The Year of the Dictators

The global economy ends 2017 and enters 2018 in apparent good health.  The odds are that world GDP growth, measured at market exchange rates, will continue at a year-over-year rate of nearly 3%.  The main economic risks to this scenario—primarily the deflation of asset bubbles in the US or a debt crisis in China’s corporate sector—seem unlikely.  More worrisome are geopolitical trends.  

The Year in FinTech 2017 to 2018

It's that time of year: review and predict. Here are 18 links of 2017 trends and 2018 predictions to ponder over the New Year holiday.

2017 in Review

2018 Global Outlook


Brazil: Between Cooperation and Deterrence

I am sharing my article on Brazil’s security challenges, and the case for strengthened U.S.-Brazil cooperation, based on my recent trip to the Brazilian Army's Strategic Studies Center (CEEEx) in Brasilia.  The article is originally published at the Global Americans.

Note: The title was inspired by the PhD thesis of LTC Oscar Medeiros Filho of the Brazilian Army Strategic Studies Center, and used with his permission.

ICOs and BTC

Well, what else?

There is other FinTech news in banking and payments, but capital markets got most of the FinTech attention in the last week.

Even my favorite noncrypto FinTech story ended with a crypto note. Nearly 200 people attended the initial meeting of Chicago's FinTech Women (FTW), "The Future of FinTech is Female."

Whither the US in 2018? US and the Americas and Globally

We conclude 2017, clinging tightly to a still uncertain confidence that job expansion and strong consumer spending can somehow continue, that advancing gains in the capital markets will persist and the promise of global growth engines in China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, is realistic. Growth projections are now pushing north of three percent – and yet there is an uneasy undertow to such an outlook for investors. 

Lexington, Concord and Medicaid Drug Formularies: Massachusetts Fires Another “Shot Heard Round the World”

On the 19th of April in 1775, a ragtag Massachusetts militia confronted the mighty British army in search of Colonial munitions and rebellion leaders. The Battle of Lexington and Concord marked the first military engagement between American revolutionaries and their British colonizers. The Americans carried the day and began their long arduous march toward independence.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson captured the battle’s mythical meaning to American patriots at the July 4, 1837 dedication ceremony for the Battle of Concord memorial. In his “Concord Hymn” Emerson wrote:

EconVue Spotlight

All eyes are on Chicago this week. On Sunday, the CBOE launched bitcoin futures trading, and all bets are off in terms of what to expect in terms of pricing and volatility. If you would like to follow the action, here is a link to the CBOE site. The CME is launching a similar product next week. 

US Commitment to Latin America Can Foster Regional Stability

Last week, Venezuela’s government threatened that if the U.S. did not withdraw its economic sanctions, it might call off the 2018 presidential election. Although such a grossly unconstitutional act would prolong the suffering of the Venezuelan people, it could ironically help limit a turn to the left in Latin America as the region faces one the largest and most significant series of electoral events in recent years.