some of the wealthiest families in Latin America. Announced today, the newly formed Crypto Assets Fund, co-founded by former senior manager at Bain, Roberto Ponce Romay, is helping to raise $50m with the purpose of buying cryptocurrencies for family offices. Revealed exclusively toRead More
How long can it last? That’s what watchers of Hong Kong’s markets are asking as the gap between local and U.S. interbank rates widens to the most since 2009. The city’s currency peg to the greenback effectively ties its monetary policy to that of the U.S., making the growing differential all the more curious. Now things may be changing, with forward points and interest-rate swaps in Hong Kong’s dollar starting to bottom out. The reasoning is simple: with the currency having fallen to the middle of its permitted band andRead More

Posted On July 6, 2017By HoudiniIn Articles

Nasi Goreng Bonds, Anyone?

Indonesia considers selling local-currency debt on global markets. The Chinese made a full meal of offshore dim sum debt, and Indians have started nibbling into masala securities. Now Indonesians are contemplating nasi goreng bonds. Will investors step up to the plate? Like the other two, this would also be local-currency corporate borrowing, but in global debt markets. Creditors, rather than debtors, will bear the risk of rupiah depreciation. Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, president director of PT Bank Mandiri, the country’s largest lender by assets, told me he’s exploring the option for PT JasaRead More
Ronnie Moas, who for the past 13 years has made more than 900 stock recommendations via his one-man show at Standpoint Research, is now venturing into cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin will double to $5,000 next year, and reach $25,000 to $50,000 in the next decade, the Miami Beach, Florida-based Moas said in a note to clients Wednesday, where he also disclosed he bought “a little bit” of litecoin, bitcoin and ethereum in a Coinbase.com account. It’s a testament to the exuberance around bitcoin, ethereum and other blockchain assets that equity investors whoRead More
As the Asian financial crisis raged on two decades ago, then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad committed economic heresy by rejecting an International Monetary Fund bailout and slapping capital controls on global investors. Mahathir blasted currency traders as “unscrupulous profiteers” in an “immoral” line of work. Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, who bet big and won big against the British pound in 1992, returned fire, predicting that Mahathir’s policies would be a “recipe for disaster.” Not so it turned out. Malaysia’s economy contracted but quickly snapped back from the crisis. Mahathir’s controls were defended earlyRead More