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.
President El-Sisi’s Egypt: Quietly rebuilding economic strength
Following his 2013 coup d’etat that was sternly criticized in Washington and European capitals, Egypt’s former defense minister, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, was elected the country’s president by an overwhelming margin. After five years in charge of the most populous Arab country, Mr. El-Sisi has accumulated a predictably shoddy record on human rights but a surprisingly strong one as an economic reformer and agent of stability in the turbulent region.
Opinion: Venezuela’s endless endgame
Bankrupt and in an economic freefall, Venezuela has become the scene of a humanitarian drama. The opposition is finally unified and appears close to being able to push the die-hard Chavista regime out. Much of the outside world, including Latin America, Europe and the United States, is eager to help, but the devil, as always, is in the detail.
Chinese trade data ring a bell
The latest batch of Chinese trade figures shows an unexpected decline in exports and imports. On the surface, the data can be dismissed as a statistical blip caused by importers reacting to Sino-American trade tensions. Drill down a little deeper, however, and one begins to see bigger problems for China’s economy.
‘Basel IV’ and the stability of the financial industry
The Basel Committee on Bank Supervision has rolled out new recommendations that most international banks are expected to follow. Many in the industry criticize the rules’ complexity and restrictiveness, but regulators say they don’t go far enough. Everyone agrees, however, that more regulations are soon to come. In the meantime, the stability of the global financial system remains uncertain.
GIS Dossier: The Italian case
Politically and financially, Italy has come to be regarded as a weak link in the European Union. Its shaky banks and enormous public debt almost blew apart the euro area during the debt crisis of 2010-2012, and could still do so. Its government, a marriage of populists on the left and right, claims to be the precursor of a protest wave that will sweep this year’s European Parliament elections. But as usual, it is hard to tell whether Italy is headed for disaster or more of the same.
Argentina: President Macri’s reelection will hinge on economic rebound
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is in a tight spot at the start of the election year. His government presides over cuts to public spending, including politically sensitive social protection programs, under the conditions of a lifeline deal with the IMF. Mr. Macri’s hopes for inducing growth by restoring Argentina to the good graces of the financial markets and attracting significant foreign investment are yet to materialize. But not all is lost for the pro-market reformer in Buenos Aires.
Oil prices in 2019
Where are oil prices headed? In the long run, the slowly rising global demand for energy will not be enough to offset the declining costs of extraction. In the short term, much depends on how U.S. producers, whose shareholders are dissatisfied with the return on their fracking investments so far. They, the Russians and the Saudis would all like to see prices go higher. Can they reach a fragile deal to restrain production?
Opinion: How Brazil’s new man got there
Jair Bolsonaro, a retired Army captain and outspoken conservative, clinched the top job in Latin America’s biggest nation by targeting the electorate’s justifiable fears, his opponents’ weaknesses and Brazil’s real need for economic reforms. The new cabinet puts academics, political luminaries and former military officers in key positions. President Bolsonaro is facing formidable challenges, but his program has more merit than his many critics are willing to admit.
2019 Global Outlook: Another year near zero
It has been a decade since global interest rates reached the zero lower bound, where monetary policymakers lose their ability to stimulate the economy using conventional policy tools. Among the largest global central banks, only the United States Federal Reserve has set its benchmark above 2 percent. Will this anomaly end in 2019?
Angola’s new leader reaches out to the West for help
Angola has recently become one of the most stable countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It now hopes to rebuild its agriculture, education and navy, as well as jump-start investment in the oil sector and broaden its foreign relations base to include Western powers – all before deteriorating living conditions turn the population against the government of Gen. Joao Lourenco.