The Vexing Subject of Decoupling
Several months ago the situation was crystal clear — there was no decoupling, and, as soon as the United States sneezed, the rest of the world, including fast-growing Asian countries, caught the flu. The markets moved in lockstep, and there was no escape for investors. The proponents of this novel theory had to admit defeat, and there was no more talk in the press about decoupling. As the U.S. consumer retreated, Asian economies heavily dependent on exports were not expected to survive.
Now that the dust has almost settled, the situation with regard to decoupling is not as clear as it once was, and there are some signs that this theory may be revived again. It is too early to make any conclusions, but as the markets started recovering, some news appeared in the press that may be greeted by the decoupling theory crowd with enthusiasm. I would like to point to some of the most significant news items that may signify the beginning of a new trend.
First of all,