Pulse: International Trade and Investment

Macroeconomic Color: Indonesian Elections

One of Asia’s most consequential countries went to the polls in the past two weeks, as Indonesia held presidential, parliamentary and local elections on February 15th.  Indonesia is the largest and second largest Moslem country I the world, and the third largest democracy globally. 


This is the second in a series of articles about global financial developments analyzing the changing Global Financial Architecture in the age of confrontation between the West and the Global South.  In the first article, we presented the  presents the background of the emergence of challenges to the Western-dominated Global Financial Architecture.  This article focuses on he BRICS

The China Report February 6, 2023 #3 - High Anxiety

This weekend I expected to be writing about the results of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s trip to China and prospects for the reopening of China’s post-Covid economy. Instead, Americans have been mesmerized by the week-long journey of a Chinese balloon, and I have been bombarded with questions about what it means. A symbol of both China’s rise and presence in the US, a white balloon galvanized the media in a way that a diplomatic visit would never have equaled.

A Dollar Reprieve

The dollar has reversed its seemingly inexorable rise, with the weighted average dollar index falling from its 10-year high at the end of September. While it is too early to detect a trend, this development, alongside a softening of interest rates, is a welcome reprieve for emerging markets and low-income countries.

Disentangling the Crypto Crash of 2022

A reckoning in the digital asset industry that started in June after the collapse of improperly collateralized investment assets gained new urgency in November. Following the professional and possibly legal improprieties that led to bankruptcy and chaos at the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, the industry is regrouping and putting distance between legitimate market participants and the grifters.

Bali and Cairo: A Challenging Set of Global issues Meets the Climate Emergency

The Bali Summit is occurring at a time of intensifying challenges facing the global economy.

Global Manufacturing: The Canary in the Coal Mine

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is a forward-looking indicator based on monthly surveys of purchasing managers. As a “Diffusion Index”, values above 50 indicate expansion relative to the previous month, and below 50, contraction relative to the previous month.  As such, it is a key piece of the economic puzzle. There are several PMI indices: manufacturing, services and composite.  In this piece, the focus is on PMI Manufacturing

Toward a Strategy for Responding to the PRC in Latin America

The work argues that the problem is not the “lack of a strategy,” but ensuring that the strategies that we apply are appropriate, adequately resourced and coordinated, and the tools we use are up to the task. In addition to concisely stating the nature of the risks to the US and the region arising from some dimensions of PRC engagement, the recommendations advanced by the work include: (1) holding the line for Western corporations, strategic technologies and liberal institutions, (2) helping our partners to strengthen their institutions to get a better deal from their work with the PRC and other actors; (3) fixing, rightsizing and better coordinating our institutional tools for competing, (4) improving our data supported messaging, and (5) advancing clear new strategic concepts for the military as part of a whole of government response, coordinate with our likeminded allies.

The IMF View: Broad Slowdown-or Does Everyone Hate the Fed?

The global economic horizon has darkened considerably in the past few weeks. Published at the outset of the annual IMF/World Bank October 2022 meetings, the IMF reports that it expects global economic growth to slow down from 6% in 2021 to 3.1% this year, and 2.7% next year. Of the three largest economies, the United States and the European Union may be heading to recession, while China’s economy is close to being flat.  This bleak economic picture is occurring as policymaking in major countries is in disarray.