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The Exorbitant Burden and The Scariest Graph in The World
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 17 Oct 2014
Last year I presented in this newsletter what I called “the scariest graph in the world”. It showed how some EU policymakers were expecting Europe to rebalance demand. The graph showed Europe’s current account surplus surging to 2-6% of Europe’s GDP. In the newsletter I argued that this “solution...

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When Lawyers Rule
COLOMBIA - Report 17 Oct 2014
Executive SummaryLawyers have dominated the Colombian landscape since independence from Spain. They explain a substantial portion of Colombian relative institutional stability; they currently want to re-established equilibrium between branches of government power, i.e. judiciary, legislative and ...

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Spending Less, to Pay More Debt
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Report 17 Oct 2014
Executive Summary The proposed federal budget for 2015 is more restrictive than last year’s: though spending would rise 2.9%, primary spending is projected to fall, both in real and GDP terms, as the government aims to slice the non-financial public sector deficit, cut public investment spending ...

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Turkey and ISIS: There is No Light at the End of this Tunnel
TURKEY - Report 16 Oct 2014
Executive SummaryThe sudden jihad war declared by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, countered by the increasing resolve of major Western powers to destroy it, presents the AKP government with the thorniest challenges of its 11 year administration. Since the Turkey-ISIS relationship is highly complex, the S...

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Challenging Partnerships
PHILIPPINES - Report 16 Oct 2014
Executive SummaryAfter a false start in 2010, the Aquino administration’s flagship PPP program has finally roared to life. Several large projects have been auctioned off under seemingly competitive conditions which, contrary to model forecasts, yielded substantial revenues for government. Moreove...

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Brazil Presidential Election
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 15 Oct 2014
A Balanced Debate on TV Bandeirantes The TV Bandeirantes debate conducted yesterday, October 14, ahead of the second round presidential election, was balanced.Dilma Rousseff (PT) was able to put Aécio Neves (PSDB) on the defensive at times, by bringing up controversial issues tied to his time as ...

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Education, Labor Reforms Fall Short
MEXICO - Report 14 Oct 2014
Executive Summary Among the many reforms that were adopted in the past 18 months two are of special importance to the future of education and the labor market in Mexico.But the reform designed to improve the quality of public education and the reform intended to create more flexible labor markets...

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Iguala, No Security Strategy in Sight
MEXICO - Report 14 Oct 2014
Executive Summary Evidence continues to grow that the September 26 attack on students from a rural teachers’ college in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, was carried out by municipal police in coordination with organized crime.The initial toll includes six people killed, three of whom were students a...

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Brazil Presidential Election
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 14 Oct 2014
Vox Populi confirms tie between Dilma and Aécio The Vox Populi poll released Monday evening, October 13, by TV Record confirms the technical tie between Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Aécio Neves (PSDB), similar to the Datafolha and Ibope polls last week.The difference is that in the Vox Populi poll, Di...

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Political Insights: Week of October 14
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 14 Oct 2014
This week, two presidential debates between Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Aécio Neves (PSDB) will take place: the first will air on Tuesday, October 14, on TV Bandeirantes and the second on Thursday, October 16 on SBT.Three new polls will be released, but none will include the impact of the debates on ...

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Ankara’s twin crisis: Pentagon request rebuffed, PKK returns to insurgency
TURKEY - In Brief 13 Oct 2014
Painful cluster headaches held me back from contributing to the Weekly Tracker hence I’m issuing this brief note on two recent developments in lieu of an apology. On Tuesday, I'll address a conference call through GlobalSourcePartners to articulate my longer-term views and predictions on how the ...

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Long election season ends with Fidesz-KDNP's victory at the nationwide local elections yesterday
HUNGARY - In Brief 13 Oct 2014
Fact: The governing Fidesz-KDNP won nationwide local elections with a convincing margin yesterday. This vote was a mirror image of the parliamentary election in April, in so far as in both cases, Fidesz-KDNP's results were moderately worse than four years ago, but only compared to their very stro...

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The Brazilian Economy at a Crossroads
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 13 Oct 2014
Executive Summary The new government, whichever candidate wins the presidential runoff, will have to face at least four challenges: a) renewed growth; b) fiscal control; c) reduction of the current account deficit, allowing the real to depreciate; and d) control of inflation. Achieving all the...

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Brazil in the Global Context: IMF View in the Most Recent WEO
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 13 Oct 2014
Last week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published the most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook, with revised forecasts for economic growth of various countries (Table 1). World GDP should expand by 3.3% in 2014 (a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point), with growth of 1.8% in...

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Weekly Tracker: October 12-18
TURKEY - Report 12 Oct 2014
Executive Summary In this Economics-only Tracker, we review our take on the government’s new Medium Term Program, including a correction of an oversight on our part. We also touch upon the recent comments from the Fitch and the IMF.The former kept Turkey’s sovereign rating at investment grade, wh...