First published: Nikkei Asian Review, 26/01/2016
This year’s meeting of the world’s political and business elite in Davos, Switzerland, which ended January 23, had a rather macabre backdrop. The slide in global stock markets in the first weeks of this year means that major markets have fallen by 20% or more from their recent highs in 2015. China’s stock market is off by 40%. In cash terms, this means that nearly $7 trillion has been wiped off share values (according to the MSCI global market capitalization) since the highs of April 2015, a staggering $4 trillion of that since the end of December. On Jan. 22 there was a modicum of relief from this unremitting gloom, with markets trading higher that day, especially in Japan.
But what do these developments mean for the global economy, and especially for Asia, which people have looked to as something of an economic Pied Piper?….Read more: