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October 15, 2019

Taiwan
What Does Taiwan’s Hidden Forward Book Mean for Taiwan’s Financial Stability and U.S. Currency Policy?

Taiwan's central bank—and Taiwanese households—have taken on an awful lot of foreign currency risk over the years …

treasury fx intervention taiwan 4

October 10, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Rich People and Wealth in Africa

Rich people are everywhere, and they can have something to say about the level of economic development in their home countries. Afrasia Bank and New World Wealth have just published the 2019 Africa Wealth Report, which includes North Africa and African island states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It identifies the continent’s six wealthiest cities, defined as total individual private wealth—equities, real estate, businesses—less liabilities. They are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, Lagos, Durban, and Nairobi.

Visitors walk past a reception with an electronic board displaying movements in major indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building

October 10, 2019

Southeast Asia
A Review of “The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century”

By Hunter Marston and Joshua Kurlantzick Hunter Marston is a doctoral candidate at Australian National University. In the run-up to Myanmar’s elections next year, there is little positive news …

Myanmar Author Thant Myint-U speaks during the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) in Jaipur on January 23, 2012.

October 10, 2019

China
Game On: The NBA Runs Afoul of China but Scores Big

The facts are not in dispute. On October 6, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted: “Fight for Freedom: Stand with Hong Kong,” igniting a political firestorm in Beijing. Other Rockets he…

Fans in LeBron James jerseys pose for pictures with Chinese flags near security personnel outside the Mercedes-Benz Arena before the NBA exhibition game between Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in Shanghai, October 10, 2019.

October 9, 2019

Taiwan
$130+ Billion in Undisclosed Foreign Exchange Intervention by Taiwan's Central Bank

Based on the profits and losses disclosed by Taiwan’s central bank, it appears that its true FX exposures exceed its disclosed foreign exchange reserves by USD 130bn, and perhaps by as much as USD 20…

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October 7, 2019

NAFTA
Democrats Are Right to Insist on Better Enforcement Provisions in the USMCA

Are the provisions of the Trump administration’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—set forth in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enforceable? As written, the…

USMCA Signing

October 7, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Security Tracker Weekly Update: September 28–October 4

This update represents violence in Nigeria and related to Boko Haram in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger from September 28 to October 4, 2019.

Map of Nigeria shaded to reflect NST-documented deaths per state.

October 4, 2019

Nigeria
The Legacy of Nigeria's 1999 Transition to Democracy

Commentators, especially outside Nigeria, saw the elections of 2015 as an important milestone for the country’s democratic development breaking the pattern of rigged elections. However, could it be that it was the elections of 2011 that really broke the pattern, and the elections of 2015 merely restored it? Were in fact the elections of 2015 much better than those before and after? Did the political classes determine that Jonathan had to go, in part because of the deteriorating economy and security situation, but also understanding that the 1998–9 bargain struck between the south and the north be restored? Will the bargain survive in 2023? 

Obasanjo walks past a cheering crowd in a white robe.

October 4, 2019

Taiwan
Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 2)

Large-scale purchases of foreign bonds have become the central flow sustaining Taiwan’s massive current account surplus and keeping the Taiwan dollar weak. The size of this flow raises the question o…

Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ billion dollar enigma (Part 2)

October 3, 2019

Taiwan
Shadow FX Intervention in Taiwan: Solving a 100+ Billion Dollar Enigma (Part 1)

Taiwan’s central bank, unlike most central banks, doesn’t disclose its position in FX derivatives. It really should. There is good reason to think its undisclosed exposure is quite substantial.   …

A Taiwan dollar note is seen in this illustration photo May 31, 2017.