China eyes global economic leadership as U.S. turns inward

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, Kenyan laborers and a Chinese foreman work to finish the construction of an existing bridge that goes across a corner of Nairobi National Park in Nairobi, Kenya. A controversial Chinese-built railway project involving an even larger 6km bridge that would go all the way over the beloved protected area in Kenya’s capital has divided conservationists in this East African country. (Photo: Ben Curtis, AP)

 

This year, a 300-mile railway will begin slicing through Kenya, cutting travel time between the capital, Nairobi, and one of East Africa’s largest ports, Mombasa, from 12 to four hours and breeding hopes of an economic and tourism revival in the region.

The country’s most significant transportation project since its independence in 1963 is being built courtesy of China.  China Road and Bridge, a state-owned enterprise, leads construction of the $13.8 billion project, which is financed nearly 100% by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The railroad is one of a host of infrastructure projects China spearheads around the world in an ambitious quest to reinforce its emergence as the world’s next economic superpower while President Trump turns his back on globalization. Continue reading

Bond crash across the world as deflation trade goes horribly wrong

Markets ignored clear warnings in Europe and America that the money supply is catching fire, signalling a surge of inflation later this year

The global deflation trade is unwinding with a vengeance. Yields on 10-year Bunds blew through 1pc today, spearheading a violent repricing of credit across the world.

The scale is starting to match the ‘taper tantrum’ of mid-2013 when the US Federal Reserve issued its first gentle warning that quantitative easing would not last forever, and that the long-feared inflexion point was nearing in the international monetary cycle.

Paper losses over the last three months have reached $1.2 trillion. Yields have jumped by 175 basis points in Indonesia, 160 in South Africa, 150 in Turkey, 130 in Mexico, and 80 in Australia.

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Russia faces ‘perfect storm’ as reserves vanish and derivatives flash default warnings

BNP Paribas says Russia no longer has enough reserves to cover external debt and enters this crisis ‘twice as levered’ as it was before the Lehman crash

Central bank data show that a blitz of currency intervention depleted reserves by $26bn in the two weeks to December 26, the fastest pace of erosion since the crisis in Ukraine erupted early last year.

Credit defaults swaps (CDS) measuring bankruptcy risk for Russia spiked violently on Tuesday, surging by 100 basis points to 630, before falling back slightly.

Markit says this implies a 32pc expectation of a sovereign default over the next five years, the highest since Western sanctions and crumbling oil prices combined to cripple the Russian economy.

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