• Country Risk1 300Argentina – a helping hand from a local judge;
  • Brazil – the real is taking a beating;
  • Egypt – a new investment law in the making;
  • Poland – the last interest rate cut?

CHINA:  Some lawmakers in the US are still pushing the notion that the PRC ought to be declared a “currency manipulator.” What they ignore is that the Chinese Central Bank has been intervening to support the yuan, which otherwise would be considerably weaker. Official policies reflect the difficulty of accomplishing diverse and often contradictory goals.

DENMARK: The massive market intervention by Danmarks Nationalbank last month attests to the ferocity of the forces seeking to drive the Danish crown higher, but also to the authorities’ resolve to prevent this. It is important to note in this context that the Danish Central Bank is in a better position than Switzerland’s was.

EGYPT:  Pres. Sisi’s crack-down has been hard, but while the stability gained by Egypt is stability by repression, it is still a positive for the economy. Long-delayed reforms are progressing and basic indicators suggest that the worst for the economy is over. Efforts are under way to improve the business climate.

INDIA:  The budget for fiscal 2015 is certainly not earth-shaking, but it is a good, well-considered household plan that makes sense from an economic point of view and should be manageable politically. What now has to be seen is how vigorously Prime Minister Modi will pursue the relatively modest reforms that are included.

SRI LANKA:  It is still early to judge how the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena is doing, but it has said it would make this clear in its first 100 days in office, and so far it seems to be doing all the right things. Above all, it is seeking reconciliation with the nation’s Tamil minority.

UKRAINE:  Desperate to find a way of stabilizing the hryvnia, the Central Bank has announced a huge interest rate increase of 10-1/2 percentage points. It will hit the already stumbling economy hard and will, at best, give the currency a brief respite. A debt restructuring will be unavoidable, anyway.

URUGUAY:  Newly sworn-in President Vasquez is promising that he will stick to the path charted by his predecessor toward getting a grip on inflation and the ballooning fiscal deficit. With this there are grounds for justified hope that the economy will continue to do relatively well, compared to others in the region.

VENEZUELA:  The way the new exchange market is being handled is already making it clear that this trading platform will not accomplish what it is supposed to do. Meanwhile, the regime’s crackdown on all opponents, real or imagined, is getting worse by the day and leading the country rapidly from authoritarianism to totalitarianism.

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