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.
From November 26 to December 2, 2018, I traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to speak at the prestigious private university, Tamkang. There I had the chance to interact with academics, officials, and students regarding Taiwan’s relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean and its associated struggle for diplomatic and existential survival.
The rout in oil markets continued in November, the markets worst month in 10 years. Oil prices West Texas Intermediate (WTI) down by 22%, to their lowest level in 13 months. In the past few months, oil markets have moved from balanced to oversupply, which sent oil prices (Brent) crashing by one-third from a high of $86/bbl at the beginning of October to under $60/bbl at the end of November.
There are numerous analyses about China and its future, as well as about Chinese engagement with Latin America. This report examines, in detail, how the growth of China, with its power and role in the global economy, is likely to transform Latin America and the Caribbean through economic, political, and other forms of engagement with the region.
Has the “new Cold War” between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America began? Pessimists argue that the tough speech on China made by US Vice-President Mike Pence at the Hudson Institute on October 4, 2018 was the dangerous sign.
The G20 leaders gathering on November 30 in Buenos are meeting at a time of rising global challenges to the global economic and financial system: slowing global growth, rising trade tensions, attacks by the Trump administration on the global financial architecture, financial markets meltdown, regional disputes among key G20 members.
I know some people abhor social media. The sector has certainly taken a beating lately in the markets, but I really love Twitter. It gives me the ability to hear the (curated) voices of people I know, don’t know, and in some cases hope I never know, but who make me think. I follow the newspapers and journals I used to have to login to separately, read other media from all around the world I didn’t even know existed, and get into impromptu conversations with real experts.
Since World War Two and the Bretton Woods agreements that established the post-war dollar-centric global financial system, the dollar has been the pre-eminent vehicle (reserve/international) currency. The dollar accounts for over 60% of global foreign exchange reserves and 80% of world trade is dollar-denominated, as are 100% of the global transactions in oil and other commodities. Moreover, the chronic U.S. external deficits have provided global markets with abundant dollar liquidity.
FMI’s commentary on the use of state & local incentives in the Amazon headquarters deals.
Amazon HQ Flawed But Still Good Deals for Winning States
When Socialist flavor-of-the-month Representative-elect Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and conservative Fox host Sean Hannity both denounce a policy as an outrage, it must be truly outrageous. Or they must both be very confused. In the case of the incentives given Amazon for its new headquarters, it is the latter.
For health systems, the day of reckoning is near. A recent Morgan Stanley report states that over 1,000 of the nation’s 5,000+ hospitals are currently weak or at risk of closing. (1) This is the beginning of a larger wave.
The pressure is top down and bottom up. Payers are unwilling to continue unadulterated fee-for-service (FFS) payment formularies. Consumers increasingly expect convenience, lower costs, better outcomes and improved customer experience.