Another amazing and action-packed week in the great drama to which we are all witnesses, dear friends. We have a US carrier force in the South China Sea and Trump has declared China to be champion of all currency manipulators. But probably the most disturbing event was a gathering of 33,000 serving and former policemen in Hong Kong to protest the sentencing of some of their colleagues for the televised beating of a participant in the Umbrella demonstrations in the cramped enclave a couple of years ago. On the positive side of the ledger, we now have, unexpectedly, a guy in charge of US national security who is actually qualified for the job – General McMaster.
In the opaque corner of the globe that is China we have this week seen suggestions that the the so-called “shadow banking” sector might pose an even greater risk to the financial system than many originally thought, while the FT took the view that things are basically under control. The most interesting news, however, was the march of the robots. Another article from the FT indicates that they have begun to seriously cut into employment down in Guangdong province. How on earth does that play out for employment and the economy as a whole, and how quickly? We’re taking the view that economic analysis is still some way down the road in terms of robotics, but who knows? Happy weekending!