• Argentina – higher taxes on credit card use;
  • Denmark – the leadership is regaining popularity;
  • Dominican Republic – finding itself at odds with CARICOM;
  • Italy – consequences of Berlusconi’s ouster from parliament.

EGYPT: The new draft constitution aims in the main to enshrine the military’s powers and freedom from civilian oversight.  Relations with the US have deteriorated, as have those with Turkey and Qatar. Cairo can afford to return the Emirate’s financial assistance, thanks to new aid from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

INDIA:  Fears of a rupee crisis have subsided, thanks in large part to a marked improvement in the current-account BoP.   This is not to say that the country is now safe, but the economy, in general, is showing signs of a gradual recovery. In the political arena, an upstart party is challenging the duopoly that has dominated for decades.

 JAPAN:  Third-quarter figures have given rise to complaints that Abenomics are failing, but this is premature.  Analysts should withhold judgment at least until after the planned sales tax hike has gone into effect.  Inflation numbers, meanwhile, suggest that the Bank of Japan is doing quite well in banning the specter of deflation.

NETHERLANDS:  The economy is being dragged down by the effect of a deflating housing bubble on consumer demand.  The King’s first appearance before parliament hardly helped.  Neither did the passage of next year’s budget.  Tensions are rising, meanwhile, over work permit requirements for immigrants scheduled to expire next January 1.

PHILIPPINES:  While the human toll of the disaster that typhoon Haiyan wreaked has been stunning and will take the people a long time to overcome, the economic impact is apt to be fleeting and that on full-year 2013 growth is likely to be minimal, thanks to reconstruction efforts by the government, foreign aid and a rallying of the diaspora.

SOUTH AFRICA: While the nation is mourning one of its greatest sons, Pres. Zuma is facing calls for his impeachment due to corruption. The rand is being depressed by a bond sell-off that looks set to continue as a widening current-account BoP deficit underscores the country’s membership in the “fragile five” group of emerging markets.

THAILAND:  The nation is taking a step back from the confrontations between anti- and pro-government elements to mark the birthday of the King. The calm will not last, however. A principal victim is the country’s economy, with a dimming outlook for the baht.

UKRAINE:  The mass rallies and riots triggered by President Yanukovich’s decision to pivot toward Russia instead of signing political and trade agreements with the EU are turning out to be larger and more persistent than almost anyone had anticipated. if the unrest persists much longer, the economy will be an early victim.

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