Patriot Games: New President, but United Front on Iranian Nuclear Program?

This weekend, the world welcomed the surprise victory of Hassan Rouhani, the most “moderate” of approved candidates in Iran’s presidential election. Commentators voiced optimism over potential changes in policies, amid ongoing economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, but coming changes to Iran’s foreign relations are likely overstated. Iranian elections are notoriously hard to predict, and […]

The Evolution of the ECB’s Thinking on Negative Deposit Rates

The OECD has been telling the ECB to cut rates since November last year; today, after nearly half a year, the tortise-like ECB acted, cutting two rates that don’t really matter much. The ECB opened up two more doors today, though it hasn’t walked through them: first on securitization of SME loans into ABS, and second, to lower […]

Can Portfolio Flows Play a Dual Role in Brazil in 2013?

Brazil’s current account remained relatively stable in 2012, with a deficit of around 2.4% of GDP, slightly higher than the 2011 deficit of 2.1% of GDP. The CAD was fully funded by FDI, which summed US$68 billion (3% of GDP), while portfolio flows remained anemic at 0.4% of GDP. These dynamics prevailed throughout 2012, so […]

The Rich Got $17 Trillion Richer

Despite the many negative headlines, 2012 was a good year for markets. Listed below is a rough snapshot of total returns in USD – most asset classes returned double-digits. 2012 was a year to look through pessimism – how did your PA do? I would estimate that Global Financial Wealth rose by $17,500,000,000,000 to $162 trillion (I ignore […]

What to Watch in 2013: Eastern Europe/CIS edition

The following inexhaustive list is a companion to last week’s post on things to watch in MENA and our recently published outlooks. In general our regional outlook, like our global one, has become brighter on the margins but emphasizes the divergence in growth across the region and across emerging and frontier markets. We’ll be treating […]

What to Watch for 2013: MENA Edition

2012 has been quite another rollercoaster year for the Middle East, including rocky transitions, flareups and protracted conflict. Meanwhile the region finally started benefitting from the lagged effect of higher oil prices. 2013 will no doubt bring more of the same, particularly as populations and leaders struggle to begin responding to economic grievances. Clockwise from […]

QE3: Buoying the GCC

The Economonitor’s QE3 week is perfect timing as we’ve been thinking a lot about the effects of the latest bouts of global monetary stimulus on the Middle East and North Africa – as summarized in part of our omnibus MENA quarterly presentation. We argue there that even though EMs and to a lesser extent frontier […]

Spain Following in Ireland’s Footsteps

Watching developments in Spain since the beginning of April has been source of non-stop déjà vu for anyone who spent 2010 watching events unfold in Ireland. There are a number of striking similarities between the position in which the Spanish government now finds itself and the Irish government’s situation in November 2010, just before it […]

India and the U.S.: A Tale of Two Ineffective Monetary Policies

Monetary policy refers to the process by which a country’s central bank controls money supply, often through the manipulation of interest rates, with the aim of promoting economic growth and stability while maintaining relatively stable prices and low unemployment. Monetary policy is either expansionary (mainly by lowering interest rates to combat a recession or a […]

Is the Tandem One Animal or Two? Medvedev vs. Putin on the Record of Reform

There’s a lot of talk lately about which member of the Tandem will run for president in 2012.  Most foreigners are hoping it will be Medvedev, the smiling, twittering “modernizer” who’s been talking up a storm about improving Russia’s investment climate, and many commentators think the uncertainty is affecting the decisions of international firms and […]