30 results found.
Sykes-Picot: 100 Years Later
Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the disintegrating Ottoman Empire territories in the Middle East into British- and French-controlled areas following WWI. One hundred years after the agreement, the effects of the borders continue to reverberate as the region remains unstable. The Middle East has a rich and complex history that could fill several volumes of books. Although we will give a condensed overview of the region’s long history, we focus on the WWI time period, specifically the circumstances that led to the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
The Impeachment Proceedings of Dilma Rousseff
Brazil’s lower house recently voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff. The process now moves to the Senate, which is expected to vote in the next few weeks. For almost a year, Rousseff’s opposition has been trying to impeach her for allegedly manipulating the government budget in 2014. A Senate majority vote to impeach could remove her from power, installing her vice president, Michel Temer, as president. This week we look at the circumstances that have led to the Brazilian presidential impeachment proceedings, Brazil’s recent political history and its economic development.
Despite the EU’s founding premise that members should seek an ever closer union, the U.K. is questioning the net benefits of its membership. Following a recent increase in public opinion asking to separate from the EU, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron set a referendum on membership for June 23. Cameron supports remaining in the EU; however, several other highly visible members of the Conservative Party have stepped out in support of leaving the EU. In this week’s report, we will take a look at the main factors leading to the call for Brexit and their impact on the economy and the markets.
Italy's Banking Crisis
On January 1, the EU implemented a new bank restructuring directive. The new and stricter rules are aimed at forcing private stock, bond and deposit holders to accept losses before public funds would be used in a bank restructuring. Although all EU countries are affected, Italy remains of particular concern due to the number of distressed loans in the country. This week, we look at the overall health of Italy’s banking system as well as its nonperforming loan problem.
Political Turmoil in Portugal
Portugal held parliamentary elections in which the incumbent center-right Social Democratic Party received the most votes but fell short of an outright majority. The president tasked the party with forming a government. However, the center-left opposition party and some far-left parties have formed a coalition, together garnering a majority of votes and currently awaiting presidential approval to form a government and take control from the center-right party. This week, we look at Portugal’s current political environment, election results, change in coalition powers and path going forward.
Catalonia, a New State within Europe?
“Catalonia, a new state within Europe” is the slogan of the pro-independence movement in the Spanish region of Catalonia. The federal government has made it clear that it will not hold secession negotiations and, in fact, even holding an independence referendum is considered unconstitutional. This week, we look at the separatist movement in Catalonia, starting with a brief overview of the region’s history and politics. We explore the probability of independence, the potential future relationship between the region and the central government, and the roles of the EU and the Eurozone.
El Niño Update
Meteorologists have been calling for an El Niño event since last year. Current forecasts place the likelihood of an El Niño this winter at over 90%. Water temperatures in the Pacific, one of the first signs of a looming El Niño, have measured much higher than normal. In fact, water temperatures have been on par with the most severe El Niño event from the past 30 years. This report looks at how an El Niño develops and its possible climate, economic and geopolitical effects on the global economy. As always, we outline the potential investment implications of this event.
Cyber Security and Terrorism: Case Studies
This week we will look at two case studies of cyber attacks aimed at sovereign nations, the Estonian cyber attacks in 2007 that spanned three weeks and the multi-faceted attacks in Georgia in 2008. We will then look at the current state of international cyber attack research, readiness and cooperation. We have had the pleasure of talking to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence about their work and will communicate their vision and challenges.
An Alternative to Gandhi
India’s Prime Minister Modi recently made comments praising Veer Savarkar, Indian independence fighter and father of the Hindu nationalist radicalism movement. This week, we will look at the resurgence of the Hindu nationalist movement. We will start by briefly describing the political history of independent India, looking at Gandhi and Savarkar’s conflicting ideals. Next, we will look at contemporary politics and explore the Hindu movement and its likely forms under Modi’s rule. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications, both within India and for international markets.
Good luck, Jonathan. Good luck, Nigeria.
This week we look at the upcoming Nigerian presidential election and how the persistent threat of the Boko Haram terrorist movement has complicated the democratic process. The election promises to be a close one between the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, and a former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari. In turn, we look back at the 2011 presidential election and analyze how that election facilitated the rapid spread of Boko Haram. Exacerbating matters further, the country suffers from a deepening divide between the Christian south and the Islamic north, which we discuss in detail in this report.
Yemen: A Land with a Rich Past and a Poor Present
The country of Yemen is slowly dissolving in the midst of an ongoing civil war. The Houthi movement has aggressively secured territories in the north, while al-Qaeda has widened its activities in the south. Outside powers are watching these developments closely. Yemen’s neighbor and U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, would like to see the Houthi insurgency stopped as the group is widely viewed as a proxy for Iran. At the same time, the U.S. has been a partner to Yemen in fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but the fall of its government has left the U.S. without a formal partner.
Hungary's PM: Madman or Geopolitical Genius?
Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orban is one of the first European leaders to turn friendly toward Russia, noting that geopolitics are changing and Eastern European countries should redefine their international policies according to these changes. This report explores the differences between the rules of the geopolitical game being played by Hungary, the West and Russia. We will describe the history of Hungarys balancing act between the powers of the East and West and how this history affects its current politics. We will discuss the most likely outcomes and their international si
The Eighth Default of Argentina
Very few countries have seen as spectacular of a decline in its economic standing over the past 100 years as Argentina has. Argentina has been in the international headlines recently due to its sovereign debt default, the eighth default in the history of the country. This week we will look at Argentina, its long history of economic booms and busts, its political background, and its extensive chronicle of sovereign debt defaults. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.
Dilma or No Dilma?
During the first round of Brazilian presidential elections on October 5, the incumbent Dilma Rousseff received 42% of the votes while Aecio Neves received 34%. Since neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, the second round of runoff elections will be held on October 26. This week, we will look at the Brazilian presidential elections along with the countrys current political and economic environment. We will briefly describe the recent political history of the country and look at the specifics of Brazils economic development. As usual, we will conclude with market ra
Welcome to the World, the Country of Catalonia?
On November 9, the Catalonia region of Spain is due to hold a referendum for independence. This week, we will look at the separatist movement in Catalonia. We will start by giving a brief overview of the regions history and politics, then look at the roots of the independence movement. We will explore the probability of independence, the potential future relationship between the region and the central government, and the role of the EU and the Eurozone. As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.
Last week marked six months since the Ebola outbreak was identified in Guinea. The current Ebola epidemic is the most severe and most complex outbreak of the disease in the history of the virus. This week, we will explore the Ebola outbreak, looking at the origin of the disease and how it has spread and developed into a serious epidemic. Although it is hard to find comparable epidemics due to its complexities, we will look at other disease outbreaks in order to gain a better understanding of the scale of the current Ebola epidemic. We will finish with geopolitical and market ramifications.
The recent presidential election in Indonesia has attracted international interest as both candidates platforms included promises of import substitutions, export restrictions and retention of production processes in Indonesia. Although Indonesia holds substantial growth promise for foreign investors, the potential trade restrictions are making international companies nervous. This report discusses Indonesia, briefly describing its history, economy and political landscape. It delves into the election, promises made on the campaign trail and the implications of the results on foreign inve
On April 14, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from their school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria. Investor interest in African economies has been increasing over recent years, piquing an interest in the continents rising economic and demographic power, Nigeria. This week, we will take a look at the country of Nigeria, including its history and economy. We will then describe the evolution of the terrorist group Boko Haram and its strategic goals and leadership. We will conclude with items of importance when investing in Africa, in general, and Nigeria, specifical
In our investing process, we look across the spectrum at a multitude of possible events, their probabilities, their effects on markets and weigh them against market prices. Sometimes these discrepancies come from unexpected places. This week we will explore the ramifications of a weather event, El Nio. The soft-commodity markets (grains, sugar, coffee, cocoa and other annual crops) seem to have priced in about a 20% likelihood of an El Nio occurrence this year, while last week the Climate Prediction Center issued a 65% probability for this summer.
Best Consumed Below Zero?
In this report, we will turn our attention to Denmark to study its decision to undertake the below-zero rate, the specifics of the situation that prompted it and the effects of the negative rate on financial conditions and the broader economy. We will then briefly look at the possibility of a below-zero rate policy for the ECB and, most importantly, the geopolitical ramifications of the decision by the worlds second largest currency block to ease into unknown consequences of negative rates to stimulate the economy.
Let's Party Like it's 1978
A twice yearly meeting of the Chinese government officials, formally known as the third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, started on Saturday and will end tomorrow. Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has indicated that this session could be as consequential as the plenary session in 1978 which introduced policies that set in motion the Chinese growth engine. We are going to take a closer look at the changes from the plenary session 35 years ago, the circumstances leading up to the session and how China changed following the meeting.
India's Maoist Problem
India has fought numerous wars with outside forces in its history and has also had several internal conflicts.The most notorious civil struggle has been the conflict with Kashmir insurgents, a border conflict between India and Pakistan that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.So it generally came as a surprise when the Indian Prime Minister Manmohn Singh declared the Maoist movement in the eastern part of the country to be the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by India.
The Brazil Conundrum
The last decade has been exceptionally good for emerging markets. Never before have so many countries grown so rapidly, and at the same time. The average growth rate from 2003 to 2012 was 13.1% for emerging markets, while the long-term average stands at 5.0%. This growth rate was partly due to mean reversion after sluggish growth periods in the 80s and 90s, when the average growth rate for the group stood at 3.5%.
The 2030 Increasing Inequality Scenario
Last month we started looking at the 2030 alternative world development scenarios as laid out by the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The NIC forecasts the likely paths that are either currently underway or are forecast to occur in the future. In its most recent report, the NIC projects four possible global political and economic states based on expected trends. Last time, we presented the most likely best case scenario. This week, we will explore the third scenario, under which the world gets wealthier as a whole, but inequalities increase.
The 2030 Most Likely Best Case Scenario
Two weeks ago we started looking at the 2030 alternative world development scenarios as laid out by the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The NIC forecasts the likely paths that are either currently underway or are forecast to occur in the future. In its most recent report, the NIC projects four possible global political and economic states based on these expected trends. Last time, we presented the most likely worst case scenario. This week, we will explore the most likely best case scenario.
The 2030 Outlook
Over the next several weeks we will look into the more distant future, to the year 2030. We will explore the long-term strategic alternative world development scenarios as laid out by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) and present our views regarding the developments. The NIC forecasts the likely paths that are either currently underway or are forecast to occur in the future. The NIC projects four possible global political and economic states based on these expected trends.
Scotland: The Same, Only Better?
As the Eurozone countries are trying to find the functional balance between national sovereignty and Eurozone-wide central control on the national level, fractures are also appearing within the nation states themselves. Additionally, the Northern European countries are questioning the extent to which they should be expected to bail out the Southern countries, while the wealthier regions of the nation states reason that they would be more efficient in managing their internal fiscal budgets.
The Little Country That Could
In this geopolitical report we will take a brief look at Estonia's history, its economy after the break-up of the Soviet Union, its remarkable economic growth in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the ensuing downturn in 2008. The country stands out for choosing a different path to deal with the recession than many other European countries.
Lessons from Scandinavia
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Scandinavian nations suffered through balance sheet recessions. Commentators have suggested that U.S. policymakers could use the Scandinavian response to their crises as a roadmap for resolving the current U.S. situation. As part of our own analysis, we have studied several earlier events to understand the underlying similarities and differences to develop insights into the current event.
30 results found.