Pulse: Macro

The Capture of Money - Why People do not Trust it

Money is a near-universal social institution. It  evolved to support human cooperation and to control and coordinate the life of humankind. Like other core institutions, such as marriage and language, the forms that money takes may differ widely. The values and norms governing money’s use, and the practices associated with it, also vary widely.

For the individual, money is also a psychological symbol. Money allows each person to enjoy the fruits of others’ work. For many billions of people, obtaining money is the sole purpose of their everyday life.

China: OBOR and the Pursuit of Superpower Status

The recent removal of term limits for the presidency from the Chinese Constitution represents a further tightening of President Xi JiPing’s grip on power.  While he was not up for reelection until 2019, term limits were an obstacle to his grandiose plans for establishing China as a major economic, military and political superpower over the next few years or even decades.   While the rise of China as a global power was inevitable, it has been facilitated by the vacuum left by the rapid decline of the U.S. global position under President Trump.

Defense and Security Challenges in the Dominican Republic

I am sharing my article on security challenges in the Dominican Republic, just published (in Spanish) in Guarnicion, the journal of the armed forces of the Dominican Republic and the English-language adaptation of the article was published by the eJournal IndraStra. The full text of the English adaption of the article is listed below.

Chinese Engagement in Latin America and the US Response: "Taking Off the Gloves"

I am sharing my new editorial, just published by the news service UNIVISION.  The work examines the PRC's expanding, increasingly self-confident engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, as manifested in the recent China-CELAC summit in Santiago Chile.  The work notes China's growing pursuit of political and security engagement with the hemisphere, as well as its surprising willingness to acknowledge its intention to move the region away from its relationships with the US and other "great powers."  

The State and Cryptocurrency

Expect state government agencies and legislators to move most quickly on providing regulatory clarity on FinTech regulation in the United States. U.S. federal regulatory agencies have initiated enforcement actions against some of the most egregious cryptocurrency investment practices and are watching the industry closely.

Round-Up: 17Q4 Real GDP Growth Likely to Stay at +2.6% in Second Report; Budget Deal Approved

With the government open for business as usual this morning, book-valuewholesale inventories were reported up +0.4% in December. Including revisions, these data were in-line with BEA’s estimates in the Advance Report of 17Q4 GDP. FMI is still tracking no net change to 17Q4’s +2.6% real GDP growth in the Second Report on February 28.  

EconVue Spotlight | Is the Global Financial Crisis Finally Over?

What a week it was!  Equity markets and cryptocurrencies, both of which appeared to defy the laws of gravity, and the US dollar took a dive.  However, the story of synchronized global growth does not seem to have changed. Have we finally escaped the long dark shadow cast in 2008?  Renowned Japanese economy expert Takatoshi Ito thinks that things are changing at the Bank of Japan, the institution that invented and led the world in quantitative easing. This could be a signal of things to come in a new global monetary policy environment.

Moreno Reviving Ecuador's Participatory Democracy

I am sharing my new article on the policies and challenges of Ecuador's recently elected president Lenin Moreno, with recommendations for US policymakers.  The article emphasizes the positive steps that President Moreno has taken in reviving an inclusive, democratic discourse in his country, as well as opportunities for the US to respectfully work with him and his government, despite persistent policy differences. The article is originally published through Newsmax.