A confusion between a nominal global GDP adjustment and a real global GDP slowdown is at the root of the market disarray we are seeing these days. While they are indistinguishable for companies in the short run, they have deeply different implications for the outlook of the global economy, for policymaking, and for markets.

While doomsayers talk about a global slowdown or secular stagnation, what is true is that real global GDP barely decelerated last year (from 3.4 per cent growth in 2014 to 3.1 per cent in 2015 according to the IMF) and will somewhat re-accelerate this year (to 3.4 per cent again). Even if China’s figures are overstated, it is difficult to argue the global economy is in a real slump like 2009, when the economy slowed down by more than 3 percentage points from 2008, and by more than 5 pp compared with 2007. What is going on, then, to make everyone so pessimistic? Read more

Michael Sandel is the Harvard University political philosophy professor best known for his ideas on justice – but how well do his ideas travel?

On Thursday he spoke at the Asia Society in Mumbai. beyondbrics went along to find out. Read more

We are all China bulls now.

So the stock markets appeared to be saying for the past few months. The Chinese government released a slew of positive data in January — ranging from strong exports in December to faster GDP growth in the fourth quarter to the news on the weekend that industrial profits were up 17 per cent.

But Diana Choyleva, a persistent bear on China at Lombard Street Research, wants none of it and is now trying to take away the punch ladle just as the party was getting startedRead more

It has been a miserable 2011 for Asian markets. Fears of a global recession and extreme market volatility have seen Asia’s bourses shed nearly one-fifth of their value with many suffering their worst annual losses since 2008.

And 2012 is unlikely to bring any succour for investors who are fleeing into safe havens while warily eyeing up a European led recession and a slowdown in China. Risk-off is here to stay – for a while at least. Read more

It’s risk on again in Asia as investors take solace in the European Central Bank’s decision to play Santa, some better than expected economic data emerging from the US and a growing belief the leadership transition in North Korea will pass peacefully. Read more

Some central and eastern European economies have held up better than others during the Great Contraction. Until recently Poland and the Czech Republic were two of the region’s brightest spots. Unfortunately, Thursday’s purchasing managers’ indices suggest that may be coming to end.

PMIs from Poland and the Czech Republic dipped into negative territory for the first time since October 2009, according to Markit, a financial information services company. Poland’s fell to 49.5 while the Czech Republic’s fell to 48.6 – any number below 50 denotes a contraction. The markets did not take the news well. Read more

Central and eastern Europe had its best Wednesday in a very long time as the world’s largest central banks announced a co-ordinated move to boost liquidity in the global financial system and China moved to ease monetary policy. The effect on the region was immediate and aggressive with bourses in Russia, Hungary and Poland jumping more than 4 per cent.

However it’s not at all clear how long this rally will last. Have the world’s central banks simply bought time and is a real solution to the crisis still painfully lacking? Read more

Asian stocks jumped again on Tuesday, adding to Monday’s gains. The MSCI Asia Pacific index (ex-Japan) was up 1.37 per cent in late afternoon trading driven by a bubbling confidence in the region that Europe, whose finance minsters meet in Brussels later, will be finally forced to draw a line under its ongoing crisis.

“We are buying Asian equities,” David Gaud, a Hong Kong- based senior portfolio manager at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “When I look at the valuation of the market, a lot has been priced in already. Europe has the financial means to respond to this crisis.” Read more

Asian markets are having a good Monday on the back of strong US retail results, reports that France and Italy are pushing forward with plans to curb budget overspending – a move that could pave the way for more aggressive intervention in sovereign debt markets by the European Central Bank – and rumours of an International Monetary Fund deal for Italy which was robustly denied after most markets closed.

India’s Sensex index was the day’s biggest mover, up 3 per cent to 16,167 points from a close of 15,695.4 in late afternoon trading. Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s most valuable company, rose 2.5 per cent while the State Bank of India, the country’s biggest lender, rose 3.4 per cent. Read more

It’s been a very bad week for central and eastern European markets and next week is unlikely to bring much respite.

Italy’s problems have roiled the region and its effects have been varied and brutal. On Friday, Slovenia’s 10 year bond yields hit 7 per cent; Hungary’s ratings outlook was revised to negative by Fitch; and the Czech koruna completed a week-long dive against the euro. Read more

The surprise decision by George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, to hold a referendum on last week’s bailout deal didn’t just spook eurozone investors. The emerging world followed them down into a state of nervous fear.

Central and eastern European bourses led the rout with Russia’s Micex index dropping 2.82 per cent. Read more

Emerging markets soared on Thursday as a belief that the eurozone might have finally come to grips with its problems pushed markets upwards. Whether this belief, and its accompanying market exuberance, will remain is yet to be seen but for now the world’s investors are in confident mood.

Central and eastern European markets, with their heavy links to the euro market, had a particularly impressive day. Hungary’s flagship Bux index was the regions biggest gainer as it continued to extend its rally, closing up 3.82 per cent – its highest close in seven weeks. Hungary’s forint had gained 3.47 per cent against the dollar at pixel time. Read more

Central and eastern European stocks climbed for a second day as hopes of a resolution to the eurozone crisis and some positive manufacturing sentiment from China, the strongest for 5 months, buoyed investor confidence. However, the gains could well be temporary. Read more

After the brief rally, the fall. Emerging equity markets tumbled on Tuesday, led by Asian stocks as Chinese GDP figures failed to impress. The Hang Seng closed down 4.23 per cent, Korea’s Kospi fell 1.41 per cent, and after a 9-day rising streak the MSCI emerging markets index fell 2.3 per cent. Read more

Latin American markets have reacted positively to news about action on Eurozone debt worries, a trend that has left analysts cautious.

Although Slovakia has voted against the expanded EFSF, there is a general consensus that political wrangling will subside and allow the measure to pass, which will help bolster the European rescue fund. Read more