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What we and the US have in common

In China on 26/10/2021 at 6:25 am

The willingness to spend and spend on the armed forces. In 2019, the military expenditure of Singapore was estimated to be around 3.2% of GDP. In 2020, the military expenditure of the United States was estimated at 3.7 % of its GDP.

I am firmly persuaded that among nations, weakness will never be a foundation for security.

Viscount Palmerston, British PM in the 19th century

One of my favourite novelists George MacDonald Fraser described Palmerston as viewing the world like a sheriff in a cowboy town viewing his town.

China has kept its official defense spending at around 1.3% of its GDP in recent years, which is far below the average global level of 2.6%. But analysts believe that like many other Chinese figures is BS. The real number is a lot higher.

Example

In 2019, Peter Robertson, a professor from the University of Western Australia, argued that using conventional currency conversion as opposed to more accurate “purchasing power parity” (PPP) exchange rates dramatically understated China’s military capabilities and that China’s real military spending was equivalent to US spending of $455 billion, calculated from a PPP perspective.[20]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_China#Unofficial_estimates

The variant of Covid-19 from India threatens more than lives

In India on 25/10/2021 at 4:22 am

(Make sure to read the concluding paragraph)

The decision to allow in vaccinated travellers from India reminded me that our PM who presides over a cabinet and govt that die-die must defend the Ceca agreement with India, said recently that the Delta variant (aka the Indian variant) was a game changer in Covid-19 management.

He said

with vaccination, COVID-19 is no longer a dangerous disease for most of us.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/pm-lee-full-speech-covid-19-path-new-normal-2232531

But

[T]he emergence of the Delta variant has put us in a changed situation.

The Delta variant is highly infectious, and has spread all over the world. Even with the whole population vaccinated, we still will not be able to stamp it out through lockdowns and SMMs. Almost every country has accepted this reality.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/pm-lee-full-speech-covid-19-path-new-normal-2232531

What he didn’t tell us is that thanks to the Indian variant (aka Delta variant) of Covid-19 the global economy is stalling. In it’s latest guesstimate, the IMF Those for Japan and parts of developing Asia were downgraded on account of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and the imposition of restrictions on activity. 

The two possibilities stagflation or a global recession is not good news for global markets.

Whatever, in allowing in travellers from India, the PAP govt is doubling down on its love of all things from India. Imagine the uproar from S’poreans if one of these travellers is infected with Covid-19 and this results in another lockdown that is not really a lockdown: PAP govt’s idea of living with Covid-19?

Interesting chart on three commodities

In China, Commodities, Emerging markets, Mining on 24/10/2021 at 10:36 am

Goldman Sachs is talking about a new commodities supercycle.

But looking at this chart, we may be looking at a copper supercycle. Remember the green economy need a lot of of dirty copper.

But given China’s property slowdown (meltdown?), I doubt iron ore is in a supercycle.

I’m an agnostic about a food supercycle.