James Gruber's Contributions

Is Inflation Next?

Inflation is dead. At least that’s the view of the vast majority of economists, investors, policymakers and financial commentators. The view has been given further currency in recent months via various speeches from IMF director, Christine Lagarde.

Time to Buy China?

Late last year, Asia Confidential made a seemingly outrageous call: that junior gold miners would likely prove the great contrarian trade of 2014. At the time, these stocks were the most hated assets on the planet.

Emerging Market Banking Crises Are Next

Financial headlines have rightly been dominated by the largest 7-day sell-off of the Chinese yuan on record. Everyone’s speculating whether it’s been a deliberate move by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) or not.

Good News About Our Aging Population

A week doesn’t go by without hearing about the problems which will be created by the world’s rapidly aging population. Much of the focus is on how fewer people will mean lower future economic growth.

5 Ways to Profit From a China Downturn in 2014

Is China’s economy headed for a crash in 2014? It’s an extreme question that would be laughed at by many. After all, most believe that China is the world’s new powerhouse off the back of near 10% annual growth over the past decade.

Why Japan May Matter More Than Tapering

The traditionally quiet period for markets in December is turning out to be not-so-quiet, thanks to a key meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve starting December 17. The meeting will decide on whether a reduction in quantitative easing (QE) is necessary...

Deflation Is Crushing QE Right Now

Investors are focused on the possible tapering of U.S. stimulus and starting to take some money off the table after a strong equities rally year-to-date. Less attention is being paid to the biggest source of risk at present: deflation in the developed world.

China’s Bold Reforms Are Bad for Markets

China has unveiled its most sweeping reform agenda in more than 30 years, after a meeting of key Communist Party leaders in Beijing last week.

How to Play the Next Tech Disruption Wave

Everyone knows how the likes of retail and newspapers have been transformed by the internet. Well, there's much more to come as it's clear that supermarkets, healthcare and education are next in line for technological upheaval.

Unlike America, China Is Embracing Bold Reform

The contrast of the past week has been telling. In the U.S., you’ve had the yawn-fest otherwise known as the debt ceiling debate. All too predictably, the Republicans caved because their politicians will be up for re-election soon enough whereas Obama won’t be (he can only serve two terms).

Why Institutional Money Is Often Dumb Money

I must admit to having a serious neck strain from the continuous shaking of my head since the proposed appointment of Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chief mid-week.

China Prepares Big Bang Financial Reforms

There’s growing speculation that China will soon undertake substantial reforms to its financial system to address increasing risks from escalating debt. First, the central government will take over some local government spending functions...

A Wake-Up Call for Asia

China has fallen into the western-style trap of relying on more debt to produce enough economic growth to ward off a serious downturn. India’s in trouble after backtracking on the broad-ranging reforms of the early 1990s which fuelled an average 6% GDP growth over the past two decades.

Does America’s Energy Boom Change Everything?

So markets wait with bated breath on the words of a bearded academic-turned-central-banker on September 18. Bond king, Bill Gross of Pimco, probably has it right suggesting Ben Bernanke and his Fed have already agreed on...

Is the Cult of Central Bankers Unraveling?

In my experience, markets don’t deal well with several crises emerging at the one time. Give them just QE tapering and they may be able to adapt, but throw Syria and an Asian currency mess into the mix, and it can make for a wild ride.

Why Investors Got China Wrong

The vast majority of people who are bearish on China’s economy and stock market now were cheerleaders just 18 months ago. It represents a remarkable 180 degree turn that’s little talked about.

The Markets’ Worst Kept Secret

Here’s what your stockbroker and the media aren’t telling you: the world is more indebted now than it was at the height of the financial bubble in 2007. That’s right. Despite the extraordinary government intervention of the past six years.

The Credit Crisis May Not Be China’s Biggest Problem

The best investment ideas rarely come from the latest news item or brokerage research report. They’re often found on the fringes of finance or outside the field altogether.

Why Bonds Are Set to Bounce Back

Asset returns were all over the map in the first half of 2013. Stocks outperformed bonds. But within equities, developed markets pummelled emerging markets, with the U.S. and Japan leading the way.

Profit by Betting Against the Crowd

There’s a traders saying that warns against trying to “catch a falling knife”. That is, you shouldn’t buy assets which have sharply declined as they’re likely to go down further before there’s any recovery.

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