Pulse: International Trade and Investment


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.

Emerging Markets on the Cusp: Part Three - Emerging Markets Debt Crisis or Resolutions??

This article is the third of a series about the challenging global environment facing Emerging Markets/Developing Countries (EM/DCs) living with the legacy of the pandemic and the Ukraine war. In this series, we want to apply the techniques of Country Risk Analysis to assess the changing risk environment, especially as it applies to a potential debt crisis.  

Emerging Markets on the Cusp: Part Two- Emerging Markets and Global Risks

This article is the second  of a series about the challenging global environment facing Emerging Markets/Developing Countries (EM/DCs) living with the legacy of the pandemic and the Ukraine war. In this series, we want to apply the techniques of Country Risk Analysis to assess the changing risk environment, especially as it applies to a potential debt crisis.  

Nicaragua: Dictatorship and Collaboration with Extra-Hemispheric U.S. Rivals

This work looks at how the Sandinista regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in Nicaragua has further clamped down on dissent and consolidated power since the rigged November 2021 Presidential elections, and how it is increasingly serving as an entry-point for expanded activity in the region by Russia, Iran, and the PRC.

Japan’s Vulnerability If There’s A New Recession

How will Japan fare if rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine send the US and Europe into a new recession? Not well, if history is any guide. It all depends on the length and depth of any recession—that is, if one even occurs. But the record shows that Japan’s economy is very susceptible to outsized reactions to economic shocks, including downturns originating elsewhere.

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