miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

2016/09/23 Political Anticipation - A Press Review by LEAP

In October 2014, the GEAB predicted a military coup in Turkey aiming to remove Erdogan
The Middle East has become a real can of worms where a host of very influential players (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Iran and now ISIS) but with highly diverging interests are trying to come out on top and profit from the strategic vacuum left by the US’ withdrawal of influence in the region. Say what you will about its Machiavellian sponsors, ISIS can only prosper because it is the fruit of the Arab Spring’s failure[...] the ISIS crisis would also create severe domestic tension in Turkey and remove Erdogan as part and parcel of a military coup... (Read the GEAB No 88 / Oct. 2014)

Israeli and Palestinian leaders clash at UN general assembly
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have traded pointed barbs at the UN general assembly, in a rhetorical exchange that underlines the deep differences between the two sides – and the dim prospects for meaningful dialogue... (The Guardian)

State of the Union: Juncker addresses EU’s key challenges
In his 2016 State of the Union address to the European Parliament, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the Union was facing key challenges of populism, unemployment and social injustice. “The next twelve months are decisive if we want to reunite our Union,” said the EU executive’s head. “Europe is a cord of many strands – it only works when we are all pulling in the same direction... (EUBusiness)

The final banking crash is currently underway
The inevitable Western banking crisis, due to the shock of collapse of the oil price in dollars, is shaking the financial world. It started in China, but, as we extensively explained in our previous edition, what was shaking in China was not at all specifically Chinese: it was the Chinese part of the famous Western-centred financial system... and actually it's already escalating to Europe. That said, the psychological shock (risk of government and social panic) is the most dangerous component in the banking crisis... (GEAB No 102 / Febr. 2016)

Erdogan to Turkey’s Central Bank: Nice Rate Cut, Do More Please
Turkey’s central bank did the right thing by cutting interest rates this week and it should continue to do so, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “I believe it will be beneficial to continue this steadily,’’ Erdogan said in an interview Thursday in New York, hours after policy makers cut their overnight lending rate for a seventh straight month... (Bloomberg)

Expect a December, not September, hike for rates: Fed survey respondents
Prepare for a holiday hike. That’s the message from the latest CNBC Fed Survey, where 90 percent of the 41 respondents say the Federal Reserve won’t increase interest rates at its September meeting this week. But 88 percent say the hike is coming in December... (CNBC)

BOJ Shifts Policy Framework to Targeting Japan’s Yield Curve
The Bank of Japan shifted the focus of its monetary stimulus Wednesday from expanding the money supply to controlling interest rates, which some economists deemed as further evidence that BOJ policy had reached the limits of its effectiveness. The central bank said it would adjust the volume of its asset purchases, the core of its framework until now, as necessary in the short term to control bond yields, while keeping it at about 80 trillion yen ($780 billion) annually ... (Bloomberg)

"Trump possibility / Hillary probability" at Work Behind the Weakening of the Transatlantic Relationship
Two factors converge and contribute to the acceleration of Europe's "release" from America: what we call a "Trump possibility". Prior to Trump's possible election to the head of the US in November, the EU (and the rest of the world) needs to realise that the No 1 world power is now capable of electing such a leader. Added to this "Trump possibility", there is the worry (which is somewhat less visible) shared by Europe , and even the US and the rest of the world of the "Hillary probability”. The outlook on the upcoming US presidential election cements the rupture of the ties which held together the two sides of the Atlantic... (GEAB No 107 / Sept. 2016)

Gun inequality: US study charts rise of hardcore super owners
Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 133m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each... (The Guardian)

Exclusive: Google may face over $400 million Indonesia tax bill for 2015 – government official
Indonesia plans to pursue Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google for five years of back taxes, and the search giant could face a bill of more than $400 million for 2015 alone if it is found to have avoided payments, a senior tax official said. Muhammad Haniv, head of the tax office’s special cases branch, told Reuters its investigators went to Google’s local office in Indonesia on Monday... (EUObserver)

Visible Deterioration of the Transatlantic Relationship / The Apple Affair
We are all questioning the tax exemption for major US multinationals in Europe, recently symbolised by the case against Apple (the 13 billion euros of back taxes demanded by the European Commission from Apple form part of an internal strategy to give back to the continent its revenue-raising capacity). But everyone must have figured out by now that the US government was also the target with Apple providing the means. This is part of a reciprocal measure for the astronomical fines imposed by the US to several European banks. More broadly, all this is part of a deep questioning of the benefits tacitly acquired by the US through the "unconditional one-way road" of the transatlantic relationship... (GEAB No 107 / Sept. 2016)

Arctic nations square up as clamour for resources grows
Kristian Jensen, Denmark’s foreign minister, gave a precise response last week to a request by Russia for the nations to enter bilateral talks over the ownership of the north pole. He flatly rejected the move. “We need to apply the international rules,” he told reporters. The Russian request and the swift Danish response are intriguing. The United Nations is currently assessing Russian, Danish and Canadian claims to own sizeable chunks of the Arctic seabed. The Russian move was generally viewed as an attempt to strike a deal that would cut out Canada, while Denmark appears to believe its case is strong enough to exclude such manoeuvres... (The Guardian)

The EU is investigating tax deals between Luxembourg and Engie
In the wake of its momentous decision to order Apple to repay €13 billion in back taxes to the Irish exchequer, the EU is after another giant for allegedly receiving tax aids from one of the member states. Last Monday the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into Luxembourg’s tax rulings concerning an alleged unfair advantage that the country might have given to the GDF Suez group... (Neweurope)

IMF eyes more China yuan transparency with reserve currency move
China will need to keep improving the transparency of its exchange rate regime once its yuan achieves reserve status as part of the International Monetary Fund's currency basket on Oct. 1, IMF officials said on Wednesday. The designation will make the yuan a "freely usable currency" in the eyes of the IMF, available for loans to IMF members and for repayments... (Reuters)

Demand for Russian Eurobond tops $6bn
Interest in Russian sovereign bonds has exceeded $6 billion from both domestic and foreign investors, according to RIA Novosti sources. On Thursday, the Russian Finance Ministry opened a book to top up its sovereign Eurobond issue seeking to raise an extra $1.25 billion with yield guidance of 3.99 percent. The placement is arranged by state-owned bank VTB Capital... (RT.com)

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