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Lava Jato Investigation
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 25 Nov 2015
The arrest of Senator Delcídio Amaral (PT-MS), situation leader (Dilma alley) in the Senate, has placed President Dilma and company back into the focus of Operation Lava Jato (Car Wash). Previously, President Dilma and her alleys had managed to shift the focus of the investigation on to Congress....

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A rare kind of MNB statement on the forint's exchange rate
HUNGARY - In Brief 25 Nov 2015
'We need a forint exchange rate, by which the 3% inflation target can be reached on the forecast horizon." This came from a high-ranking staff member of the MNB, Mr. Barnabás Virág, executive director, talking to Reuters earlier today. He added that Hungary's inflationary and growth outlook are b...

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Tough and Thrilling Times
PERU - Report 25 Nov 2015
More than 20 political parties have jumped into the April 10th presidential race, though only about 10 candidates are likely to emerge, after parties forge alliances. We expect the final slate to be unveiled by mid-January, when some alliances might also be revealed. All polls show Keiko Fujim...

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Hack of a Day: First Impressions
TURKEY - In Brief 24 Nov 2015
Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet Bottom Line: Very worrisome news, but further escalation or military conflict is not a foregone conclusion… A much-feared development -- because various parties (Russia, U.S., Turkey, etc.) have been operating so close to each other over the Syrian territory --...

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A Recession Near-Miss for the South African Economy
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 24 Nov 2015
On a quarter-on-quarter (q/q) seasonally adjusted annualized basis, growth during Q3 2015 was a paltry 0.7%. Quarter-on-quarter GDP contracted by 1.3% in Q2 2015, and this means that the South African economy managed to escape a recession during Q3 2015, albeit marginally. A recession by South Af...

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Medina at His Worst Time
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Forecast 23 Nov 2015
There is little doubt that Danilo Medina and his government are at their worst moment. The charm surrounding the figure of the President has been fading, and although no recent data is available from credible polls, it is very likely that his popularity has diminished. A series of events have ...

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Week of November 23
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 23 Nov 2015
The analysis of the case against Eduardo Cunha in the Ethics Council is one of the main topics on the agenda in the House. The PPS will go to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) to ask for Cunha’s removal. The government will try to vote on changes to the 2015 fiscal target in Congress, but before th...

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Inflation and Recession: The Central Bank Dilemma is Getting Worse
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 23 Nov 2015
The IPCA-15 for November rose 0.85%, taking the 12-month inflation rate to 10.28%. Part of this movement is due to administered prices (Graph 1), but along with the pressure exerted by service prices, the influence is also being felt of the weaker exchange rate, which has depreciated 40% since th...

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Game changer?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 23 Nov 2015
After hemming and hawing for months, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte finally announced over the weekend that he will run for the presidency. Surprisingly, he cited the favorable ruling of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on the issue of Senator Grace Poe's citizenship as the reason for his decision. The...

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​Alea iacta est: Macri President
ARGENTINA - In Brief 22 Nov 2015
With 98.4% of the total votes counted, at the moment of writing these lines, and with Macri obtaining a 2.9% lead over Scioli, there is no doubt left that Mauricio Macri will become, on December 11th, Argentina’s new president. This represents an important change in the political ideology of the ...

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Weekly Tracker: November 22-28
TURKEY - Report 22 Nov 2015
The cabinet announcement has been delayed to early this week, reportedly because of President Erdogan’s busy schedule, but some differences of views -- between Davutoglu and Erdogan – seem to be playing a role as well. On the most market-sensitive issue of Mr. Ali Babacan’s role in the new cabine...

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Benchmark Interest Rate Rises for the Second Time in 2015
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 19 Nov 2015
The South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to increase the country’s benchmark interest rate – the repo rate – from 6.0% to 6.25% at its November 2015 meeting. Four of the six members voted for an increase. Today was the second time the MPC increased the repo ra...

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General government budget was indeed almost balanced in Q1-Q3
HUNGARY - In Brief 19 Nov 2015
Earlier this week, we said in our November report that based on cash budget data, the central government budget must have been roughly balanced in ESA2010 terms in January-October, implying much tighter fiscal policy so far this year than required by the 2.4% of GDP annual deficit target. Since t...

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Economics: No Foreseeable Lid on the Debt
MEXICO - Report 19 Nov 2015
Now that the lower chamber of Congress has approved next year’s revenue and spending budgets it is time to take a look at how the public debt and budget deficit are likely to evolve in the coming years. The risks may prove considerable at a time of depressed petroleum revenues and rising debt cos...

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Politics: Cannabis Left In Legal Limbo
MEXICO - Report 18 Nov 2015
Early this month Mexico’s highest court took an initial and decisive step toward ending the ban on the production and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes by upholding the rights of four plaintiffs to produce it for their own consumption. This decision does not constitute what in com...