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President Santos Will Seek a 2nd Term
COLOMBIA - In Brief 20 Nov 2013 2 responses
In a national TV broadcast, Juan Manuel Santos announced his intention to be reelected as Colombia's President next year.His reasons to run again: the need to continue fighting the war on poverty, improving security, increasing overall quality of life and achieving peace.He has yet to announce wh...

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Some Thoughts on Today's CBT Meeting
TURKEY - In Brief 20 Nov 2013
I have attended the CBT’s regular monthly meeting with economists today.  The key message is that the Bank is trying to simplify and normalize monetary policy.  First, they seem to have realised that, as far as inflation dynamics go, they have run out of excuses, with core and service inflation b...

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Blowing Hot and Cold at the Same Time: Moreno Resigned, Kicillof Economic Minister
ARGENTINA - Report 20 Nov 2013
As we mentioned in our market brief of October 28[1], there were rumors that Hernán Lorenzino would step down as Economic Minister and be replaced by Vice Minister Axel Kicillof. The rumors speculated that the change would be announced once Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returned from her medical...

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New Taxes to Weigh on Economy
MEXICO - Report 20 Nov 2013
Executive Summary Last week the Chamber of Deputies passed the Federal Spending Budget (FSB) for 2014. It authorizes 8.47 trillion pesos in spending, a real term 8.8% increase over the 2013 spending budget.According to the Ministry of Finance (SHCP), the budget favors investment expenditure over ...

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Shortchanging Public Security
MEXICO - Report 20 Nov 2013
Executive Summary President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration has been roundly criticized for the slow pace with which it has defined some key strategies and programs and has gotten the basic machinery of government up and running since taking office last December. This lethargy has been striki...

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Banning Pork
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 20 Nov 2013
Voting unanimously, the Supreme Court yesterday found the Priority Develpment Assistance Fund (PDAF), i.e., the lawmakers' pork barrel funds, unconstitutional, ordering some P14.5 billion remaining in the fund to be returned to the Treasury. On the whole, we think that this outcome is favorable t...

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The Rumor has been Confirmed: Kicillof is Economic Minister
ARGENTINA - In Brief 19 Nov 2013
As we mentioned in our market brief on October the 28th, after the mid-term elections, there have been rumors that that Hernán Lorenzino would be stepping down as Economic Minister and being replaced by Vice Minister Axel Kicillof. The rumors were that such change would be announced once Cristina...

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A Very Small Step in the Right Direction
TURKEY - Report 19 Nov 2013
Today, the CBT/MPC kept all policy rates (weekly repo and O/N corridor) unchanged as expected, but said the following, which was the critical sentence of the statement: "In order to contain the impact of these developments on the pricing behavior, the Committee decided to strengthen the cautious ...

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Ibope Poll: Dilma Widens Lead, But Majority Wants Change
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 19 Nov 2013
Ibope released a new poll on the 2014 presidential race, conducted from November 7-11. Four possible scenarios were polled. In every scenario, Dilma Rousseff (PT) has a strong lead over her possible adversaries. In the first scenario, presented in Table 1, President Dilma widened her lead over he...

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A Very Small Step in the Right Direction
TURKEY - In Brief 19 Nov 2013
Today, the CBT/MPC kept all policy rates (weekly repo and O/N corridor) unchanged as expected, but said the following: "In order to contain the impact of these developments on the pricing behavior, the Committee decided to strengthen the cautious stance and reduce the volatility of short term mon...

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Political Cycles: 2010 and 2014
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 18 Nov 2013
Election years are usually accompanied by political cycles: governments abandon fiscal and monetary austerity in search of ways to stimulate aggregate demand and reduce unemployment. The overall aim is to boost the popularity of the candidate supported by the party in power. This happened in Braz...

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Untimely Facelift
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Nov 2013
Executive SummaryTrade data revisions and the South African Reserve Bank’s new asset allocation strategy are the latest facelift features of the South African economic landscape. On close inspection, it seems the timing of these measures is reactive. Policymaking has shifted into firefighting gea...

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Political Insights: Week of November 18
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 18 Nov 2013
President Dilma Rousseff begins the week trying to impede the voting on bills with fiscal impact.On Monday, she meets with senators and, on Tuesday, with her Political Council. In the House, we highlight the vote on the Internet Framework Law. Congress will try to vote on the LDO and the bill tha...

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Presidential Election: We Have a Second Round
CHILE - In Brief 17 Nov 2013
Michelle Bachelet obtained a solid 47% of the votes this Sunday in the Presidential election. But this result is not enough to be elected president. She needed 50% (plus one) of the votes. In the second round, Bachelet will face Evelyn Matthei who obtained 25% of the preferences. Marco Enriquez c...

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Weekly Tracker: November 17-23
TURKEY - Report 17 Nov 2013
Executive Summary Rojava Kurds declared “autonomy”, an act that will change the progress of the Syrian war and Turkey’s own Peace Process. As the line of first defense, PM Erdogan invited Iraqi Kurdish leader Mr. Barzani to Diyarbakir to sponsor his party and the Peace Process. There are rumors t...