Around the World in Emerging Markets

Published on
May 22nd, 2020
110 minutes

History as a Compass — Coronavirus, Financial Crashes, and Lessons from the Past

Around the World in Emerging Markets

The Big Picture ·
Featuring Michael Nicoletos, Jim Rogers, Mark Mobius, and Dr. Simon Ogus

Published on: May 22nd, 2020 • Duration: 110 minutes

In this episode of The Big Picture, Real Vision guides viewers on a journey of understanding through the present and future of emerging markets. Michael Nicoletos, co-founder and CIO of AppleTree Capital, speaks with Jim Rogers, chairman of Beeland Interests and famous emerging markets investor in Singapore. They talk about the next move for the dollar, which emerging markets he is currently investing in, and why he looks for disaster when he is deploying capital. Then, Real Vision’s own Roger Hirst speaks with Mark Mobius, partner at Mobius Capital Partners, in Germany. Mobius breaks down the importance of technology, travel, and other macroeconomic factors that impact emerging markets. He explains why he believes the recovery could be as fast as the meltdown. Nicoletos then speaks to Dr. Simon Ogus, founder and CEO of DSG Asia Limited. Dr. Ogus talks about the impact of COVID-19 on emerging markets through his view from Hong Kong. He relates the Asia-specific perspective on the impact of the virus on currencies, growing alternatives to Chinese manufacturing, and the future of globalism. Filmed May 11-15, 2020.



  • AW
    Angela W.
    24 May 2020 @ 20:27
    As one of the great Commodity traders, would have liked Michael to ask Jim Rogers where he sees food Commodity prices going - with droughts, locusts, Covid etc.
    • MS
      Michael S.
      14 June 2020 @ 02:34
      He's been saying "farmers are going to be driving Ferraris" for years.
  • HR
    Humberto R.
    27 May 2020 @ 12:08
    • PH
      Paul H.
      7 June 2020 @ 22:13
      Thanks for the link, Humberto.
  • DS
    David S.
    25 May 2020 @ 20:23
    I am eager to hear Raoul's, or any of the other bitcoin Real Vision bulls' counter-argument to Jim Rogers oft-repeated refrain of "Bitcoin is going to zero." Jim Rogers makes the same point that Mike Green did in his interview with Raoul that currencies not backed by the guns/military/force of a sovereign nation lack viability. This is an important point to consider. How would RP, Novogratz, Tapiero, et al, counter that? RV, please address this in upcoming videos. Thank you!
    • ND
      Nitul D.
      2 June 2020 @ 19:33
      Raoul's view is - its a perpetual call option. Chamath's view is - its a schmuck insurance. Danielle Lacalle - its a startup currency
  • ND
    Nitul D.
    27 May 2020 @ 19:30
    On Mr. Mobius comment on India, India will for this FY will end up with a fiscal deficit of 10-11%+ of GDP, it also runs a current account deficit (huge dependency on oil, commodities). Its banking system (>10% of loans) has one of the highest (reported, the estimate is the actual numbers could be higher) Gross NPAs among the EMs (only next to China I guess) and its shadow banking system has literally collapsed in the last 2 years. If India has to go for massive fiscal infrastructure (like Mr. Mobius is suggesting), how is she going to finance it? lol. By running huge twin deficits and a credit market in distress, oh and a sharp deceleration in real GDP not helping tax revenues.
    • ND
      Nitul D.
      27 May 2020 @ 19:39
      The only saving grace for India is - young demographics (but getting wasted due to high unemployment) and perhaps the lowest foreign debt at the government level. (but quite reasonable USD corporate debt)
  • MC
    Mike C.
    24 May 2020 @ 11:22
    1) Hope to see more of Michael hosting interviews if he has the time. Did very well with Jim Rogers (who is always gracious). 2) Mark Mobious ,,,, thank you for painting China as the benevolent dictator. We know who butters your bread now. 3) Dr Ogus ... Yikes. Be careful what you say from inside HK. You may be committing treason.
    • Am
      Alex m.
      24 May 2020 @ 13:32
      On 1) I agree Michael does a great job hosting! On 2) and 3) lol!
    • RM
      Robert M.
      24 May 2020 @ 18:57
      Agree on all, good to have the CCP perspective via comrade Mobius.
    • DS
      David S.
      25 May 2020 @ 20:16
      It was revealing when Mobius applauded, as shrewd business, China's ethical disregard for internal politics and human rights as it applies to their policy of international infrastructure investments.
    • jc
      jonathan c.
      27 May 2020 @ 05:49
      MOBIUS: "The Chinese say, look, we're not going to interfere in your local political situation. You run the country the way you think it should be run. Let's just do a business deal, and that's it. So it's a very different picture. And I must say, the Chinese model has been pretty effective." This is incorrect - CCP investments in developing countries come with aggressive coercion to align local political views with CCP ideology. Zimbabwe is an example of this. They were one of thirty seven countries pressured to sign the letter defending CCP's treatment of Uighur in Xinjiang region.
  • mB
    marc B.
    27 May 2020 @ 04:33
    I am really starting to get excited about investing in emerging markets. Fascinating about the tech starting out on the new high tech. Is blockchain happening in emerging markets? Would love to learn more.
  • ag
    amin g.
    22 May 2020 @ 11:11
    Excellent point about demographics in india being an advantage only if you create jobs. I hope this is our 1991 moment though the rise in nationalism is def a dark cloud. India never was a major manufacturing hub during the heights of globalisation and yea i wouldn't be holding my breath . The indian taxman has a great record harassing the foreign entity once he's put money in the country. Maybe this time its different but i wouldn't count on it
    • gh
      g h.
      26 May 2020 @ 14:59
      Yes. Well said. What on earth is going on with Vodafone?
  • DT
    David T.
    25 May 2020 @ 23:16
    Jim Rogers like Peter Schiff has been saying the same thing for last 20 years. Even though they are both right in general, they have been wrong on timing all along. What they don't say is how do they sustain their capital and what do they trade while waiting for mega collapse.
  • GF
    Gordon F.
    25 May 2020 @ 20:51
    Good discussion, but I would have preferred to see it as three different videos on RV, rather than bundled all together as they were. If for no other reason, the comments could be more focused.
  • SD
    S D.
    25 May 2020 @ 17:44
    Michael Nicoletos is very effective.
  • SM
    S M.
    25 May 2020 @ 17:16
    There is no debate on where the virus came from. It came from China thus its ChineseVirus or Wuhan Virus.
  • KP
    Keith P.
    25 May 2020 @ 17:03
    This guy seems like his best days are behind him, avoid.
  • RK
    Robert K.
    25 May 2020 @ 15:24
    Regarding China - ff course there are very biased views as all these gentlemen are invested in that region. To all those who consider China as an equal partner for business or a good destination for investments I would recommend growing a spine.
  • NL
    Nikola L.
    25 May 2020 @ 07:00
    great stuff. Thank you. Only negative, Jim never pulled anything out of his pocket - like gold coin or Sulphate of Potash and talk why we should buy. Simon touched very interesting bit about Chinese tourists. I've been saying Oz very exposed to this and Chinese students too - not only resources. And tourists and students can be stopped in an instant.
  • ST
    Simon T.
    25 May 2020 @ 05:24
    Loved to listen to Dr Ogus - great to mention the HK banks assets to GDP is no different than London’s or NYC
  • wj
    wiktor j.
    24 May 2020 @ 19:32
    Jim Rogers who has his skin in the china game I think he believes that he can win on his Chinese investments. But the advice I take from Mark is do the opposite. I have seen what “Chinese building a road” means. In Poland when Poland was supposed to upgrade the roads due to a football Euro cup. China underbid other contractors but built 1/3 of the road and left because they fell short. Roads was never built/finished. Good luck with any country taking deals from china on “build a road”. So Ill am dollars as Raul has suggested.
  • RJ
    Richard J.
    22 May 2020 @ 19:35
    Mark Mobius thinks the bottom is in for EM currencies. Why didn't Roger ask/challenge him on global dollar shortage? Would have made for an interesting debate. Shame.
    • ND
      Nitul D.
      22 May 2020 @ 21:10
      "The recovery in EMs" will be fast, am not sure on that. You only need to look at the long term charts of EM currencies. And Real GDP of EMs are in a structural decline. (yes relative to DMs still better, but then we are now getting into a relative comparison debate). India is a very good example of entering a secular down cycle. EMs need a new playbook (the whole last 2 decades of cheap labour is fading away, a few small countries are picking up sure Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) but no where enough to compensate for China and India. Second, structural reforms will need to be a part of the new playbook (corporate governance reforms, bankruptcy code reforms, land/labour, FDI etc.). EMs have a tough road ahead. Am from India, and this is clearly playing out, following the economy closely here. Data is out there - Real GDP, Industrial Production etc. The bond yield argument of Mark Mobius is only true in case for an unhedged basis, once you take FX risk thats a whole different level of risk out there.
    • ND
      Nitul D.
      24 May 2020 @ 15:24
      The entire game revolving EMs would and should be around this core question - Can "AND" will EMs, in the next 5/10/15 years, be able to reinvent a new playbook (see my earlier post) to increase productivity, implement structural reforms on political/legal/economic front, increase self-reliance and get into a new virtuous economic loop? That's the question, one should be asking, who is looking at EM from a long term perspective. Sure, short term tactical trades always exist, but the relevance of my question only increases by the day.
  • ND
    Nitul D.
    22 May 2020 @ 20:55
    Jim Rogers has a fair point regarding outlawing of cryptocurrencies. Am from India and here the banking / payments regulator banned financial intermediaries from engaging in any activity related to crypto. Result is - no coin exchanges, no exchange of fiat to crypto and back, banks/money exchanges to report customer data/suspicious transactions on a periodic basis to the regulator. So the entire population was locked out (by order) of accessing this new universe. Until recently, the Supreme Court, in response to Public Interest Litigation, intervened in lifting off the ban. So yeah, the court intervened fortunately. But what's to stop the courts from colluding with vested interests and outlawing?
    • TM
      The-First-James M.
      23 May 2020 @ 00:22
      Sadly, if that were to happen then the answer will be, India will continue to miss out.
    • ND
      Nitul D.
      24 May 2020 @ 15:08
      I am no expert in cryptocurrencies on its technology side. But what I can see and feel is the ground reality of the cryptocurrency in the real world and the real economy. The battle of cryptocurrency vs fiat is a philosophical and a legal one, in my view. I gave some thought into my own argument to expand its context. When a particular society upholds legal, democratic and individual freedom (like some of the developed economies we see today for e.g. US), yes crypto has a chance to compete with fiat. Where such a scenario is not possible (like EMs and poor countries), crypto in its pure decentralized form, as it exists today, "might" never be officially adopted as "legal tender" (you see, money as a concept to be scalable and efficient has to be legal tender, the word legal being important). In a society not upholding individual/democratic legality, some form of crypto can only survive as contraband/black market, call whatever you may, and that is certainly not efficient and without its own risk to the adopters.
  • EK
    Euna K.
    23 May 2020 @ 04:41
    He described the problem (US dollar hegemony) defined the situation (Russia, Iran, China et al looking for alternatives)...then dismissed the solution (bitcoin)???
    • DW
      Daniel W.
      23 May 2020 @ 09:43
      I really cannot understand how people can seriously consider bitcoin to be a solution to any government in the world. Bitcoin, due to its limited supply, is like the gold standard. It would lead to a system where governments have to spent money responsible and live within their means. Altough I would generally support thid approach. It is NEVER going to happen. Goverments may go digital, but it will be a version of digital money where they controll supply.
    • MF
      Mike F.
      24 May 2020 @ 08:50
      I agree with Daniel but I am still hedging my bets
  • DS
    David S.
    24 May 2020 @ 02:01
    Mr. Nicoletos - Since you are Greek, it would be interesting to have a presentation by you about the Greek, Cyprus and Malta forced bailouts. You mentioned the deflation that Greece endured after the bailout. Was this caused by the rapid decline in GDP, or other factors? How did it affect the banking system when the bank depositors had their money stolen – pejorative word - from their accounts to fund the banks? It did not happen in Italy! Would the bankruptcy of Greece, Cyprus and Malta have been better for their citizens than an eternity of loans to pay off? Did other Euroland countries force this to save their own domestic banks with big balances of Greek bonds? Did the ECB contributed to this by saying all Euroland sovereign debt did not have to be reserved – on the balance sheet on par? Many countries are not feeling part of a greater Europe because of the COVID-19. I think everyone saved themselves and left the Greeks, Cyprians. and Maltese out to dry years ago. As you can tell from my questions, it is hard to tell from a distance what really happened. DLS
    • JB
      Julian B.
      24 May 2020 @ 07:46
  • JW
    J W.
    23 May 2020 @ 21:12
    This was a very interesting tour d'horizon of the EM landscape, but for regular RV watchers at least, it was a little short on new perspectives perhaps. Once the dollar theme plays out, EM is definitely on the radar screen as an investable area. At this point, to me at least, It seems a little too early (using a 6-12 month outlook). Like Dylan Gryce elsewhere, the experts here recommend starting to take small bites but pick companies rather than countries. This is not easy for a retail investor and in that respect they were a little short on specifics and actionable insights. Having said that, I do think this video should age well and I can see me revisiting it later on. There should be a part two at some point addressing more specifics re investment options.
  • WD
    Willem D.
    22 May 2020 @ 08:04
    Unfortunately Jim was not pressed on his views on bitcoin and other crypto currencies. Yes, some governments may outlaw crypto altogether out of desperation but this could backfire if other governments adopt crypto and this whole new industry, where the worlds most brilliant minds are converging..
    • LK
      Lauri K.
      22 May 2020 @ 08:56
      I agree. I think the ban would only work if there was a valid govenrment iissued alternative. Circumventing any ban with cryptocurrencies is very easy and I think you could model online piracy as an example of how a ban might play out.
    • DS
      David S.
      23 May 2020 @ 17:36
      "Bitcoin is rarely banned as means of payment between private parties, but it is common for the usage of Bitcoin to be banned for financial institutions and businesses. For example, Bitcoin is banned for Chinese financial firms and both Canadian and Indian banks." per Cointelegraph. DLS
  • DS
    David S.
    23 May 2020 @ 17:29
    Excellent combination of interviews. It is a pleasure to see Mr. Nicoletos interviewing as he brings a lot of knowledge and a different perspective to the table. I particularly liked Mr. Onus’s interview as it developed different investment options in the Asian region from an long-time insider. It would be great to have another interview with Mr. Ogus now that the new security policies have been implemented in Hong Kong. Thanks, DLS
  • BH
    Bin H.
    23 May 2020 @ 17:21
    The first part is good
  • TP
    Timothy P.
    23 May 2020 @ 16:40
    Jim Rogers was a delight to listen to. Mr Ogus however seems confused. Here, let me help. Wuhan Flu came from China, after a failure of suppressing whistleblowers (Dr. Li, among others), they finally admitted human-to-human transmission was taking place. Glad to be of service. I'd also love to know if DSG Asia Limited invests in CCP backed companies, but I'm not holding my breath on that score, since it seems transparency in performance or portfolios isn't part of these interviews. Of course I expect someone to talk their book, I'd just like to know it up front in the first place.
  • ZF
    Zach F.
    23 May 2020 @ 06:41
    Jim Rogers, sir, you tell it like it is. Always appreciate your view and while you’ll probably disagree with me, you seem to always be right. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.
  • MP
    Mark P.
    23 May 2020 @ 03:03
    Free Roger. Let Roger out!
  • PT
    Peter T.
    22 May 2020 @ 23:50
  • PT
    Peter T.
    22 May 2020 @ 23:45
  • PT
    Peter T.
    22 May 2020 @ 23:26
    Stop with the outlaw of Bitcoin its not going to happen. All payments will be made in digital fiat yes not in Bitcoin. Bitcoin will /is the fixed reference point to value your worthless unlimited supply fiat , Maybe would be a good idea to do some homework its already happening. The largest financial institutions are building out the custodial infrastructure at a alarming pace. The digital world is coming and Bitcoin will be a part of it period.
  • Nv
    Nick v.
    22 May 2020 @ 15:18
    I live in South Africa and wish Mr Mobius was correct. Unfortunately, its going the exact opposite way. ANC looting is still increasing, not reducing. Unemployment and bankruptcies will be record high this year
    • ns
      niall s.
      22 May 2020 @ 15:51
      I see from the closed end fund web site that the Templeton Emerging Market fund has had a total average return of 2.83 % over the past 10 years , and while it may not be fair to quote that after a crisis , the fact that the management fees are 1.23% per annum does not help its cause , but doesn't Mark speak beautifully .
  • JV
    Jean V.
    22 May 2020 @ 15:18
    Good insights from Dr. Ogus.
  • JE
    J E.
    22 May 2020 @ 11:57
    I know when Jim Rogers says buying stocks, he probably doesn’t mean ADRs Or does he? Any insight into how he holds Chinese stocks for instance?
  • CB
    Chris B.
    22 May 2020 @ 09:44
    Interesting to hear Ogus’s perspective on Hong Kong - would be interested to hear him head to head with Kyle Bass.