viernes, 20 de enero de 2017

2017/01/19 - Political Anticipation - A LEAP Press review

Money, Finance, Europe, Democracy, Geopolitical Configuration: the GEAB bulletin’s 35 trends
Every year, LEAP/E2020 is offering you a short overview of the up and down[1] trends of the year which is starting. In addition to the intellectual interest of this contribution of LEAP/E2020, which of course reflects many of our researchers’ analyses over the past few months, it aims at providing a better perception of priorities within the news, at the same time conveying tracks of recommendations. This list can thus help very concretely the GEAB reader to get prepared for the year to come. With an eleven-year success rate ranging from 69% to 85%, this annual anticipation is a very concrete decision-making tool for the next twelve months... (GEAB 111 / read the public announcement)

EU Parliament speaker vote could strengthen eurosceptics
The European Parliament elects a new speaker on Tuesday in an unusually hotly contested vote that could strengthen eurosceptic forces at a time when the EU faces British moves to leave and questions about its future role. A divisive campaign and the end of the ‘grand coalition’ of the main parties is also likely to hamper the assembly, delaying lawmaking... (Reuters)

Welcome To The Third World, Part 21: This Pension Thing Is About To Get Real
Though it may not be instantly clear, in the above quote Michael Lewis is talking about public sector pensions and how over the course of several decades, mayors and governors across the US have colluded with police, firefighter and teachers unions to promise outrageously-generous benefits and then failed to put aside enough money to pay for them... (Dollar Collapse)

Merkel Anticipates Frosty Relations with U.S.
The hour-long video didn’t exactly put the German chancellor in a cheerful mood. The footage was from Donald Trump’s recent appearance in Pennsylvania during his so-called Thank You Tour and Angela Merkel, as she told the national executive committee of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), watched the rally in its entirety... (Spiegel)

China 2017 - Towards a Total Course Change
Since Deng Xiaoping, in the '70s, gave top priority to economic development, China has made tremendous sacrifices. Having worked hard and cheap and polluting its country, it soon became the workshop of the world. But all those sacrifices were not in vain. Barely 15 years later for instance, in 1993, Shanghai was able to launch its first ultra-modern subway line. This example is not taken at random: the construction of metro lines is always a good indicator of both economic and administrative health of cities or countries... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Trump Takes Aim at King Dollar and It Threatens U.S. Equities
The S&P 500 has a friend and a foe in King Dollar. The greenback is the only major currency whose current strength has coincided with rallies in its domestic equity market, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., underscoring the risk for stocks if the dollar's poor start to the year gathers more steam... (Bloomberg)

Bitcoin, crypto-currencies and state power strategies
Crypto-currencies, of which Bitcoin is the most popular, are "virtual" currencies devoid of any physical reality, possessing an electronic form and functioning by using cryptographic methods. They are used specially as a means of payment in an innovative decentralised peer-to-peer system. With the Bitcoin and the other crypto-currencies, one can buy everything from food products, company shares, to false driving licenses and even Kalashnikovs... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Merkel on Trump: The EU can take care of itself
Speaking at a press conference with the prime minister of New Zealand, the German chancellor dismissed Trump’s criticism of her refugee policy. Germany’s top diplomat accused Trump of contradicting his own cabinet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed US president-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the European Union... (Deutsche Welle)

Investments, trends and recommendations : Currencies, watch out, turbulence ahead
The currency market is particularly dangerous this year: with a dollar which has strengthened whilst Trump needs a weak currency and will do everything possible to achieve the goal; a yuan which risks at any moment to be devalued, authoritatively as we have seen, while its medium-term movement is on the rise according to the will of the Chinese leaders; a euro depending on the goodwill of the ECB and its quantitative easing; trade wars and monetary conflicts most probably in the near future... (GEAB 111 / subscribe to read)

Obama’s legacy in Asia
The outgoing president wasted no time to highlight his signature achievements, from preventing a global economic depression and the collapse of American car industry, to overseeing decent economic recovery and marriage equality to the establishment of the foundations of a truly universal healthcare system. On foreign policy, he highlighted his administration’s broadly successful efforts to ... (Aljazeera)

World Bank downgrades India’s growth forecast after demonetisation
The World Bank has downgraded the Indian economy’s growth forecast as sharp falls in the country’s automobile and real estate sales flagged the short-term impact of recalling India’s two most-used bank notes. The Washington-based financial institution predicted India’s economy would grow by a “still robust” 7% in the fiscal year... (The Guardian)

Syrian government ‘ready to negotiate on everything’, Assad says
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he is prepared to negotiate on “everything” in proposed peace talks with rebels later this month, despite the shakiness of the current ceasefire. Talks brokered by Syrian ally Russia and rebel supporting Turkey are supposed to take place in Kazakhstan before the end of January, but last week opposition groups said they had frozen the process in light of continued government strikes across the country... (The Independent)

lunes, 9 de enero de 2017

2017/01/05 Political Anticipation - LEAP Press review

Marie-Hélène Caillol: “They destroyed the EU” (interview by La Vanguardia, 30/12/2016)
The current crisis of the EU is multiple; the integration of the Eastern countries was rather a failure. In the Southern Europe, the “magic” of the European dream has also disappeared; the EU no longer means “democracy and prosperity”, but the opposite: austerity and imposition. The Franco-German couple is, unofficially, getting a divorce. We also need to face the Brexit, the Italian referendum… whilst in the north, we dream of a “Kerneuropa” (a Lutheran matrix European hard core without the Southern states) … So we’ve reached an unprecedented situation... (Read the entire interview)

GEAB registration invite + Gift Box
Allow us to spoil you in this eleventh year of the GEAB with additional ingredients for your understanding of the world and the future: a bouquet of E-books; a virtual one-to-one online meeting with Marie-Hélène Caillol, the Editor in Chief (Jan. 20, 2017); the US Elections Special File Supplement; one extra GEAB subscription free for a friend, and many more... This Gift Pack is available for all GEAB subscriptions and renewals paid between December 1, 2016 – February 1, 2017. (Subscribe to the GEAB and get the Gift Box now)

Demon-etisation: India opens with a fanfare the ball of the fiscal QEs
Since November 8, 2016, India has created a monetary revolution of a magnitude never seen, both by the size of the population concerned and the depth of the transformation induced. By demonetising the biggest notes of 500 and 1000 Rs (rupees), the Indian government is trying to reintegrate into the official economy the state's gigantic parallel (or black or more simply the archaic) economy. In a nation where 90% of the transactions are made in cash, a huge part of the financial activity escapes the knowledge of the central government, and therefore statistics, taxes... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Read the Public Announcement)

Chinese debt, global debts, interest rates: the insolvent countries no longer have friends
As we have already discussed and explained before, the crisis is now taking a more geopolitical form. Does this mean that the economic-financial crisis is over? No one will accuse us of having pretended that. If need be, we can confirm that the crisis is always there, always vivid, and it is in perfect shape after more than eight years of existence, thank you very much. One of the best signs of this is the employment rate in Western countries; but also the difficulties experienced ... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Perspectives)

African Union: One road, One continent, One currency. The end of the CFA franc
Africa! The second largest continent in the world after Asia, both in size and population, and also one of the poorest is shaken by internal conflicts and wars. But above all, it’s a continent with one of the youngest age pyramids in the world; so many opportunities open for the future and for hope in this region which will experience great challenges of development, modernity and opening-up in the coming decades... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Telescope)

An evaluation of our anticipations for 2016 (drawn from GEAB n° 101 of January 2016): 75% success
Each year in December, we evaluate our trend anticipations made in January. This month, we come across a final score of 25.5 out of 34, meaning a 75% success rate; two points more than last year. The year 2014 and the great turmoil caused by the Euro-Russian shock that drove us below the 70% success at that time, seems to be reconciled with... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Focus)

Investments, trends and recommendations
We have often repeated that the dollar-centred financial system is still the international standard, but that there are now superimposed new systems based on other currencies and centred in other regions of the world, which are international as well, such as: Islamic finance and sukuks; yuan's financial exchanging network; the eurozone; the beginning of a ruble system around the financial centre of St. Petersburg, the baikalbonds, Urals oil,…; emergence of an African monetary-financial system (to be monitored closely); the possible revival of a sterling system around a United Kingdom making the logical monetary choice of the Commonwealth rather than the euro... (GEAB 110 / Dec. 2016 - Investments)

11 Surprising Predictions for 2017 From Some of The Biggest Names In Science
What scientific discoveries will 2017 bring? What technological innovations? Probably not time travel — or time-shares on Mars. But no one really knows for sure, and when we asked some of the biggest names in in science and technology to share their predictions for the coming year, there was a bit of pushback. “I normally don’t make predictions for anything less than two trillion years in the future,” Arizona State University cosmologist Lawrence Krauss told NBC MACH. It’s easier to make predictions that far out, he added jokingly, when “no one will be around to check them... (NBCNews)

Dollar retreats from 14-year high after FOMC minutes
The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday, pulling back from a 14-year high following the release of commentary from the Federal Reserve. While the dollar had already been weaker against its major rivals, it extended its decline following the release of minutes from the Fed’s December meeting, with a key currency index dropping to its lows of the session... (MarketWatch)

Why German Banks Took Stand Against Basel Capital Floors
No wonder Germany is on the warpath against a proposed global standard for how banks calculate the capital they need: Its largest lenders rank among the worst when it comes to how they assess risk. That means Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG will be affected more than most big lenders and may have to raise additional capital, if and when the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision implements a proposed floor for how much their risk-weighting of assets can veer from standardized measures... (Bloomberg)

U.S. banks gear up to fight Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker rule
Big U.S. banks are set on getting Congress this year to loosen or eliminate the Volcker rule against using depositors’ funds for speculative bets on the bank’s own account, a test case of whether Wall Street can flex its muscle in Washington again. In interviews over the past several weeks, half a dozen industry lobbyists said they began meeting... (Reuters)

Ambassador to EU quits and warns staff over ‘muddled thinking’
Britain’s ambassador to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers dealt a blow to the UK’s Brexit negotiations by quitting and urging his fellow British civil servants in Brussels to assert their independence by challenging “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking”... (The Guardian)

Indonesia suspends military cooperation with Australia
Indonesia has suspended all military cooperation with Australia, reportedly over offensive materials displayed at an Australian military base where its troops were training. The offensive “laminated material” shown at a base was insulting towards Indonesia’s five founding principles – Pancasila – Indonesian newspaper Kompas has reported. The Kompas report says a cable dated 29 December, sent by Indonesian military commander General Gatot Nurmantyo, instructed that all military cooperation, including training with the Australian defence force, be suspended. (The Guardian)

56 killed, many beheaded, in grisly Brazil prison riot
Bodies butchered, decapitated and burned after clashes between rival drug gangs at a prison complex in Amazonas state. A prison riot in the Brazilian Amazon has left at least 56 people dead with some bodies decapitated and burned, officials said. The riot erupted on Sunday afternoon and lasted for 17 hours in the Anisio Jobim Penitentiary Complex (Compaj) in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state. The rioters took 12 guards hostage and a still unconfirmed number of prisoners escaped... (AlJazeera)