HomeWorld NewsNEF Latest: Clinton Criticizes Xi as Griffin Warns on US Deficit – Yahoo Finance
NEF Latest: Clinton Criticizes Xi as Griffin Warns on US Deficit – Yahoo Finance
November 9, 2023
(Bloomberg) — Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to keep power for longer than the two terms of his immediate predecessors, while Citadel founder Ken Griffin slammed the US for excessive debt and spending at the New Economy Forum in Singapore.
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Day One of the three-day forum saw Chinese Vice President Han Zheng and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong express optimism about signs of improving US-China relations ahead of an upcoming meeting between President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping. Lee downplayed the likelihood of Beijing launching a “D-Day” invasion of Taiwan, while numerous business and political leaders called for concerted global action in the face of surging economic, environmental and geopolitical risks.
Today the focus is on potential future shocks from geopolitics, global decoupling, climate change and artificial intelligence. Energy-related technologies will also be discussed, and UBS Group AG Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti will speak later today.
Doing Business in China (12:00 p.m. SGT)
It’s getting increasingly difficult for American investors to get access to Chinese companies, according to Thiel Capital’s Jack Selby.
“I used to go to China almost once a month in 2016, 2017, 2018, before the geopolitics got very difficult,” Selby, one of PayPal Holdings Inc.’s first employees and now a managing director at Peter Thiel’s family office, told Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the forum. “I honestly have not been back since. That’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because it’s very difficult as an American citizen.”
“China is a long growth story, I just think as an outsider I’m not going to be able to participate as much as I would like,” he said.
India Offers Manufacturing Opportunities (11:50 a.m. SGT)
VU Technologies Chairwoman Devita Saraf said she’s a strong supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” push.
While India was a bit slow to get in the manufacturing game, there’s still a big opportunity to manufacture in India, she said. “There is an opportunity to innovate in design with the talent India has in both hardware and software.”
“We lost a couple of decades,” Saraf said. “India is not a China-plus-one strategy to replace big factories in China.”
Asia Needs Gas for Cleaner Future (11:30 a.m. SGT)
The energy transition in Asia will require more natural gas to ensure power supply as countries shift away from dirtier coal, according to Japan’s top utility. “We need natural gas, or LNG, to be placed” in the Asian economy, Toshiro Kudama, chief executive officer of Jera Asia Pte Ltd., said during a panel discussion on energy security. “It’s hard to support the economic growth of this region ” with intermittent renewable sources.
In Asia, “it’s not very realistic or very practical to transition immediately from coal to renewable energy resources,” said Yao Lixia, a senior fellow at the National University of Singapore. “So the most immediate solution may be natural gas.”
The major lesson of the energy crisis last year is that sustainability took a back seat to fuel affordability and security, said Yngve Slyngstad, managing director of Industry Capital Partners. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended energy markets, sending the price of gas and coal surging and making fuel too expensive for some developing nations. Africa is in the midst of ensuring energy security and can’t currently afford to invest more in the transition, said Fikile Z. Majola, deputy minister of trade for the Republic of South Africa.
Clinton on China, Trade Talks (11:10 a.m. SGT)
Clinton said the upcoming meeting between President Biden and China’s Xi is an opportunity to “reset the table.” But she noted that Xi’s decision to remain in office (ending a precedent of two-term leaders) had created a lot of challenges for China’s system, visible through economic problems and the removal of top officials.
Following the pandemic and its challenges to supply chains, “economic statecraft” remains critical, but it must be different, Clinton said. “We need a new era of realistic trade agreements” that will help small and medium-sized companies, she said.
Leaders need to make a better case for trade agreements, and “not just negotiate behind closed doors,” she said.
Griffin on Future Challenges (9:55 a.m. SGT)
Citadel CEO Griffin warned the world has changed radically in recent years. “Now we are talking about de-globalization, re-routing supply chains,” he said. “Countries are much more sensitive to what we want to produce domestically so we are not exposed to global trade.”
Other challenges include the likelihood of higher real and nominal interest rates, Griffin said, warning that US government expenditure is unsustainable, with the country “spending like a drunken sailor.”
He said there’s a real risk of a recession next year, calling for the US to put its economic house in order and for executives to raise the issue’s prominence. Even though the country’s job market remains relatively strong, US consumers realize deep down that “something is not quite right,” Griffin said.
Xingtai Sees Recovery in Chinese Stocks (9:15 a.m. SGT)
Xingtai Capital Management, which manages a long-only China equity fund, expects a short-term recovery in the nation’s stocks as the market is at “an all-time historical low,” its founder and CEO Michelle Leung said on Bloomberg TV. “All the bad news is priced in.”
The recovery will be led by the consumer sector, Leung said. Lower-priced consumer goods such as durables, apparel and sportswear are seeing strong earnings momentum, and those stocks in her portfolio saw 60% earnings growth overall in the first half of 2023, she added.
Investors Talk Geopolitics (8:54 a.m. SGT)
Geopolitics is becoming increasingly important for making investing decisions, a panel of investors and executives agreed Thursday.
“A thousand days ago I wouldn’t have thought that having geopolitical experts on my investment staff was particularly important,” said Mark Wiseman, chairman of Alberta Investment Management Corp. “Today it may be all that matters as I try and make the calculus of risk and return and probabilities.”
Follow the Money (8:45 a.m. SGT)
Airwallex’s CEO Jack Zhang says Chinese companies have been setting up factories in Mexico. Supply chains are shifting to Southeast Asia, Middle East and the Americas.
His company has followed the money flow to conduct acquisitions of payment companies in Mexico. Airwallex has also launched in the Middle East and Latin America. It’s been investing in those regions to set up the infrastructure.
“Geopolitical issues definitely played a very significant role in these changes in the last two years,” said Zhang, adding that over the last two years there has been a “dramatic” turn in global money flows.
PwC on Better US-China Ties (8:00 a.m. SGT)
Signs of increasing cooperation between the world’s two largest economies are having a positive impact on auditing, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. Chairman Bob Moritz.
“The US-China relationship has actually brought it to a head where you have access to information for regulators to inspect,” he told Bloomberg TV on the sidelines of the forum. “It’s going to allow for the inspections to happen, so that tension has decreased quite a bit.”
The US audit watchdog has started auditing some firms after Washington and Beijing struck a deal last year following a long-running dispute over U.S.-listed Chinese firms’ auditing compliance. Authorities in China were reluctant to let overseas regulators inspect local accounting companies on national security concerns.
The World Must Tread Carefully (8 p.m. SGT Wednesday)
Singapore’s Lee said China isn’t “trigger happy” in its aim to take over self-governing Taiwan, which it views as its territory. “They would like Taiwan to be part of ‘one China,’” but aren’t sure how to make it happen, he said. Unless Beijing is provoked, the world isn’t “going to wake up one day and find that they’ve decided to launch D-Day.”
In wide-ranging remarks, Lee said there’s no alternative to a two-state solution to ensure peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A one-state solution would mean that “one side or the other has to be squeezed out and that is unimaginable.” He spoke amid global concern about the civilian toll from the Israel-Hamas war, which broke out after Hamas killed more than 1,400 Israelis and took around 240 hostage in a surprise attack. Hamas is designated a terrorist group by the US and European Union.
On AI, Lee said that more knowledge and experience of the technology is needed. It’s key to understand that “the pitfalls are so that we can make smart decisions to regulate it as we go along,” he said, noting that tech people generally know more about AI than do governments.
The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.