One Belt One Road: An Investment Perspective for Participating Economies

Last year the government of China formally adopted the One Belt One Road Initiative to improve the transport and trading links between China and Eurasian and African countries. A modern day version of the Silk Road network of trade routes between East and West circa 207 BCE, One Belt One Road (aka Belt and Road Initiative or just BRI) will be the largest investment initiative in history. BRI will span more than 68 countries and including an estimated $8 trillion of investment in transportation networks, energy production, and telecommunications infrastructure.

Public Order and Safety Spending Worldwide

Personal safety, as a basic human need, is encapsulated globally in national legislation and international accords, all with the aim of maintaining public order and safety. While definitions of law and order may vary by country—and with it the tasks assigned to security forces—the source of funding is nearly universally taxpayers. Every taxpayer thereby has the right to know whether these public expenditures are effective. In today’s viz we explore the efficiency of public safety expenditures global by comparing expenditures with crime levels.

Taiwan: Trade Profile Shaped by Bilateral Trade with China

Taiwan, an island off the southwestern coast of China, is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations. Today, Taiwan is home to 23.7 million people, a population comparable to that of Xinjiang, Beijing, and Shanghai. Despite a recent economic slowdown, Taiwan's GDP per capita stands at $25,000, nearly triple that of China. In terms of PPP, Taiwan ranks 77th in the world; China ranks 108th. 

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index

Consumer sentiment among US residents surged in March to its highest value since 2004, according to the University of Michigan. An improving job market, expectations of increased disposable income from tax cuts, and prospects for continued economic growth offset concerns about tariffs and stock market volatility triggered by the US president’s impulsive tweets and policy shifts.

Australia: Oil Stock Levels Pose a Systemic Economic Risk

Australia is running a continuous and growing deficit in total oil stocks, defying the International Energy Agency's (IEA) mandate on members to maintain 90-days of coverage and perpetuating the country’s vulnerability to swings in global oil markets. Whether global supply imbalances arise from geopolitical discord, OPEC-sanctioned supply adjustments, or other market balance factors, the fact that Australia maintains no strategic reserve and has less than a 50 day supply of oil bodes poorly for the potential cost to the economy in the event of a price spike and potential resulting shortages.

US Sanctions Against Russia

Russia's recovery from economic recession could be complicated by sanctions announced recently by US President Donald Trump, with still greater potential of painful restrictions on investors and Russian companies seeking to raise capital in Western markets. This year, the US Treasury initiated new sanctions against Russian persons and entities for activities including the alleged poisoning in the UK of former FSB Officer Skripal and his daughter as well as Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

The Most Attractive Markets: Understanding China's Market Potential

Corporate growth strategies typically include some combination of deepening existing market penetration and new product and market development. New market entry through acquisitions, greenfield investment, joint venture or other forms are considered generally to be the most controllable ways to drive business growth. And, many emerging markets, such as Brazil, India, Argentina, with their growing middle-classes are attractive targets for these growth strategies.