Global managers are religious about reading at least one financial daily every day. Miss an issue, and you miss key trends. Today’s issue of Financial Times is proof. In this one issue, once can find many of the key trends going on in the world today.

Pp. 1, 2. Solar power drive. “China plans to offer subsidies to solar power projects”. China has been behind the curve in clean/green tech, but is battling fast to catch up, and will offer subsidies of 50-70 % for solar projects, especially in Western regions. 

P.1. “Goodyear will not be Temasek’s chief”. Chip Goodyear ran BHP Billiton, and a year ago was hired, after a long wooing, to run Temasek, Singapore’s semi-Sovereign Fund. Today it was announced he is leaving, even before he really started. Why? This issue highlights the dramatically important new role sovereign funds will play in capital markets, as they recover, and the strategies they will follow. Goodyear probably wanted to invest in resources. But did Temasek’s Board?

P. 1. “Treasury yields fall on Fed strategy”. Exit strategies apply to VC investments — how do we get our money out? But they also apply to Federal Reserve strategies. How will the Fed turn around its low-interest-rate policy, and hike rates again, and when will the Fed do this? Bernanke’s recent pronouncement on this issue — perhaps to keep his job, as he is up for reappointment  next year and some Dinosaur Democrats want Larry Sommers instead — hints that an ‘exit’ and rising rates will not come soon. Treasuries reacted by seeing their yields fall. 

P. 1. “China to deploy forex reserves in push to speed overseas expansion”. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said “we should hasten the implementation of our ‘going out’ strategy and combine the utilization of foreign exchange reserves with the ‘going out’ of our enterprises”. 

Say again? Pardon?

Loose translation: China should begin shifting its $2 trillion dollar asset reserves from paper assets into real assets (companies, resources), thus encouraging its enterprises in ‘going out’ (i.e. globalizing), using China’s vast resources to do so. This is a key trend. What companies will China seek to buy? Where? When? The answer will have vast impact on world markets.

P. 9 “Asia keeps the West’s betrayed faith”. While many Western populations are becoming wary of globalization (realizing, at last, that they have on the whole lost out from it), Asian societies continue to support it (because they have been the big winners). What will the final outcome be — more globalization, less, or the same?

P. 9. “Research conflict point way for ratings agencies.” Remember the ratings agency scandal — S&P or Moody’s rating toxic mortgage-backed securities as AAA when they are B minus?  Research now shows, if you pay analysts based on the accuracy of their recommendations, their research quality improves. Why not do the same for ratings agencies? 

P. 9. “Warring economists are carried along by the crowd.” “There can be little doubt. The science of macroeconomics is in deep trouble. The beset and the brightest in the field fight over the most basic problems.” Macro-economists disagree. Macroeconomists cannot agree on creative ideas regarding how to deal with the global downturn. I am a macroeconomist. My my. Why am I not surprised?….

…and we are only on page 9. 16 more pages to go….

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