Displaying items by tag: protests
For the better part of a decade now, major socio-political disruptions never seem to rattle markets. Think back to Occupy Wall Street, the events in Hong Kong over the last year, or the protests in the US over the last week. The question is why? The main reason is that historically speaking—think the entire 1960s and up through the 1992 riots—markets and the economy were never particularly affected by social unrest in the months following big social disruptions/protest.
FINSUM: Essentially the argument here is that there is no precedent for needing to worry about social unrest. That approach only makes sense until protests do cause a big problem.
It might seem a bit of an over-exaggeration at this moment, but it is not too far-fetched. Hong Kong is continuing to devolve into ever more violent and disruptive protesting, and the pictures and developments seem to indicate that the situation might be devolving into a kind of disorganized civil war. Protesters have taken siege of the university in the city and the City’s security forces attempted unsuccessfully to forcefully take it back this morning.
FINSUM: What is the mainland going to do here? Things are getting worse and worse.
Hong Kong police have warned that the city is on the brink of collapse. A police shooting of a protester on Monday has sparked a huge wave of renewed protests that have blocked roadways and caused chaos. “Over the past two days, our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown as rioters went on a rampage”. The protests have turned increasingly violent in recent days as 128 were hospitalized with injuries on Monday.
FINSUM: This has no end in sight, and with tension increasing, so too are the odds that it somehow becomes wrapped up in the US-China trade war.
Beijing is making a big change at the very top of Hong Kong’s leadership. Xi Jinping is said to be drawing up a plan to replace Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam with an interim chief. Beijing has been critical of Lam’s handling of the Hong Kong protests. Lam reportedly already offered to resign, but Beijing made her stay. Evidently, Beijing is now concerned about any timing of the move to replace her as they don’t want to further inflame the situation.
FINSUM: Beijing wants to replace her because of mismanagement, but they do not want to be seen to cave into the violence of protesters. Big pickle.
Hong Kong has erupted into full scale riots with over 1m people taking to the streets. Protesters are angry over a new measure that would allow mainland China to extradite accused criminals from Hong Kong to their courts, a measure which many in Hong Kong say is a clear violation of China’s agreement to leave Hong Kong’s freedoms in place for 50 years. The US has condemned the measure in serious terms, but the reality is that Hong Kong’s fate, and the US’ protection of the city-state, may become a pawn in the trade war, with the US government using it as an element to help it get a better deal.
FINSUM: This seems like one more way for Beijing to exert control on Hong Kong, and we dislike it as much as the protesters on the street. There has been a furious international backlash to the proposal, but it remains to be seen how it may impact the trade war. One more thing we think is important to note: there are 85,000 Americans living in Hong Kong.