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Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF and recently nominated president of the ECB

The political corruption of monetary policy

The 2008 U.S. housing crash and the European debt crisis led many politicians to question the importance of independent central banks. However, this approach is not without consequences. There are now several patterns of influence on central banks, ranging from direct political meddling to more subtle institutional pressure. Left unchecked, excessive and ineffective monetary policy will progressively

corrupt central bank independence.

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Regime change in Venezuela: the army will decide when

With the plight of Venezuelans getting worse by the day, it seems strange that the public outcry has not managed to oust President Nicolas Maduro. However, as far back as 2016, GIS guest expert Dr. Anthony Maingot pointed out that this was to be expected. President Maduro’s ability to remain in power “shows that words like ‘crisis’ and ‘intolerable’ are relative,” he wrote. The real arbiter of power in Venezuela is the military, which remains in President Maduro’s corner because the profits from drug trafficking keep lining the generals’ pockets. As long as this remained the case, the army would be willing to keep Mr. Maduro in power. If supplies of cocaine from Colombia were to fall, then competition could splinter the army and, “in return for legal immunity and control of the narcotics trade, the military will support new elections.”

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Geopolitics are back on the agenda

Due to the fast changing international order geopolitics are back on the agenda. I believe that GIS makes a great contribution with analyses and insights that should help businesses and governments developing their responses.

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