• Risk 2Greece – “unauthorized” tax cuts?
  • Kenya – a plunging shilling due to FX shortages;
  • Panama – a ballooning budget deficit forces the postponement of public works;
  • Russia — legislation to allow the seizure of foreign state assets;
  • Thailand – a tightening grip by the military.

CANADA:  Payroll taxes are being cut for small businesses to fuel the country’s slowing job market. The economy’s vital signs are still mixed, but persistently low interest rates and a relatively soft CAD will help to keep things moving. In the political arena, Prime Minister Harper is facing a serious challenge from Liberal leader Trudeau.

HONG KONG: The Chinese government and Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp are locked into a bitter confrontation over fundamentally different visions for the territory’s political future. There could be repercussions for the Hong Kong dollar, but the peg is apt to stay.

NEW ZEALAND:  A government growing in popularity as it goes into a third term is a rather remarkable phenomenon that PM Key and his National Party achieved in last weekend’s elections. The Center-Right’s continued leadership will be good for the economy, which would have been hurt by the plans Labour had for it.

QATAR:  The Emirate’s well-known projection of soft power may be on the verge of changing, although initially the pundits were agreed that the new Emir would provide continuity in foreign affairs. The economy will continue to flourish, driven by diversification efforts and the preparations for the 2022 soccer World Cup.

SUDAN:  The economy is not doing badly overall, given problematic circumstances, but it still has a long way to go to reach a reliably promising growth track. The country’s external performance continues to be checkered and there are recurrent foreign exchange problems.

TURKEY:  The reasons for this country’s absence from the coalition the US has been trying to put together to fight ISIL are not entirely clear to outsiders. Certain is that just-inaugurated President Erdogan is doing what he can to strengthen his grip on power and that he is working hard to steer Turkey away from its secularist past.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  While the economy has staged a dramatic recovery from the near-default almost five years ago, the markets are still easily rattled. This may cause problems in the pursuit of visions of becoming a mega-hub for travelers. The participation in the air war against ISIL is exposing the Emirates to increased terrorist threats.

UNITED KINGDOM:  The financial and business communities responded with relief to Scotland’s decision to remain in the union with England. This does not end the constitutional debate, however, as separatists will hold Whitehall to last-minute offers of more power. The British economy, meanwhile, is doing better than its EU counterparts.

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