THE English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, I well recall, once asked: If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
For the best part of the last ten years, the global economy has yet to see its real spring. At last in early 2017, we see some green-shoots sprouting more visibly in the United States and Europe, and even in the emerging market economies (EMEs) including Russia and Brazil, already marred by recession in 2015-2016. It was also a time of high political drama, plunging Washington DC into a Nixon-style crisis. Yet, the US Vix “fear” index of volatility for US stocks sank below 10 (lowest since 1993; up to 20 is regarded as normal), signalling calm in both the economy and markets.