Growth, recessions, fiscal policy, monetary policy, currencies and global business deals. GIS experts provide forecasts and potential scenarios for all of the economic trends that shape geopolitics.
Global Outlook 2017: Russia checklist
Russia enters 2017 with a sense of vague disquiet. With presidential elections a year away, not everyone is sure the “main candidate” will be Vladimir Putin. Concern is palpable inside the government and the security apparatus, as interest groups jockey for position.
Global Outlook 2017: Venezuela
Venezuela is back from the brink. Over the past six months, Nicolas Maduro has outsmarted the opposition, used a bond swap to stave off default, and coopted the top military brass to prevent a coup. If the president can only find a way to revive oil output, he may be a good bet to stay in office through 2018.
Technology exporters are the biggest beneficiaries of nuclear power
When total outlays for a nuclear energy plant are considered, from construction to accident prevention to decommissioning costs, nuclear energy is an expensive proposition. The companies that export this technology and their governments are going the extra mile to attract foreign buyers and see the deals through because their benefits go far beyond a power plant deal.
Italy after the referendum
Italy's political establishment is hanging tough after the failed constitutional referendum. But buying time and tinkering with the election law will be of no avail unless the economy improves. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s caretaker government appears to lack the political clout to cut spending and fix the banks. That will only strengthen the appeal of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement.
The MPS bailout and the future of EU banking
Italian authorities failed to save the historic bank using the European Union’s bail-in rules, so they applied to bail it out. The EU allowed the move, even though it was clear there was no real systemic risk. The turnaround stems from protectionist and anti-competitive attitudes. These will prevail in the near future, to the detriment of taxpayers.
Malaysia inches closer to China
Malaysia, which traditionally has depended on the United States for defense and security, is gradually tightening its economic and military links with China. It would be premature to predict a geopolitical realignment at this stage, since the pro-China policy trend can be reversed by the next government in Kuala Lumpur. But the process is indicative of a generalized and growing uncertainty in Southeast Asia.
Global Outlook 2017: Merkel and the myth of German hegemony
Among the leaders of the world’s biggest liberal democracies, it seems Angela Merkel is the last woman standing. Some have claimed that will make her the leader of the free world and Germany Europe’s hegemon. Such claims are greatly exaggerated. There will be significant limitations to both Germany and Ms. Merkel’s room for maneuver in Europe and globally in the coming year.
Peru: PPK makes a strong start
Despite just barely eking out a victory in Peru’s June presidential elections, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has made a fast start, gaining special powers to fight crime and corruption. The opposition has a significant majority in Congress, but PPK, as the president is known, is still likely to implement much of his center-right platform.
Global Outlook 2017: Scenarios for the economy
The world economy in 2017 will be defined by four variables: growth, oil prices, inflation and interest rates. Political events could also play an important role, especially a possible rapprochement between the United States and Russia and general elections in France. The potentially fateful impact of the latter on the European Union would be amplified by an Italian crisis.
Scenarios for Europe
Europe’s basic problem is a lack of leadership. In 2017 it is unlikely to solve the root problems at the heart of its malaise: excessive regulation, a lack of competition and innovation, weakening internal cohesion and an inability to address crises efficiently. A new generation of politicians may emerge that pushes for more market-driven solutions, but it will take several more years for them to be able to implement their vision, if at all.