Rational Capitalist Speculator

May 27

A new chapter

Hello all,

I have finally graduated from Columbia University with a Master of International Affairs, focused on international finance policy. Finals and graduation have consumed my attention for the past few weeks.  Now past this busy period, I am set to resume high-frequency blogging and research creation.

Thank you for your continued support,

Rodrigo

10351686_1514450812108260_5343889959819668651_n(Thank you mom and dad for your…

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May 09

RCS Investments Global Macro Fund; Aggressive Allocation — April

RCS Investments Global Macro Fund; Aggressive Allocation — April

Portfolio Management

When I published my outlook at the end of last year, I began a portfolio embracing the biases of the report (see positions on the right).

Below is April’s fact sheet. My macro strategy is strongly outperforming its benchmark (HFRX Macro/CTA) by roughly 4%. The general portfolio is slightly trailing its respective benchmark (70% MSCI All Country World Index/ 30% JPM Global Agg. Bond Index).

There…

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May 07

How Do You Say 'Drill, Baby, Drill' in Chinese? -

Can’t wait to get finals and graduation out of the way to really focus on all the ongoing flashpoints!

May 06

Putin honors journalists as Ukraine propaganda war heats up -

Hey all, it’s been a while.  Been busy with school given I’m graduating in less than a month.  Once graduation passes, there will be much more activity.

Thanks for your support. — Rodrigo 

Apr 22

China Court Impounds Japanese Ship in Unprecedented Seizure - Bloomberg

Apr 15

China Threatens South East Asian Nations -

Tensions are rising once again between China and its regional neighbors. With tensions already strained between Japan and China, one might have assumed that Beijing’s leaders would look to avoid stirring up any more tensions. Now, however, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has warned several countries it is currently in dispute with not to provoke China as The Philippines apparently did with its legal challenge to China’s disputed claims over the South China Seas.

Chinese aggression could spur ASEAN unity

China has one major advantage over its rivals. With the exception of Japan, most of the other nations with territorial disputes with care are smaller ASEAN nations. ASEAN refers to the collective of South East Asian nations and provides a loose regional coordination structure for all member states. So far, China has been very effective in using the divide and conquer strategy to keep ASEAN nations from banding together and presenting a united front to Chinese aggression.

China has thus far looked to resolve issues one-on-one with ASEAN nations. Meanwhile, China has used members of ASEAN not involved in the dispute, such as Cambodia and Laos, to hold up any attempts at unified action within the framework of ASEAN. - (Valuewalk)

Apr 14

APR 10, 2014 - Eurozone outlook brighter on better German forecasts -

Cheap funding costs a boon for French firms -

Triggering the Next Stock-Market Rally -

Latam forecasted to grow 3% this year, but fiscal deterioration is serious -

Fracking regulation.  Via Big Picture Blog.

Fracking regulation.  Via Big Picture Blog.

U.S. warns China not to attempt Crimea-style action in Asia -

Yep saw something along these lines coming. See page 2.

China rules out short-term stimulus despite weak trade figures - FT.com -

In a speech to a forum on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan, Mr Li acknowledged some of the challenges facing the economy but insisted his government was capable of propping up growth while implementing difficult reforms to put it on a more sustainable base.

“The upturn of the Chinese economy is not yet on a solid footing. Downward pressure still exists and difficulties in some fields must not be underestimated,” Mr Li said. But “there are conditions in place for the Chinese economy to achieve sustained, sound growth”, he added. “We have the capabilities and confidence to keep the economy functioning within the proper range.”

On Thursday, Mr Li said the government’s target of “about” 7.5 per cent GDP growth this year was flexible, and Beijing would not act to pump up growth as long as “there is fairly sufficient employment and no major fluctuations”.

Since taking over the government last year, Mr Li’s administration has downplayed traditional GDP targets, with job creation and reform of China’s growth model at the top of the agenda.

In recent weeks, the government has announced a series of initiatives to boost infrastructure spending to prop up flagging growth but has refrained from the kind of massive stimulus it revealed in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“We will not resort to short-term stimulus policies just because of temporary economic fluctuations and we will pay more attention to sound development in the medium to long run,” Mr Li said on Thursday.

Trade figures released on Thursday showed that Chinese exports fell 6.6 per cent in March from a year earlier, missing forecasts for a 4.9 per cent rise.

Imports fell even further, contracting 11.3 per cent from a year earlier and sending jitters through global equity and commodity markets.

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In his speech, Premier Li championed the quick implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as a way to boost growth in China and the broader region.

The RCEP is intended to create a trade zone extending from New Zealand to India and taking in China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the 10 Association of South East Asian Nation member countries.

Many see it as a competing initiative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being championed by the US and has effectively excluded China. - (FT)

I certainly hope officials have things under control.  You see smoke but they say there is no fire.  Perhaps it’s just a barbecue.  

China bond auction failure reinforces slowdown concerns - FT.com -

Household balance sheets remain quite weak.  
— (This statistic is horrifying — PragCap)

Household balance sheets remain quite weak.  

— (This statistic is horrifying — PragCap)