Sticky or sweet – China’s tricky choice; The country witnessed a clash of eastern and western cultures

February 18, 2014 4:36 pm

Sticky or sweet – China’s tricky choice

By Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai

The country witnessed a clash of eastern and western cultures, writes Patti Waldmeir

It hadn’t happened in a generation: Valentine’s day, that most mercenary and occidental of holidays, coincided in China last week with Lantern Festival, culmination of the lunar new year holiday, oriental and traditional. Talk about culture clash.

Sticky rice dumplings with the family, or Lafite and Louis Vuitton with the girlfriend? The choice was clear: east or west. Nobody could choose both. Read more of this post

Mexico and Nafta at 20. Why it went wrong for one of ‘Tres Amigos’

February 18, 2014 7:18 pm

Mexico and Nafta at 20. Why it went wrong for one of ‘Tres Amigos’

By John Paul Rathbone in London

The country has not become the developed one it thought it would

Twenty years into Nafta, Mexico has too many criminals and not enough policemen; too many workers earning low wages and not enough skilled jobs; too many false dawns and not enough economic growth. Read more of this post

Attempts to count a nation’s assets date back to the Bible. But the Enlightenment saw the first efforts to do so in a precise way

Book Review: ‘The Leading Indicators,’ by Zachary Karabell

Attempts to count a nation’s assets date back to the Bible. But the Enlightenment saw the first efforts to do so in a precise way.

JOSEPH STERNBERG

Feb. 18, 2014 6:45 p.m. ET

China is in an economic swoon at the moment, if you believe some recent readings suggesting that industrial activity is slowing. Investors in Japan were spooked last month by a record trade deficit in 2013. Closer to home, economists debate quarterly GDP numbers in the U.S. to determine how the current recovery compares with those in the past. Read more of this post

New Push to Throw Assets Overboard; Breaking up may be hard to do, but that isn’t stopping activist investors from urging companies to do just that

New Push to Throw Assets Overboard

DAVID BENOIT

Feb. 18, 2014 7:43 p.m. ET

Breaking up may be hard to do, but that isn’t stopping activist investors from urging companies to do just that.

Companies ranging from chemical giants to restaurant chains have come under fire from shareholders wanting to break them apart, arguing that businesses perform better when they aren’t part of a sprawling conglomerate. The year isn’t even two months old, and already five companies have been targeted by investors pushing them to sell or spin off pieces, according to FactSet SharkWatch, which tracks such campaigns. That puts the year on pace to catch up with 2008, which marked the high-water mark for activism campaigns. Read more of this post

What Your iPad Knows About You; Subscription e-reader services Scribd, Oyster and Entitle track your behavior to predict your next book

What Your iPad Knows About You

Subscription e-reader services Scribd, Oyster and Entitle track your behavior to predict your next book

ANGELA CHEN

Feb. 18, 2014 7:24 p.m. ET

You’ve finally finished the book your co-worker recommended, so what to read next?

If it is 5 a.m., chances are that you’re reaching for a romance novel—especially if you’re in Texas or Georgia. By early morning, thrillers might start to look more appealing. And if Philip K. Dick is your favorite author, books about beer are probably more up your alley than anything about wine or liquor. Read more of this post

Opportunities Lurk in Emerging Markets; Investors Need to Do Their Homework to Find the Right Companies Rather Than Make Broad Developing-Country Bets

Opportunities Lurk in Emerging Markets

Investors Need to Do Their Homework to Find the Right Companies Rather Than Make Broad Developing-Country Bets

JENNY GROSS

Feb. 18, 2014 7:25 p.m. ET

image001-13

Until recently, it seemed the only way to seek refuge from the havoc in emerging markets was to avoid them completely.

Tidal shifts in U.S. Federal Reserve policy and worries about Chinese economic growth battered emerging-market stocks and bonds nearly across the board last month. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index, priced in dollars, is down 3.8% since the start of the year, and spooked investors have withdrawn billions of dollars from emerging-market funds. Read more of this post

China Fund Shifts Focus From Energy; Sovereign Fund China Investment Corp. Looks for Plays on U.S., European Recoveries

China Fund Shifts Focus From Energy

Sovereign Fund China Investment Corp. Looks for Plays on U.S., European Recoveries

LINGLING WEI

Feb. 18, 2014 12:39 p.m. ET

image001-12

BEIJING—China Investment Corp. is selling energy and commodity holdings while seeking to capitalize on recovering U.S. and European economies, a major shift in strategy for the $600 billion sovereign-wealth fund.

Since late last year, CIC has unloaded more than $1.5 billion of shares in companies including AES Corp. AES +0.96% , a U.S. power company, and GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd. 3800.HK +1.52% , a Hong Kong-listed green-energy company, according to regulatory filings by the companies. CIC, the world’s fifth-largest government-controlled fund, has also sold stakes in two other Hong Kong-traded wind-power companies, according to filings. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: