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Daily Archives: December 7, 2020

In Pictures: Food of Ming Court 明閣 in Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Fine Dining Cantonese Cuisine

The 2020 Michelin 1-star Restaurant

数字人民币红包又来了!这次有啥不一样?

记者: 吴雨、潘晔 . . . . . . . . .

  数字人民币试点测试又迎来新进展!继深圳市派发数字人民币红包后,苏州市将面向符合条件的苏州市民发放2000万元数字人民币消费红包,采取“摇号抽签”形式发放,抽签报名通道于5日正式开启。这次数字人民币红包有啥不同?数字人民币又有啥新探索?苏州数字人民币消费红包再次引发大众对数字人民币的好奇。

  红包10万个 数字人民币钱包开立银行增至6家

  4日晚,苏州将发放2000万元数字人民币消费红包的消息一经发布,迅速在朋友圈刷屏,其他城市的“小伙伴”直言羡慕。红包共计10万个,每个金额200元,这让不少苏州市民跃跃欲试。

  5日一大早,苏州市民顾先生就通过手机在“苏周到”App上进行了登记。“深圳发放数字人民币红包后,我就一直盼着同为试点城市的苏州赶紧推进,终于迎来了这天。”顾先生兴奋地说。

  与上次深圳数字人民币红包派发类似,参与者也需网上报名、摇号抽签,中签者可下载、注册“数字人民币App”,领取红包,并在限期内在指定商户消费。

  记者了解到,此次预约登记12月5日0时开始,6日24时结束。11日参与者就能知道自己是否中签,“幸运儿”随即可以开启“买买买”的消费体验,直到27日24时,有效期内未使用的红包将被回收。

  不过,相较上次深圳的数字人民币红包测试,此次苏州的活动又进一步拓展,数字人民币钱包的开立银行在工、农、中、建四大行基础上,又增加了交通银行和邮储银行。据介绍,这6家银行牵头的项目组已具备参与此次活动的条件,其他参研机构正在积极进行研发。

  如果没有工、农、中、建、交、邮储6家行的银行卡,可以参与此次预约活动吗?相关人士介绍,数字人民币消费红包发放到个人按照要求开立的数字人民币钱包,可直接进行消费,无需绑定银行卡。

  覆盖近万家商户 首次增加线上消费场景

  苏州发放的数字人民币消费红包都能在哪儿用?记者了解到,与“双12苏州购物节”活动相结合,此次发放的数字人民币消费红包可在苏州指定的近万家商户使用,涵盖商场超市、日用零售、餐饮消费、生活服务等类别,覆盖全市各板块核心商圈及重点商超。

  值得一提的是,此次首次推出了数字人民币的线上消费场景——中签者可通过京东商城进行线上消费。

  京东方面介绍,中签者在购买京东商城自营商品时可使用数字人民币支付。另外,收货地址在苏州市相城区的市民还可选择京东商城自营商品货到付款使用数字人民币支付,足不出户也可体验数字人民币支付。此外,活动期间,京东便利店等线下门店也能支持数字人民币支付。

  中国人民银行数字货币研究所所长穆长春介绍,不论是线下还是线上,使用数字人民币支付央行不会收取任何交易手续费,在提高支付系统效率的同时,可以极大降低交易成本。

  位于苏州市相城区的繁花中心,是此次使用数字人民币消费红包支付的线下场景之一。“从上到下,准备就绪。”江苏哥伦布商业管理股份有限公司董事长孙旭东说,繁花中心是公司旗下的购物中心,中心入驻的200多家商户均已做好受理数字人民币交易准备,商户收银人员的培训和机具升级已由银行协助完成。

  “此次红包使用场景丰富,在苏州的核心商圈均有覆盖。”苏州市地方金融监督管理局相关负责人表示,数字人民币消费红包的发放,可以让苏州市民体验更加多样、便捷的支付服务,也是刺激消费、拉动内需的创新实践。

  无网支付将亮相 部分人可体验离线钱包

  除了数字人民币红包测试,此次苏州还推出了离线钱包体验计划。“这意味着此次试点活动中,在无网环境下,客户可使用具备数字人民币离线支付功能的App,通过手机‘碰一碰’完成转账或者支付。”穆长春说。

  记者了解到,离线钱包体验指在无网或弱网条件下,用户进行交易或者转款时不连接后台系统,而是在“钱包”中验证用户身份、确认交易信息并进行支付的方式。

  此次参与预约登记的苏州市民,也可通过“苏周到”App报名参加离线钱包体验计划,而且不管是否抽中数字人民币消费红包,都有参与离线钱包体验的机会。但并非报名就能参与该计划,苏州市政府将会同运营机构,从报名者中选出部分人员进行体验,人数将控制在1000人之内。

  记者从人民银行数字货币研究所了解到,离线钱包体验活动对参与者的手机硬件有所要求,指定型号的手机终端才能参与。运营机构将指导参与者安装支持离线钱包体验版本功能的“数字人民币App”,并激活离线支付功能,在指定商户进行消费体验。

  “不论是数字人民币红包,还是离线支付我都很感兴趣,希望能顺利预约中签,在数字化的浪潮中,好好体验一把最新、最潮的支付方式。”苏州市民袁先生说。


Source : 新华网

Millions in U.S. Set to Lose Aid as Federal Programs Expire

Source : Statista

Low Rates Do Not Lead To Higher Earnings Multiples

Source : ZeroHedge

Making Sense of Sky-High Stock Prices

Robert J. Shiller, Laurence Black and Farouk Jivraj wrote . . . . . . . . .

There has been much puzzlement that the world’s stock markets haven’t collapsed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially in the United States, which has recently been setting record highs for new cases. But maybe it isn’t such a puzzle. A measure we call the Excess CAPE Yield (ECY) puts the long-term outlook for the world’s stock markets in better perspective.

Indisputably, asset markets are substantially driven by psychology and narratives. As the Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman wrote, “familiarity breeds liking,” and several familiar narratives have emerged in the world’s stock markets this year, following the initial COVID-19 shock in the first quarter. For example, there is the V-shaped recovery narrative and the FOMO (fear of missing out) narrative; both might be helping to drive markets to new highs. There is also the work-from-home narrative, which has specifically benefited technology and communication stocks.

But are these narratives the only reason why all of us have not considered just pulling our money out of stocks and putting it into safer alternatives such as bonds, or even under the mattress at home?

The cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio, which captures the ratio of the real (inflation-adjusted) share price to the ten-year average of real earnings per share, appears to forecast real long-term stock-market returns well in five influential world regions. When the CAPE ratio is high, long-term returns tend to be low over the next ten years, and vice versa. Since the COVID-19 shock, CAPE ratios have mostly recovered to their pre-pandemic levels.

For example, the US CAPE ratio in November 2020 is 33, exceeding its level prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; in fact, it is now back to the same level as the high of 33 in January 2018. There are only two other periods when the CAPE ratio in the US was above 30: the late 1920s and the early 2000s.

China’s CAPE ratio is also higher than it was prior to the pandemic. The stock markets in both regions are skewed toward the technology, communication services, and consumer discretionary sectors, all of which have benefited from the major narratives of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may partly explain their higher CAPE ratios relative to other regions.

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As for Europe and Japan, their CAPE ratios are largely back at their pre-COVID-19 levels, while only the United Kingdom is still well below its pre-pandemic level and longer-term average. Notably, these regions have lower exposure to the technology, communication services, and consumer discretionary sectors.

Market observers have noted the potential role of low interest rates in pushing up CAPE ratios. In traditional financial theory, interest rates are a key component of valuation models. When interest rates fall, the discount rate used in these models decreases and the price of the equity asset should appreciate, assuming all other model inputs stay constant. So, interest-rate cuts by central banks may be used to justify higher equity prices and CAPE ratios.

Thus, the level of interest rates is an increasingly important element to consider when valuing equities. To capture these effects and compare investments in stocks versus bonds, we developed the ECY, which considers both equity valuation and interest-rate levels. To calculate the ECY, we simply invert the CAPE ratio to get a yield and then subtract the ten-year real interest rate.

This measure is somewhat like the equity market premium and is a useful way to consider the interplay of long-term valuations and interest rates. A higher measure indicates that equities are more attractive. The ECY in the US, for example, is 4%, derived from a CAPE yield of 3% and then subtracting a ten-year real interest rate of -1.0% (adjusted using the preceding ten years’ average inflation rate of 2%).

We looked back in time for our five world regions – up to 40 years, where the data would allow – and found some striking results. The ECY is close to its highs across all regions and is at all-time highs for both the UK and Japan. The ECY for the UK is almost 10%, and around 6% for Europe and Japan. Our data for China do not go back as far, though China’s ECY is somewhat elevated, at about 5%. This indicates that, worldwide, equities are highly attractive relative to bonds right now.

The only other time ECYs were this high using our global data was in the early 1980s. That period was characterized by depressed equities with cheap valuations, high interest rates, and high inflation. CAPE ratios for the five regions were in the low teens back then, compared with levels in the twenties and thirties now. These conditions are almost the opposite of what we see today: expensive equities and exceptionally low real interest rates.

We cannot know how the COVID-19 pandemic will end, and it may well end soon with the advent of effective vaccines. But a key takeaway of the ECY indicator is that it confirms the relative attractiveness of equities, particularly given a potentially protracted period of low interest rates. It may justify the FOMO narrative and go some way toward explaining the strong investor preference for equities since March.

Eventually, down the line, bond yields may just rise, and equity valuations may also have to reset alongside yields. But, at this point, despite the risks and the high CAPE ratios, stock-market valuations may not be as absurd as some people think.


Source : Project Syndicate