This website presents the independent Geopolitical Research of Christian Takushi, a Swiss-Peruvian Macro Economist of Japanese descent (Nikkei), and his research network. Takushi tracks trends underestimated by consensus. This site was built at the request of decision-makers and researchers to facilitate exchange, advance research and support decision-makers with an independent perspective.
Who is Christian Takushi?
A trained Macro Economist with over 29 years of research, portfolio management & strategy experience in the global investment industry. Christian Takushi is a specialist for Asia/Emerging Markets and Geopolitics. He is a passionate Macro Economist that researches the growing impact of geopolitical forces on the Economy, focusing his research on underestimated geopolitical trends that could impact key economies and markets.
A growing number of decision makers and policy makers see Takushi as a Geopolitical Economist, and are using his insights to identify future risk events, crises and changes. In recent years Takushi has been invited to lecture/speak at distinguished institutions such as the IMD Executive MBA Program, B.I.S. Headquarters, Lausanne University HEC, the CFA Institute, the Rosey Institute, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the European Pension Forum etc.
Connecting Economics, Investments and Geopolitics
Having followed very closely the rise of Asian economies and pioneered investments into Emerging Markets more than 20 years ago, Christian has a hands-on understanding of our increasingly globalised World Economy. Although his focus is the Macro View, he has visited factories across Asia extensively, also accompanying the CEOs and chairmen of those firms for over two decades through phases of consolidation, growth and crises. He gained a perspective that few strategists get. Geopolitics, businesses and investments are closely interconnected.
Investing in several hundreds of companies, he got a formidable insight behind the scenes across industries and cultures of how successful businesses operate & evolve, but also of the externalities and impact on society, families, religion, politics and the environment. Those often overlooked externalities affect the political process and future policy. With a lifelong interest in history and geopolitics, and a commitment to independent forward-looking analysis, Takushi has been developing since his time at the Institute for Economic Empirical Research of Zurich University a Macro Analysis that includes geopolitical changes (i.e. changes in politics, demographics, religion, military, resources etc). His geopolitical research led him to develop methodologies for handling economic times series and non-numerical phenomena at global aggregate levels. Since 2007 he is monitoring what he identified as the global convergence of macroeconomic trends with geopolitical trends, which he foresees to reach a maximum intensity during 2017-2024. 2007-2015 was the 1st period of convergence. The world is in transition to a New Equilibrium and possibly a new World Order, with winners and losers.
Professional Career – 3 decades of dedication & purpose
Christian Takushi, started his career as a Macroeconomic Analyst at ZKB Research in 1989 and was invited to join Credit Suisse Group in late 1992 as Portfolio Manager. There he convinced the Private Banking unit to invest in emerging markets, developing the research & investment teams in Hong Kong and Singapore. In 1998 Christian was invited to join Swisscanto Asset Management as a Director where he continued to manage Emerging Asia and Japanese equities for 14 years with a macro approach, also shaping the Global Currency Strategy. In 2012 he was invited to join BCV Asset Management, where he overhauled and led the Strategy for Emerging Markets. In February 2015 Christian founded the geopolitical research boutique Geopolitical Economics. It provides decision makers & policy makers with strategic advise. As an Economist and Investment Specialist he has advised and accompanied decision makers, investors and corporate executives through 10 major crises over three decades. Christian advised chairmen and CEOs of many Asian firms that expanded globally. Among them some household names of today from South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia.
- ZKB is Switzerland’s largest State Bank with a AAA-rating by Standard & Poors
- Credit Suisse Group is along UBS one of Switzerland’s largest Global Banks. It is among the most respected banks in Europe and one of the World’s leading investment banks
- Swisscanto Asset Management was then Switzerland’s 3rd largest Fund Management company and 2nd largest collective Pension Manager, a leader in risk-controlled & systematic Portfolio Management
- BCV is Switzerland’s 7th largest bank – The Asset Management division has been investing in Emerging Markets since 1982 – Nearly four decades of investment track record.
Early background and interest in Economics & Geopolitics
Christian Takushi’s heritage fed his interest in geopolitics. His grandparents left Okinawa (Japan) prior to the Second World War (WW2) for South America. They fled a war-scarred nation and economic hardship, as Japan had been at war almost continually since 1904 with Russia (1904-1905), Korea (1910-1945) and China (1937-1945). Despite of their hard labor, Japanese immigrants were met in Peru with hostility – later confiscation, threats of deportation and internment. The anti-Japanese sentiment lingered there for decades after the war. Few cared that the many Okinawans had suffered under occupation since Japan invaded their island in 1609.
Japanese grandparents – Geography matters
Although the hardship his grandparents encountered shortened their lives, their decision to leave Okinawa-Japan was right as their children survived WW2. Their strategically located island, Okinawa, became in 1945 the theatre of the final and bloodiest battle of the War in the Pacific, killing almost half of the civilian population. The ferocity of the battle resulted in 234’931 dead – the staggering number of US casualties (65’000) in Okinawa played a decisive role in convincing the US High Command of the inevitability of using atomic bombs a few weeks later to end the Second World War (WW2). This, in order to avoid a much higher loss of civilian lives and up to 1’000’000 US casualties. Geography matters! Commerce-oriented Okinawans traded for centuries, but their strategic location between China, Japan and the South China Sea made them a target for invasions and occupations.
Interested in Geopolitics since the age of 9
At the age of nine, Takushi began studying the history of major conflicts. His father, Mitsuhiko Takushi, noticed the aptitude and began to foster the talent with books and tutoring. The tutoring included “out-of-the-box thinking” sessions and extended often into the night. Takushi enrolled at the Humboldt Gymnasium where he pursued the German Abitur with Advanced Levels in Natural Sciences (Physics and Mathematics). While in Peru, Takushi experienced the warm cohesion of the Nikkei community (Japanese descendants), but he also noticed that the Nikkei that had learned to forgive were able to assimilate the best. Many had done so already before Peru’s official apology in 2011*. Takushi is aware that the confluence of economic and geopolitical events forced his grandparents to leave Japan. During his own time in South America, Europe and Asia he has noticed how both forces – Geopolitics and Economics – are gathering pace and converging again.
Experiencing flawed economic policies in South America
Growing up in Peru, Takushi also witnessed a military rule, hyperinflation and a civil war unleashed by Maoist terror groups. He saw first-hand the catastrophic results of well-intentioned socialist-liberal policies, systemic corruption and lack of strategic foresight. The military was not prepared to face well-armed fanatic terror militias nor asymmetric warfare. He also saw first hand how well-meaning protectionist policies and isolation from the global financial system, rendered swathes of the economy uncompetitive – fostering informality. These experiences would shape his conservative pro-business views long before he was acquainted with the Neoclassical Theory of Marshall-Fisher and the conservative Monetarist School of Thought of Friedman-Schwartz in German-speaking Europe. Nevertheless, a complex immigration background, hard work since the age of 13 to support his studies and exposure to Western & Oriental cultures, made him a socially aware economist that values the role of compassion & grace along market discipline. An economic system that systematically benefits specific stake-holders at the expense of others (i.e. environment, broader society etc) is over the long run unstable and inefficient. Not only will economic costs (externalities) overrun the accounting profits, a growing political instability finally weighs on the economy and investments. A balanced market economy with avoidance of extremes is in the best interest of all stakeholders, including investors.
He obtained a Bachelor in Physics Laboratory Techniques (Middendorf Technical School), and later studied Macro Economics in Switzerland at the Institute of Empirical Economic Research of Zurich University (IEW). Takushi worked continually from the age of 13 to the age of 25 to self-finance his studies. In 1991 while at Zurich University he began to connect his two passions: Macroeconomics and Geopolitics. In recent years a growing number of people say that he has been shaped by destiny to help people prepare for the major geopolitical changes that could affect our world in the not too distant future, maybe just as it was in the years preceding WW2.
*) In June 2011 the Peruvian government formally apologised for the injustices committed to the Japanese immigrants and their descendants. Many Nikkei in advanced age that lived through WW2 could experience reconciliation with their new home country before passing away.