• Anguilla – bank takeover;
  • Central African Republic – on the brink of collapse;
  • Gambia – re-imposition of FX controls; India – more measures to stabilize the rupee;
  • Venezuela – Maduro wants to govern by decree, and a skipped payment to keep an eye on.

ARGENTINA: In the wake of the latest election setbacks the government of Pres. Fernandez de Kirchner is likely to double down on its statist, interventionist policies, but with waning support and under a leader who will increasingly look like a lame duck. The government is finding ever more local sources it can squeeze for money.

BRAZIL:  Disappointment with Mercosur is evident in Brasilia’s efforts to fast-track a trade agreement with the European Union independent of the Latin American group. Trying to prod economic activity at home, meanwhile, the government is testing privatizations of airports and other infrastructure.

EGYPT:  There is very little doubt that after this week’s bloodshed the Moslem Brotherhood and its Salafist allies are determined to rise again.  With the military equally determined to prevent this, conditions will still get worse before any improvement can be hoped for. This will come as a body blow to the battered economy.

HUNGARY:  The policy indicator remains pointed in the direction of lower interest rates and more populist measures meant to advance the Orban regime’s odds in next year’s elections. This is likely to include yet another blow against banks aimed at easing the lot of Hungarian borrowers who have taken out FX loans.

JAPAN: The latest growth and inflation statistics do not give the government much guidance as to whether the economy is strong enough to digest the planned VAT increase. Chances are, though, that a higher consumption tax would not abort the incipient recovery. More significant will be the third arrow in PM Abe’s quiver.

MALI:  The election of Ibrahim Keita as President was a critical step in unlocking much-needed aid from abroad. At that, the peace deal with the Tuaregs is still tentative and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in the North have merely staged a strategic retreat. Rebuilding the country still faces daunting obstacles.

MEXICO:  President Pena Nieto’s proposal for opening up the oil and electricity sectors to private investment is a big step in the right direction. Just the same, the financial markets were underwhelmed and rightly so. Oil majors have shown themselves to be more enthusiastic about the opening, although they, too, have caveats.

NETHERLANDS:  Concerns about the economy, which the Dutch were able to set aside for a brief spell during the recent change at the helm of the royal family, have returned with a vengeance now that it turns out that GDP contracted more in the first quarter than initially believed.

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