viernes, 28 de abril de 2017

2017/04/25 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review (GEAB special)

Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin The Summary
GEAB 114 - The edition of April is now available!
Global Systemic Crisis 2017-2021 – A phase of chaotic recomposition of the World: national re-landing, crash or rebound?
This expression “chaotic recomposition” seems best to summarise the phase where we currently are with regards to the development of the crisis, a step indicated here as extending over four years and which will include distinct progression phases. It is quite clear that efforts to reorganise the world on a transnational logic have all failed in this first half of 2017: . The inter-or supranational system built in the 20th century (UN, IMF, WB, NATO, etc.) failed to adapt and to oversee the new multipolar geopolitical configuration of the beginning of the 21st century. It is now in full slump, in all its forms, regions included (EU, Mercosur...
(Read the public announcement for free)
Other chapters of this article:
-Stylistic exercise: what might the Middle East look like in 2021?
-Latin America: the end of the Bolivarian left wings
-European Union / United Kingdom: same challenge of union reinvention
-French elections: everything changes!
Euro governance / Horizon 2020: The inevitable evolution of the ECB’s unique mandate
The financial crisis followed by the debt crisis has led to a substantial change in the mandate of the European Central Bank (ECB) and to more political provisions. The ECB has acquired implicit mandates to safeguard the euro but also an economic policy which all go far beyond the original objective of price stability. The current ambiguity can not last and the enlargement of the mandate could be one of the great European debates of the early 2020s…
(Read more in the GEAB 114 / Subscribe)
Other chapters of this article:
-The successful decade of the original mandate
-A new mandate: guaranteeing the existence of the euro zone
-The ECB, the manager of the economic policy of the euro area
-A rigid and obsolete institutional framework
-A desire for non action
-The key to the mandate change -Real risks of non-action
-The emergence of conditions for change
2017-2020 / Euro crisis: A compromise solution for a non-democratic Euroland
In the GEAB no 109 of November 2016 we wondered if “the euro would survive beyond the year 2017”. Five months later, we wish to deepen and complete our analysis. One reason for the weakness of the euro comes from the political anaemia of the euro zone, which is ultimately far too un-integrated to afford a single currency, or (the other side of the coin, if we may say it this way) afford misconceptions around this single currency for a heterogeneous zone…
(Read more in the GEAB 114 / Subscribe)
Other chapters of this article:
-Euro currency: design problems
-Why the euro will survive
-A reform to get everyone around the table to agree
-2017-2020, the window of opportunities
Investments, trends and recommendations : Oil: proud of our nose!
We go back to our last month recommendation on oil. As a reminder, last 14-15 March, oil prices plunged at the announcement of a flood of oil from American shale, drowning efforts to reduce production of OPEC and its partners, and putting into perspective a Saudi stop to the agreement. Our recommendation was to warn you against these announcements, drawing your attention to unimpressive shale production charts and, above all, to an increase in Saudi production, in fact linked to an increase in inventories, which is what suggested the fear of tensions, and hence a short-term recovery in prices...
(Read more in the GEAB 114 / Subscribe)

domingo, 9 de abril de 2017

2017-04-05 Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

European Real Estate: Caution Here and there we may read some optimistic analyses on the European property market, saying either that the "revival" is here, that the sector is in good health, and so on. We are less enthusiastic and suggest the utmost caution in this regard, although the outlook is not uniformly and entirely gloomy. The perspectives are very uncertain this year, so the utmost caution is required. Many shocks are expected (elections in Europe, economic and geopolitical turmoil, etc.), but, as we have seen with the unexpected rise in the financial markets following the election of Trump or further with the Brexit affair... (GEAB No 112 / Subscribe)

A fairy tale for good Europeans
The “pro-European candidate” has won Serbia’s presidential election, Western media are happy to report. Aleksandar Vucic’s image affords him a hasty stamp of approval, writes DW’s Dragoslav Dedovic. Why does Aleksandar Vucic (seen above) strike many political observers as a moderate despite his authoritarian tendencies? The general political climate is foremost to blame. With London and Washington giving the EU a cold shoulder, any EU fan is warmly welcomed – including from Belgrade... (Deutsche Welle)

Uber: Goodbye Denmark, but not farewell Ride-sharing service
Uber has announced that it will shut down activities in Denmark in protest over a new law introducing the same requirements for Uber as for other taxi services. The Uber app will be defunct from 18 April, Uber’s spokesman in Denmark, Kristian Agerbo, said at a press conference in Copenhagen on Tuesday (28 March)... (EUObserver)

The Florida summit could be a ‘game-changer’ for US and China United States President Donald

Trump has done a fine job lowering expectations for his April 6 to 7 summit with China’s President Xi Jinping, tweeting that the meeting “with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses”. Investors might wish to take that downbeat assessment with a large pinch of salt... (SCMP)

Forget Article 50 – it’s Article 127 that may prove a sticking point On Wednesday 29 March,

Article 50 – the formal process for leaving the European Union (EU) – will be triggered. It is a historic moment which kick starts the two-year-process for divorcing the bloc. However triggering Article 50 doesn’t necessarily take the UK out of the EEA – the European Economic Area (EEA). This may be a problem – it could anger some Brexiteers who think Britain will still be a member of the EU in all but name... (Inews)

Bank runs and Frexit: French lenders prepare for Le Pen surprises From bank runs to credit crunches, regulators and investors are asking French banks about their preparations for any market ructions that might be caused by Marine Le Pen faring better than expected in the presidential election, banking sources said. Far-right leader Le Pen has said that if she becomes president she would call a referendum on ditching the euro, dubbed "Frexit"... (Reuters)

Brexit Bulletin: Lessons From Gibraltar
Gibraltar spat underlines resistance at home, while a poll shows Brits don’t want to pay the divorce bill. Prime Minister Theresa May laughed off suggestions of war over Gibraltar and pledged “jaw-jaw” instead. But the spat over “the Rock,” which is likely to remain unresolved throughout Brexit talks, reveals the pressure she is under at home to resist making concessions... (Bloomberg)

Is the Hang Seng Index’s blue dye a blessing or a curse?
Being chosen as a Hang Seng Index (HSI) component stock, or being “dyed blue” as the local saying goes, might reasonably be considered a blessing for the share price of the chosen one, because passively managed funds that track the blue chip index have to add the stock to their holdings. The data shows quite the opposite. An analysis of stock performance over the past seven years shows that 12 of the 15 “dyed blue” stocks declined three months after joining the Hang Seng index, while 60 per cent still haven’t recovered to this day... (SCMP

Shares of US auto companies fall as car sales decline
Car dealership Analyst: Last year marked the top of the auto sector 13 Hours Ago | 02:43 Shares of the Big Three American car companies fell Monday after the automakers' March sales reports showed declining passenger car sales. Shares of Ford finished the day over 1 percent lower after the company reported a year-over-year sales decline of 7.2 percent. Despite market trends shifting toward SUVs, Ford crossover deliveries fell 2 percent for March. Car sales, in the face of steep market headwinds, took a 24.2 percent dive. Ford, though, got a boost by 10 percent growth in the F-Series line of pickups, one of its most profitable products... (CNBC)

Incumbent candidate winning in Ecuador’s presidential runoff

Socialist candidate Lenin Moreno had a slim lead Sunday in Ecuador’s presidential runoff, setting up a tense wait for the final count in a race that could change the political map of Latin America.Moreno, the designated heir to a decade of President Rafael Correa’s “21st-century socialism,” had 51.07% of the vote to 48.93% for conservative ex-banker Guillermo Lasso, with 94.2% of districts reporting, said the National Electoral Council... (Mercopress)

A dying habit: why the average BBC1 viewer is 61
If you are 61 and taking a break from watching something on BBC1 to read this, you can congratulate yourself on being entirely average. That is, the average age of a BBC1 viewer, according to the latest estimates published by the BBC Trust (in its death throes – the arms-length regulator will be replaced by hands-free Ofcom next week). On BBC2, it is 62. In 2014, the Trust reported that average ages were 59 and 60 respectively... (The Guardian)

Russia - Middle East: With Trump, the multipolar world becomes official
The "Transatlantic Union" will integrate Russia in one way or another. The Ukrainian crisis is partly the result of a failed attempt to annex Russia to the EU, under EU's terms, by blowing the Putin-lock. Three years later, a large US-EU-Russia (maybe even CIS) alliance could see the light of day ... based on the Putinian political model...  (GEAB No 109 / Subscribe)

lunes, 27 de marzo de 2017

América de Trump: la ruptura del tabú del impago estadounidense (GEAB 113)

 Trump’s America: the lifting of the US default taboo

Amérique de Trump : la levée du tabou du défaut de paiement US

Trumps Amerika: Ein amerikanischer Zahlungsausfall ist kein Tabu mehr 

America di Trump: spezzare il tabù del default di pagamento USA 

América de Trump: la ruptura del tabú del impago estadounidense

geab 113 picSin Kissinger para negociar el petrodólar y para volver a situar a la moneda estadounidense en el centro del escenario mundial tras el impacto que causó el anuncio de Nixon en 1971 por el que se interrumpía la convertibilidad del dólar en oro, el billete verde no habría sido la referencia mundial durante más de 40 años. ¿Sabrá Trump rodearse de asesores de este calibre – y sabrá escucharlos? Porque se avecina un impacto de la misma magnitud que se llama: impago de la deuda pública estadounidense. Es el tabú que ha roto la elección de Trump. ¿Profecía inexorable o sano debate? ¿Solución o catástrofe?

El impensable impago de la deuda soberana
Si hay algún país que tenga prohibido el impago de la deuda pública, este es EE.UU. En efecto, los bonos del Tesoro estadounidenses se sitúan en el núcleo del sistema financiero mundial, considerados como el refugio más seguro y como el mercado de obligaciones más líquido del mundo. Sobra decir que nadie se plantea que EE.UU. pueda incumplir el más mínimo reembolso de sus obligaciones soberanas. Según parece, los problemas que desencadenaría tal impago no tendrían punto de comparación con los que generó la quiebra de Lehman Brothers, si hablamos de las cantidades en juego (600.000 millones de dólares para Lehman frente a 20 billones de deuda pública estadounidense) y de la posición sistémica de Wall Street y, de manera más general, de las finanzas estadounidenses. Para EE.UU., que mantiene su lugar en el orden mundial actual, esta no es una opción, a diferencia del resto de países (en los últimos 35 años, se han producido más de 70 impagos de deuda soberana en el mundo…[1]).
Gráfico 1 – Deuda pública mundial en impago o reestructuración, en proporción al PIB mundial, 1800-2008. Fuente: Les Crises.

Pero EE.UU. jamás ha incumplido el pago de su deuda federal. Sin duda, se trata de un valor seguro, motivo por el que el impago de la deuda soberana estadounidense es verdaderamente impensable. ¿Impensable? ¿Impensable como el brexit, o como la elección de Trump?

La certeza se derrumba
En efecto, el Estado federal americano nunca ha incumplido el pago de la deuda de manera oficial. Y sin embargo… ¿cómo calificar el cese en 1971 de la convertibilidad del dólar en oro[2], que provocó que el dólar perdiera valor con respecto al oro y con él, también la deuda estadounidense? ¿y cómo llamar a las devaluaciones similares de 1933 y 1934 de Roosevelt[3]? Como hemos visto, el incumplimiento de la deuda no tiene por qué darse necesariamente como impago puro y duro… Y hablando de Roosevelt, la parte del “programa” de Trump que consiste en una reactivación económica a través de la infraestructura, ¿no recuerda al New Deal[4], creando a priori la tentación de devaluar fuertemente el billete verde[5]?
Esto podría ser pura especulación si Trump no hubiera declarado abiertamente durante su campaña su disposición a renegociar la deuda pública estadounidense si fuese necesario[6]. Ahora bien, no queremos decir que Trump vaya a hacer lo que le plazca a este respecto (ni a ningún otro), sino todo lo contrario. Sin duda, está atado por su propia política. Sin embargo, se ha roto el tabú[7], y ya no es inconcebible que EE.UU. incumpla (de una forma u otra) el pago de la deuda pública federal. Y eso ya supone un gran cambio. Los análisis del GEAB sobre este tema de hace años están ahora cobrando sentido[8]

La liberación de la deuda
Lo que aporta este cambio de perspectiva sobre la deuda estadounidense queda resumido en esta frase de Trump: “asumiría un préstamo, sabiendo que si la economía se hunde, podría llegarse a un acuerdo. Y si la economía va bien, pues bien. Por tanto, no hay nada que perder”[9]. A decir verdad, hay que reconocer que tiene cierto sentido. Haría mal en privarse de pedir préstamos a los mercados[10], teniendo en cuenta los tipos históricamente bajos del país. Por otra parte, EE.UU. no es Argentina ni Grecia. Los mercados olvidarían rápidamente un impago estadounidense y no tardarían en concederle préstamos de nuevo para aprovechar las nuevas perspectivas económicas del país, precisamente abierto por la restructuración. Así, parece que el peor momento se limitará a unos pocos meses precedentes y posteriores al impago.
Gráfico 2 – Tipos de interés de las obligaciones a 10 años en EE.UU., 1975-2017. Fuente: FRED.

La ruptura de este tabú ha tenido como primera consecuencia el desencadenamiento de la deuda pública estadounidense, que será en efecto necesaria si Trump pretende, como ha prometido, reducir los impuestos sin perjuicio de su plan de apoyo a la economía… Evidentemente, no se trata de incumplir pagos ahora que las condiciones para pedir préstamos son óptimas. Las previsiones oficiales, que parecen muy optimistas, indican un déficit público que llegará al 5% del PIB en los próximos diez años…
[1] Fuente: Les Crises, 04/06/2015
[2] Fuente: Wikipedia[3] Fuente: Wikipedia[4] Y hasta ahí las “similitudes” entre Trump y Roosevelt.
[5] Venimos reiterando desde hace meses que, al contrario de lo que afirma la prensa, la tendencia para 2017 es hacia un dólar débil, más que hacia uno fuerte. Mantenemos esta anticipación que queda constatada por la prioridad que está empezando a dar el G20, en consonancia con el programa de Trump, a una reestructuración de los equilibrios comerciales, objetivo que se alcanzará mucho más fácilmente con un dólar débil. Fuente: Nasdaq, 10/03/2017
[6] Fuente: The Atlantic, 22/06/2016
[7] Los populistas al menos tienen el mérito de romper tabús con cierta frecuencia… para bien o para mal.
[8] Invitamos a nuestros suscriptores a releer, por ejemplo, los GEAB 40 (diciembre de 2009), 42 (febrero de 2010) y 44 (abril de 2010).
[9] Traducción libre de la siguiente cita de Trump: “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good, it was good. So therefore, you can’t lose”. Fuente: CNBC, 06/05/2016
[10] Podríamos decir lo mismo de los países europeos que, si no se preocuparan temporalmente de sus niveles de deuda pública, podrían aprovechar los tipos negativos de muchas obligaciones para emprender incentivos económicos que serían muy beneficiosos. Lo que parece que Draghi pretende… Fuente: Irish Times, 18/07/2016

2017/03/27 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

Trump's America: the lifting of the US default taboo
Without Kissinger to negotiate the petrodollar and put the US currency back to the centre of the global game after the shock of Nixon’s announcement in 1971 to halt the convertibility of the dollar to gold, the greenback would never have been the world benchmark since more than 40 years. Will Trump really know how to surround himself with advisers of the same calibre? Also, will he take their advice? Because a shock of the same magnitude is currently in gestation: it is called ‘payment default’ of the US public debt. It is the taboo which was lifted by the election of Trump. So, will it be a self-fulfilling prophecy or healthy debate? A solution or a total disaster?
(GEAB 113Read the public communique for free)

The glue that binds Britain and the United States together
As U.S. President Donald Trump proclaims “America First” and Britain hums along to the words of “Rule Britannia,” can a special relationship still exist between two states that seem to have decided to draw back within themselves? In both of these countries, a repositioning of global roles is being undertaken by a suddenly dominant political group of populists. And they are locked in what promises to be a long war with the previously dominant political and intellectual groups that are liberal and globalist... (Reuters)

Post-Brexit: European schemes of dismemberment of the City
The tiny financial centres of the Eurozone have been rubbing their hands since the British chose to leave the EU, positioning themselves in order to recuperate significant market shares of the City’s activity. A recent study made by the Brussels think-tank Bruegel proposes two scenarios of possible gains for a number of financial centres, depending on whether the EU27 succeeds in integrating a network of European financial centres or results in a fragmentation of the European financial market...
(GEAB 113 / Login or Subscribe)

Turkey-EU relations plumb new depths
Turkey’s quarrel with the EU escalated on all fronts over the weekend, with fresh “Nazi” insults, “terrorism” accusations, and death penalty and migrant threats. The Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, personally accused German chancellor Angela Merkel of being a Nazi at a rally in Istanbul on Sunday (19 March)... (EUObserver)
European elections 2019: the allied far rights becomes the dominant parliamentary group in the European Parliament
This anticipation is not very original but it must nevertheless be faced with all the lucidity required. It is hardly a hypothesis, but rather a certainty: the allied European far rights will constitute the most consistent and therefore powerful parliamentary group in the next European Parliament, whatever their results in the previous national elections. What will count is the trans-European nature of their progression… (GEAB 113 / Login or Subscribe)

The Under-the-Radar EU Vote That Opens the Door for Russia
With eyes fixed on populist threats in other European Union elections, one vote has escaped the glare. And this one promises to strengthen Russia’s foothold in the region. While affirming their commitment to the EU, Bulgaria’s two biggest parties say they’ll revive economic ties with Russia to benefit voters who feel let down by the bloc a decade after membership... (Bloomberg)
Vatican to hold Islamic prayers for the first time in history
On Sunday for the first time ever the readings from Quran will be heard at the Vatican. This move was initiated by the Pope Francis in order to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians. During his visit last week to Jordan Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, Pope Francis invited Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Peres’s spokesperson has announced in Times of Israel that Abbas, Peres, and Pope Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders... (Daily EB)

The voices missing from Syria's peace talks
As negotiations on the war in Syria resume in Geneva, civil society groups say their voices are not being heard. Syrian activist, Haytham alHamwi, recalls how in 2003 he decided to join forces with the young men and women of his hometown Daraya, in the southern suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus, to organise a public cleaning campaign... (AlJazeera)
Multipolar World, 2022: India’s power strategy via Washington
In view of China’s demographic being overtaken by India by 2022, India will use the structuring rivalry of the new world order emerging between the United States and China to advance its own interests, by operating a tactical rapprochement with Washington. This new partnership will be part of a struggle against Chinese trade surpluses and India’s determination to become a world power... (GEAB 113 / Login or Subscribe)
September 2017. Euro crisis: The ECB loses its independence
The post-Brexit Europe does not need the extreme right-wings, it is already lining up with the national-European model proposed by the British. The antagonism between European and national levels, which has dramatically increased within the crisis, due to a lack of democratic anchoring at the European level, has led in just 6 months to a complete takeover of the European institutions by the Member States... (GEAB 112 / Login or Subscribe)
German candy maker Haribo goes America
Bonn, Germany-based Haribo group announced on Thursday that it would build a new confectionary plant at a site in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, creating about 400 jobs. One of the world's largest candy companies, Haribo said it was in talks with local officials to acquire a site near the village of Pleasant Prairie, with the total cost of the investment expected to be about $240 million... (Deutsche Welle)

India, Brexit and the legacy of empire in Africa
It is disingenuous of Shashi Tharoor to pretend that religious hatred did not exist in India before “the British introduced it” with their policy of “divide and rule” (A legacy of exploitation and ruin, G2, 9 March). He must know that when Mahmood of Ghazni first brought Islam to the subcontinent in the 10th century, his invasion involved incalculable violence... (The Guardian)

The Conquest of space and multipolarity – Shooting Star Wars
$100 billion: the potential market for rare earths in outer space. 680,000: the number of asteroids identified in the solar system. $500,000: the price offered by Elon Musk for a round trip to Mars.This is what Capital newspaper says in its article named: “They already do business on the Moon … or almost!” In 1967 the United States, Russia, India, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy (which launched its first satellite in 1964!), and many other states from Europe and the world signed the Outer Space Treaty... (GEAB 106 / / Login or Subscribe)
Was Monsanto involved in EU glyphosate study?
Environmental organizations are accusing Monsanto of influencing the outcome of studies on the pesticide active ingredient, glyphosate. EU agencies have said it poses no risk of cancer to humans. It's been a decades-long, controversial debate. Now environmental organizations are alleging that the chemical company, Monsanto, actively influenced studies on the risks and hazards of the pesticide active ingredient, glyphosate. Monsanto is said to have mislead regulators... (Deutsche Welle)

miércoles, 8 de marzo de 2017

Las mujeres de los rojos ...

Manuela Delgado Fernandez
8 de marzo a las 22:25
Las mujeres de los rojos....

Quisiera escribir un himno

a un pobre racimo humano:

las mujeres de los rojos

que en España nos quedamos,

para las que no hubo escape,

Para las que no hubo barco.

Las que nos quedamos solas

con sus niños en los brazos.

Sin más sostén ni más fuerza

que el que daba el estrecharlos

como prendas de un amor

contra nuestros pechos flácidos.

Todos perdimos la guerra,

todos fuimos humillados.

Pero para las mujeres

el trance fue aún más amargo.

Largas colas en Porlier

con nuestros pobres capachos.

Caminatas bajo el sol

con los pies semi descalzos.

Caminatas sobre el hielo

tiritando en los harapos.

Largas, duras caminatas

en busca de algún trabajo.

Cansancio y humillación

si lograbas encontrarlo.

Y si no lo conseguías,

humillación y cansancio.

por el pan de nuestros hijos,

siempre un combate diario.

¡Esos días siempre solas,

esos días largos, largos,

que fueron semanas, meses,

que duraron tanto, tanto,

que entre dolor y entre lágrimas,

se convirtieron en años!.

Nuestros hombres en la cárcel,

nuestros hombres exiliados,

nuestros hombres cada día

cayendo como rebaños

en manos de furia ciega

de matarifes fanáticos.

Y las mujeres seguimos,

a nuestro modo luchando

y esa guerra, sólo nuestra

Esa guerra la ganamos.

Los hijos de nuestros hombres

Quedaron en nuestras manos

Y supimos inculcarles

un culto casi sagrado

Por los nuestros, los ausentes,

los padres que les faltaron.

Se los pusimos de ejemplo

porque siguieran sus pasos

y logramos convencerles

de que eran buenos y honrados,

aunque en la calle, en la escuela,

les dijeron lo contrario.

Éramos pobres mujeres

y supimos elevarnos

sobre el dolor, sobre el miedo,

sobre el hambre y el fracaso.

Y criamos nuestros hijos

dignos de sus padres, bravos,

serios, dignos, responsables.

Los íbamos cultivando

pilares para un futuro

que aún parecía lejano

y en el que siempre creímos

con los puños apretados.

Quisiera escribir un himno,

grande, estupendo, fantástico,

de pobres mujeres débiles

con heroísmos callados,

de esfuerzos y sufrimientos

que eran el vivir diario

Y, a pesar de ello supieron,

con un esfuerzo titánico

ir manteniendo la llama

de amor al padre lejano,

al padre que estaba preso

o al que habían fusilado.

Yo quisiera a voz en grito

poder entonar un cántico

Que dijera todo eso,

que bastante hemos callado.

Las mujeres de los rojos

que en España nos quedamos

creemos tener, al menos,

el derecho de contarlo.

2017-03-06 Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

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The key element of the German election
The future of European governance will largely depend on the current electoral cycle of the euro zone. If Martin Schulz, the SPD candidate, succeeds in imposing himself in Germany, his very great European experience is likely to bring about a change of position in Berlin, which could evolve towards a more co-operative vision, in line with the project outlined after Brexit by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier . But if Angela Merkel remains in the Chancellery, the movement will continue. The apogee could be reached when Mario Draghi's successor will be appointed in November 2019. The name of Jens Weidmann, the current governor of the Bundesbank, is mentioned. This hypothesis would strongly suggest the end of the ECB's independence (Read more in the last GEAB)

Yellen Hints at More Aggressive Rate Path Upon Locking in March
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left little doubt on Friday that the central bank will raise interest rates this month. More importantly, she dropped hints that it might end up having to increase them this year more than planned. In a speech to The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Yellen singled out the danger of the central bank being too slow in boosting rates... (Bloomberg)

Look through an investor's lens, Europe!
On February 14 the Polish government bet on investments, launching the Responsible Development Plan, an ambitious new strategy It aims to raise the investment rate to 20-25 percent of GDP by 2020 and keep it at 25 percent by 2030. We aim to achieve this external and internal sources of funding. The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and particularly the cohesion policy funds will play an important role in the implementation of our aims... (EUObserver)

Peugeot-Citroen strikes deal with GM to buy Vauxhall-Opel
The French company that owns Peugeot and Citroen has struck a deal to buy General Motors’ (GM) European unit, including the Opel and Vauxhall brands. PSA is on its way to becoming Europe’s second-largest carmaker. Ahead of a press conference in Paris on Monday, French carmaker PSA announced the acquisition of General Motors’ (GM) European subsidiary, which includes the Opel and Vauxhall brands, for 1.3 billion euros ($1.38 billion). (Deutsche Welle)

UK must obey free movement laws till Brexit, say MEPs
Until the UK leaves the EU, it will have to obey EU laws on free movement, said a majority of MEPs in a plenary debate with the European Commission on Wednesday. The Parliament called on the Commission to ensure that the free movement rights of EU citizens living in the UK are respected, they added. Many speakers also made clear their dislike of the use of EU citizens as "bargaining chips" in the Brexit negotiations... (EUBusiness)

Globalisation’s not dead, it just has a new powerhouse – Asia
The so-called anti-globalisation wave has become one of the most popular themes for panel discussions, articles, television programmes and the like. Don’t take it too seriously. Globalisation cannot be stopped. No matter what particular political leaders say and anti-immigration proponents take to the streets to demand, interdependence is growing. The volumes of goods, services and capital crossing borders continue to increase, and so do the numbers of people working outside their home countries. (SCMP)

US Isolation. When global finance turns away from the dollar system, it means the cliff is near
The United States has been voluntarily isolating itself from the rest of the world, and not just from a geopolitical point of view. This terrible isolation can only get worse, whatever the result of the presidential election: if Trump wins, it will be due to a lack of foreign policy; in the case of Clinton, her iron-fist will have a word. Another domain, namely finance, which has so far been spared, is being added to this political dimension; something which has always been at the centre of America’s power in the world. No wonder this happens at the very moment the US can no longer hold itself... (Read more in the GEAB 108)

Is anti-Semitism truly on the rise in the U.S.? It’s not so clear.
It’s been a bad 2017 for Jews. During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Mont., to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population. It was thus unsurprising that two reporters were moved to ask President Trump at Thursday’s news conference about a rise in anti-Semitism — and that many of us were aghast at Trump’s rude dismissal of the first reporter, an Orthodox Jew, and Trump’s unwillingness to take the question seriously... (The Washington Post)

Seoul should stop dancing to wrong tune of THAAD
The Republic of Korea’s defense ministry signed a land swap deal with Lotte Group on Tuesday to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in the country, which China and Russia believe will further compromise regional security. Reports say THAAD could be installed as early as June, before the ROK elects a new president. That THAAD’s deployment will escalate tensions on the already tense Korean Peninsula is a foregone conclusion... (China Daily)

Erdogan says Yucel was a PKK plant with German support
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused an arrested newspaper reporter of being a “German agent.” Multiple German cities have banned rallies of support for Erdogan’s presidential referendum. As the spat between Ankara and Berlin becomes increasingly angry, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Deniz Yucel, a Die Welt reporter with dual nationality, a “German agent” and a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)... (Deutsche Welle)

Former journalist Juan Thompson arrested on suspicion of threatening Jewish centers
A former journalist has been arrested in relation to threats to Jewish centers across the US. There have been more than 100 bomb threats against US Jewish organizations since the start of the year. A former journalist was arrested in St. Louis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Friday over bomb threats to Jewish organizations across the US in an attempt to frame an ex-girlfriend... (Deutsche Welle)