Veronica Peterson is an Investment Officer
at Charter Trust Company. In this section
you will find articles that seek to challenge
existing notions of less-featured but critically
distinct markets, economies and issues.


Simple Isn’t Stupid

By |2016-11-17T15:43:13-04:00August 25th, 2016|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

Why Finance Should Be Boring This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Understanding Investments. Every industry relies on jargon to conduct business. Internally, work is done efficiently when everyone speaks the same technical language. But no industry is an island and when your main function is as an intermediary, relying on highly specialized language has consequences. The use of complicated language may seem the best way to demonstrate your superior ability or knowledge. Too [...]

Are Emerging Markets a Substitute for Commodities?

By |2016-11-17T15:54:23-04:00March 31st, 2016|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

While emerging markets may move in sympathy with commodity prices, there is far more than just commodity exposure at play. This article first appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Understanding Investments. There is a body of thought that considers investment in emerging market equities a manner of commodity exposure. For investors who are worried about their US equity concentration, commodities, by way of futures contracts, have been put forward as a way to diversify the equity [...]

Aloha, TPP

By |2016-11-17T16:05:55-04:00November 3rd, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , |

Hello or Goodbye to the Trans Pacific Partnership? This article was first published in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Understanding Investments. On July 31, representatives of the 12 core members of the Trans Pacific Partnership met for what was supposed to be the last time in Maui. They were trying to forge a trade pact that would be the largest free trade agreement ever and would include roughly 40% of the global economy. The delegates left Hawaii [...]

Brazil’s Quagmire: Messy Conditions

By |2016-11-17T16:11:45-04:00August 18th, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

The more moving parts you add to a machine, the trickier it gets to keep the machine running, let alone functioning optimally. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president, may be reeling from trying to keep the parts in motion (some cracks self-inflicted) but her nation could be at a major transition point, for better or worse. The president’s approval rating has tanked to the mid single digits- it's been less than a year since her reelection. This Sunday, an [...]

Stir-Frying Stocks: Characterizing the Chinese Stock Market

By |2016-11-17T16:13:12-04:00July 30th, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , , |

The tepid response of the Shanghai stock market to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stimulus efforts has some American market commentators wondering out loud if this is China’s “1929”. Articles on the average investor’s unknown exposure (and destruction of US dollar wealth) to China abound. The daily charts are nasty, indeed, and on some days the negativity spread to other Asian stock markets. Despite recent drops, still up 17% for the year. But comments in [...]

Even Emperors are Dwarfed by the Environment

By |2016-11-17T16:15:02-04:00July 9th, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

Xuanzong’s Journey to Shu depicts the Tang dynasty Emperor Xuanzong retreating from his capital in Chang’an to Sichuan province during the An Lushan rebellion, ending the golden age of the Tang dynasty’s influence and wealth. The emperor’s train is hard to discern from the rising mountains and is in fact partly hidden as they make their way over hills and around bends. Xuanzong is regarded as responsible for the pinnacle of the dynasty’s power but also responsible [...]

Attending to Every Thread

By |2016-11-17T16:16:34-04:00June 24th, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , , , , , |

Adding the Yuan as an IMF reserve currency Chinese stocks have been on a tear this year. Government initiatives in the banking and currency sector indicate a strident ambition to create a healthy and sustainable economy. The domestic Chinese stock market is still the best performing in the world, even with its recent correction. Its rapid rise since last winter and the 40% premium for stocks on the mainland has many bubble-watchers hoisting the warning flags. Still, [...]

One Fish, Two Fish: Decoding the Chinese Stock Market

By |2016-11-17T16:19:31-04:00May 21st, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

A-Shares, B-Shares, Red Chips, P-Chips. Dr. Seuss would have a field day with the many types of Chinese shares. An A-Share, P-Chip and H-Share sit side by side. Every stock market is organized around some taxonomical classification. Most, as in the United States, are defined by company size as determined by its market capitalization (total market value of a company’s shares outstanding). We tend to think about the US stock market in four major categories: [...]

Age of Independence

By |2015-05-15T11:45:52-04:00May 15th, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , , , |

Diagram of Geopolitical Relationships in the Middle East. Image Source: Karl reMarks The moderated opening of Saudi Arabia’s stock market to foreign investors is a crucial step towards nurturing a diverse and self-sufficient economy. Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence tells the tale not just of 1870s New York high society but portrays the extent to which our decision to subscribe to the desires others have for us is, in fact, a choice. No one is free from [...]

Toward a Better Understanding of Emerging Markets

By |2016-11-17T16:21:10-04:00April 23rd, 2015|Categories: Contested Spaces|Tags: , , |

How Did We Come to Be? The conventional account of the current financial industry’s concern with what are referred to as the Emerging Markets begins in the Cold War at the World Bank Group. The World Bank was founded after the Second World War as an umbrella organization to “end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity” by making leveraged loans to countries ravaged by war and to countries whose poverty could be attributed to other reasons (usually [...]