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Monday, 14 March 2016
China on Verge of Massive Labor Unrest - Protests on Upswing
The New York Times
GUANGZHOU, China — For nearly seven years, Li Wei rose before dawn for his 10-hour shift at the steel plant, returning home each night soaked in sweat, the clank of heavy machinery still ringing in his ears. But last month, the 31-year-old welder stood outside the plant with hundreds of co-workers, picketing against pay cuts and singing patriotic battle hymns.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made access to electricity a top priority, and has set the goal of making 24-hour power available to all 1.3 billion Indians. Currently, even India's biggest cities suffer from frequent power outages.
Instead, Russia and Saudi Arabia have apparently agreed to a production freeze. This is meaningless theater but it helped lift oil prices 37% from just more than $26 in mid-February to almost $36 per barrel last week. That is a lot of added revenue for Saudi Arabia and Russia but it will do nothing to balance the over-supplied world oil market.
If the employment gains were indeed as strong as the Fed, and the BLS, currently suggest; the labor force participation rate should be rising strongly. This has been the case during every other period in history where employment growth increased. Since the financial crisis, despite employment gains, the labor force participation rate has continued to fall.
This suggests that at some point in the future, we will likely see negative revisions to the employment data showing weaker growth than currently thought.
When we last looked at the $2.9 billion Horseman Capital, we reported that not only has the fund which many have called the "most bearish in the world" generated tremendous returns almost every single year since inception (except for a 25% drop in 2009 after returning 31% during the cataclysmic 2008), but more notably, it has achieved that return while been net short - and quite bearish on - stocks ever since 2012.
In that period it has consistently generated low double-digit returns, a feat virtually none of its competitors have managed to replicate. Its performance has put it in the top percentile of all hedge funds in recent years.
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