I do not understand the intricacies of Japanese politics. I simply do not follow it closely. But I do know that Japan can play a significant role in Asia, if it finally decides to take up that role, which it has not under the uncertain leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan. The DPJ wanted […]

Economist Nor Zahidi Alias at Malaysian Rating Corporation wrote in The Edge Financial Daily today that there was too much concern for the fiscal deficit. I will accept that (while I am concerned about the deficit, concerns shown by the public  is overly excessive, especially about the debt limit) although I do still believe the […]

Since the Monetary Policy Committee will be meeting next week, it is only natural to talk about the Overnight Policy Rate. It currently stands at 3.00% and it is likely to stay like that after the MPC meet. I personally (and professionally!) am betting a cut only in March as I think while inflationary pressure […]

You know how that one particular argument against fiscal stimulus goes. There is a temporal mismatch between crisis period and the actual spending. The bureaucracy and incomplete information act to delay the implementation of the stimulus. If transparency is of a concern, then it will further affect the timeliness of the stimulus spending. The crisis may end well before stimulus […]

Although the debate on fiscal stimulus has died down in Malaysia, I am still very much amused, if not outright dismissive, of a number of arguments made by advocates of stimulus. One argument is related to transparency: stimulus has to be transparent. Although the argument for transparency is a generic one and many have voiced it, […]

When the economy first began to tumble down in 2008, those within the government were eager to point out that weakened external demand caused it. The financial crisis that began in the United States hurt global trade. Being a highly trade-dependent economy, there was no escaping for Malaysia. To put the blame on those in […]

The fourth quarter of 2009 saw Malaysian economy recorded strong recovery on year-on-year basis.[1] So strong it was that the monetary authority of Malaysia went for a rate hike, making Malaysia the second country after Australia to adopt a hawkish monetary policy.[2] The question that should be asked now is, did we need the big […]

Economics has been labeled as some sort of a discipline that predicts the future. The application of various models and efforts at testing its various hypotheses that sometimes result in the affirmative may have contributed to that reputation but it is not about predicting the future. Rather, it is about finding lessons from the past, […]

Apparently, the second quarter GDP results came out way better than expected. Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s economy is expected to resume growth this year after slipping into its first recession in a decade last quarter, mirroring recoveries across Asia. Gross domestic product shrank a less-than-expected 3.9 percent in the three months ended June from […]

I am holding the view that the RM67 billion government spending-based fiscal stimulus as announced will not be helpful. The market will show a swing independently of spending. The swing is already happening in spite the fact that government spending has been insignificant so far. Furthermore, the magnitude of government spending is pale in comparison […]

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