Pulse: International Trade and Investment
“For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived, and dishonest—but the myth— persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F. Kennedy, Yale University Commencement Address June 11, 1962
As the crisis in Venezuela has deepened over the past week, a mysterious transformation has occurred. What started out as U.S. diplomatic support for the new, constitutionally legitimate government of Juan Guaidó has come to be treated in the international media as a possible U.S. military intervention.
The biggest economic conference of the season, the World Economic Forum, has just wrapped up in Davos. Most of the sessions are now available as they happen, and with the snow piled high here in Chicago, watching them online almost seemed like being there. I’ve included links to some of the best discussions and interviews you might enjoy on this even colder weekend.
I am sharing my new work on the struggle between the de facto government of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela, and the National Assembly, just recognized by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the country's legitimate (de jure) government.
This report originally appeared at CSIS' Web site.
President Xi will not attend the World Economic Forum’s bash in Davos this year. Two years ago, Xi presented his globalist views as the counterpart to the newly elected President Trump’s populist/protectionist rhetoric. This year, China will be represented by Vice President Wang QiShan, who is expected to face a tougher crowd. In the past year, President Xi and the Chinese leadership have faced new challenges despite an unprecedented consolidation of power since the end of the Maoist era.
I am sharing with you my new article examining trends and challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean as we begin 2019. The work focuses on the reinforcing effects of the fragmentation and other changes in the criminal groups across the region, the advance of the PRC, and deepening political crises in Guyana, Venezuela, Honduras, and Guatemala. The article also highlights significant developments and challenges in Mexico and Colombia as countries of concern.
I normally feel after reading, reviewing, and discussing the events of the previous week that I’m able to discern a direction or constructive theme. Today however, every corner of the world seems mired in some degree of turmoil, and markets are reacting. There is so much noise that it is difficult to decide what is causing this new volatility. Is it China, the Fed, the Mueller investigation, Yellow Jackets, or technology run amuck?
Forecasts for 2019 are now coalescing. The typical view is that the first half of the year will be more difficult for the world economy than 2017 and 2018, with beneath-trend growth likely. As has been anticipated in these notes for some time, the Eurozone is the focus of concern. Not only will the European Central Bank end its asset purchases next year, but warnings are being given to the weakest banks – the banks that cannot easily fund their assets from market sources – that the ECB’s long-term loan facilities to them may not be extended in mid-2020.