Tom Holland

Tom Holland is a former SCMP staffer who has been writing about Asian affairs for more than 25 years
Tom Holland
Tom Holland is a former SCMP staffer who has been writing about Asian affairs for more than 25 years

Latest from Tom Holland

Abacus | Rahul Gandhi’s plans to end Indian poverty work economically, just not politically

The Congress leader wants to introduce a ‘quasi-universal basic rural income’. The figures add up, but a very vocal minority stands to lose

11 Feb 2019 - 9:00AM
Rahul Gandhi’s plans to end Indian poverty work economically, just not politically

The Congress leader wants to introduce a ‘quasi-universal basic rural income’. The figures add up, but a very vocal minority stands to lose

Abacus | Even in China, there’s no magic money tree. Modern monetary theory is an illusion

Can governments really just print money to fund public spending? Only if you want to end up like Venezuela or the Soviet Union

4 Feb 2019 - 10:15AM
Even in China, there’s no magic money tree. Modern monetary theory is an illusion

Can governments really just print money to fund public spending? Only if you want to end up like Venezuela or the Soviet Union

Abacus | The truth about China’s economy that Trump won’t get: there is no surplus

A major economic shift has taken place which has all but eliminated the structural surplus in China’s current account. And it’s good news for the global economy, even if Trump struggles to understand it

21 Jan 2019 - 2:59PM
The truth about China’s economy that Trump won’t get: there is no surplus

A major economic shift has taken place which has all but eliminated the structural surplus in China’s current account. And it’s good news for the global economy, even if Trump struggles to understand it

Abacus | Look to US, not China for the 2019 financial crisis. Here’s why

There’s a lingering feeling that the global economy is due another downturn – but while the West points to China, it’s the US that has most reason to worry. Something eerily similar to its subprime disaster is afoot

16 Jan 2019 - 6:05AM
Look to US, not China for the 2019 financial crisis. Here’s why

There’s a lingering feeling that the global economy is due another downturn – but while the West points to China, it’s the US that has most reason to worry. Something eerily similar to its subprime disaster is afoot

Abacus | Don’t count on China to toss the global economy a stimulus lifeline in 2019

Unlike in 2009, Beijing is focused on reducing financial risk and moving the economy toward a consumption-based model

7 Jan 2019 - 9:08AM
Don’t count on China to toss the global economy a stimulus lifeline in 2019

Unlike in 2009, Beijing is focused on reducing financial risk and moving the economy toward a consumption-based model

Abacus | A columnist confesses: I nailed belt and road, Hong Kong stocks not so much

From bitcoin to Huawei, Tom Holland takes stock of 2018 and comes clean about his crystal ball hits and misses

24 Dec 2018 - 2:36PM
A columnist confesses: I nailed belt and road, Hong Kong stocks not so much

From bitcoin to Huawei, Tom Holland takes stock of 2018 and comes clean about his crystal ball hits and misses

Abacus | Modi’s plans for India’s central bank borrow from the future

The resignation of Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is a sign the prime minister hopes to engineer short-term economic gain. What he’ll get is long-term pain

17 Dec 2018 - 10:04AM
Modi’s plans for India’s central bank borrow from the future

The resignation of Urjit Patel, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is a sign the prime minister hopes to engineer short-term economic gain. What he’ll get is long-term pain

Abacus | Don’t ask why US acted against China’s Huawei. Ask: why now?
  • The arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou is a rude shock to those who thought the trade war might be ending. The US says Huawei breached restrictions on business with Iran – but could it have breached UN sanctions too?
12 Dec 2018 - 8:45PM
Don’t ask why US acted against China’s Huawei. Ask: why now?
  • The arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou is a rude shock to those who thought the trade war might be ending. The US says Huawei breached restrictions on business with Iran – but could it have breached UN sanctions too?
Abacus | Why falling steel prices in Shanghai mean rising smog in Beijing

Steel yourself, there’s bad news for anyone with asthma or who likes to see the Fragrant Hills from their office block this winter

3 Dec 2018 - 10:04AM
Why falling steel prices in Shanghai mean rising smog in Beijing

Steel yourself, there’s bad news for anyone with asthma or who likes to see the Fragrant Hills from their office block this winter

Abacus | Xi-Trump summit could go either way. But either way, it’s bad

Even if there’s a breakthrough in Buenos Aires, it will do nothing to prevent the epochal storm ahead in US-China ties

26 Nov 2018 - 8:04AM
Xi-Trump summit could go either way. But either way, it’s bad

Even if there’s a breakthrough in Buenos Aires, it will do nothing to prevent the epochal storm ahead in US-China ties

Abacus | Xi’s sudden embrace of private firms can’t solve China’s economic problems

This is no conversion to free market principles. With the state sector overleveraged, the Chinese president is looking elsewhere for a growth boost – but the idea just doesn’t add up

19 Nov 2018 - 10:03AM
Xi’s sudden embrace of private firms can’t solve China’s economic problems

This is no conversion to free market principles. With the state sector overleveraged, the Chinese president is looking elsewhere for a growth boost – but the idea just doesn’t add up

Abacus | China property: if they tell you it’s a bear market, it’s bull

Far from falling prices, the real problem for China’s leaders is how to stop the market overheating. Who writes these headlines anyway?  

12 Nov 2018 - 11:07AM
China property: if they tell you it’s a bear market, it’s bull

Far from falling prices, the real problem for China’s leaders is how to stop the market overheating. Who writes these headlines anyway?  

Abacus | A deal on tariffs won’t end the US-China economic cold war
  • The US-China trade war has gone far beyond tariffs – and there are ominous implications for the world as the two countries move closer to all-out protectionism
9 Nov 2018 - 6:21AM
A deal on tariffs won’t end the US-China economic cold war
  • The US-China trade war has gone far beyond tariffs – and there are ominous implications for the world as the two countries move closer to all-out protectionism
Abacus | Trump’s trade war is not behind China’s stock market slump

Markets in the US and China have been primarily propelled by domestic drivers. Likewise, the fall in China’s shares stems from Beijing’s campaign to crack down on the shadow financial system

27 Oct 2018 - 2:37PM
Trump’s trade war is not behind China’s stock market slump

Markets in the US and China have been primarily propelled by domestic drivers. Likewise, the fall in China’s shares stems from Beijing’s campaign to crack down on the shadow financial system

Abacus | Khashoggi killing could drive Saudi Arabia into China’s arms

The alleged killing of dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi could have far-reaching repercussions for the country’s economic ties with the West. And where Western executives fear to tread, Chinese companies will rush in

1 Nov 2018 - 4:13PM
Khashoggi killing could drive Saudi Arabia into China’s arms

The alleged killing of dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi could have far-reaching repercussions for the country’s economic ties with the West. And where Western executives fear to tread, Chinese companies will rush in

Abacus | Don't be put off by a softening property market - Hong Kong can handle it

The recent slide in the city’s shares was tinged with the fear that local home prices may fall too. But while residential property is not as attractive an investment as it used to be, an economic slump isn’t on the cards

15 Oct 2018 - 2:25PM
Don't be put off by a softening property market - Hong Kong can handle it

The recent slide in the city’s shares was tinged with the fear that local home prices may fall too. But while residential property is not as attractive an investment as it used to be, an economic slump isn’t on the cards

Abacus | China has a golden opportunity to become Asia’s monetary power

As Beijing reduces its reliance on the US dollar for international trade, it may be seeking to overcome the yuan’s credibility problem by anchoring it to gold.

8 Oct 2018 - 7:52AM
China has a golden opportunity to become Asia’s monetary power

As Beijing reduces its reliance on the US dollar for international trade, it may be seeking to overcome the yuan’s credibility problem by anchoring it to gold.

Abacus | Asia faces a devil’s bargain over US sanctions on Iran’s oil

Donald Trump’s re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran leaves oil importers with a stark choice: pay punishing prices on the open market, or buy cheaply from Iran and face the wrath of the United States.

1 Oct 2018 - 7:02AM
Asia faces a devil’s bargain over US sanctions on Iran’s oil

Donald Trump’s re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran leaves oil importers with a stark choice: pay punishing prices on the open market, or buy cheaply from Iran and face the wrath of the United States.

Abacus | Typhoon Mangkhut: hey Carrie Lam, a day off for Hong Kong made economic sense

Strange as it might seem, allowing most workers to down tools for a day would have subtracted nothing from Hong Kong’s economic output. And a full-scale clean-up could even have added to GDP. Here’s how.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Typhoon Mangkhut: hey Carrie Lam, a day off for Hong Kong made economic sense

Strange as it might seem, allowing most workers to down tools for a day would have subtracted nothing from Hong Kong’s economic output. And a full-scale clean-up could even have added to GDP. Here’s how.

Abacus | Lehman crash, 10 years on: nearly all you read will be wrong

Bankers did not cause the 2008 financial crisis, governments did. And in failing to learn from their mistakes, they have made another crash inevitable

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Lehman crash, 10 years on: nearly all you read will be wrong

Bankers did not cause the 2008 financial crisis, governments did. And in failing to learn from their mistakes, they have made another crash inevitable

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