Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fiscal Reform:Geithner's Global Optimism

In the view of U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner,the journey to fiscal responsibility is well underway worldwide.In the U.S.,Mr.Geithner said,the important thing for the economy now is to lock in reforms to bring down the long term deficit.It's not surprising that average people are sceptical of Washington.I'm confident we will start the process.I think it's achievable.There's an emerging consensus on how much we have to do-four trillion in cuts-and the time frame.
The more details you have,the more credible it's gonna be.Faced with enormous challenge,Washington has always come together.You have to do it in a balanced,comprehensive way.There's no way to do this without changing our tax code.Life's about alternatives.We need a balanced,comprehensive package that will add modestly to the burden of the most fortunate Americans.
We have to earn the confidence of investors,but I didn't have to reassure foreign investors when Standard&Poor's downgraded their U.S. credit outlook to negative.We don't know how much is gonna be possible,but we have good prospects of laying down a foundation.
For its part,Europe is doing incredibly difficult reforms.The leaders of Europe have said they will do whatever is necessary to address the sovereign debt issue,and they're making some progress,in Timothy Geithner's estimation.
Before assuming his cabinet post,Mr.Geithner was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,where he played an integral role in dealing with the financial crisis,assisting his predecessor at Treasury,Hank Paulson.Although initially disliked by some in Congress for mistakes he made on his income taxes some years ago,he has developed a decent working relationship with lawmakers over time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brazil Still A Force

U.S. equities will be higher.We think the markets are still gonna rally,says Michael Yoshikami of YCMNET Advisors,and the emerging markets are gonna continue to do well with their commodities.Singapore is the Switzerland of Asia.
We think Brazil is still an impact story.There is enough appetite for Latin America from U.S. companies.You can't put everything in Asia.Brazil is gonna continue to be a major trading partner with China,and that's gonna drive that economy.U.S. companies see a slow GDP story in the U.S.
Gold will reach 2,000 dollars an ounce.You buy gold for scepticism about the markets and as an inflation hedge.Food is going to be huge in demand.Commodities need to be part of an investor's portfolio,in Mr.Yoshikami's opinion.
YCMNET Advisors is a wealth management firm located in Walnut Creek,California.It was named one of Barron's Top 100 Independent Advisors for 2010.
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund(EWZ)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finance and Foreign Affairs:The View From Qatar

A leading figure in Gulf states finance and foreign affairs has been reflecting on the recent turmoil in the region.We are thinking the Libyan people didn't deserve this,says Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani,Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar,who also helps oversee Qatar's sovereign wealth.Most of the problem in the Middle East is the economy.Gadaffi should go,leave the people of Libya decide what they want to do.
We see a lot of movement in Qatar.Some of the big companies are moving into Qatar from Egypt.
Between 5 and 7 years we will finish the Qatar infrastructure.Seventy billion is already allocated for that.The challenge is what to do after that to keep the growth 5-8%.We don't want the growth to collapse in 3-4 years when the work is finished.
Last year we invested more than 20 billion.This year we must invest 35 billion if we have the opportunity.We invested in Washington property,as it is a city that is not affected a lot by real estate problems because it is the capital.We think it's the right time to invest in U.S. commercial real estate.We are also looking at retail and energy in the U.S.
We have to be realistic about the supply and demand for energy.The supply is there,but there is anxiety about the Middle East events.In Asia,we sell our gas 3-4 times what we sell it for in the U.S.;Asia is our natural market,frankly speaking.
With regard to censorship of the Internet,to shut down any technology,I think this is stupid,the British-educated Sheikh Hamad believes.
Through its Delta Two fund,which is headed by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and managed by Paul Taylor,the Qatari government has increased its stake in British retailer Sainsbury to just over 25%.This is being seen as another step in a possible takeover of the department store chain.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Japan:Gauging the Effects

Domestic demand and tourism will suffer in Japan,says Bruce Kasman,an economist at JP Morgan.We don't know the exact size of this disaster yet.This disaster is gonna be very large and short-lived.The rebound will begin in April as production comes back on line.
We think there's a lot of resiliency in the supply chain and production.
Growth captures.After you destroy,you rebuild.
The spillover will be felt in the rest of Asia.The U.S. economy won't feel it very much.Other Asian economies will feel it quite sharply.
In the U.S.,oil and food prices will surprise the Fed with their effect on inflation,but they will not act for the next 3-6 months,Mr.Kasman predicted.
In business for more than 200 years,JP Morgan is a part of JP Morgan Chase&Co.It provides a full range of financial services,from asset management to private banking and treasury management, to commercial,institutional and affluent clients in more than 100 countries.
JP Morgan Chase(JPM)