GIS Dossier: Corruption and political transformation
Graft has long been a feature of political systems where rewarding loyalty takes precedence over economic efficiency or the rule of law. But recent events in Latin America show that popular anger at corruption has become a force to be reckoned with – fueled by the power of global markets, the information revolution, and democratization movements. This report assesses the geopolitical implications.
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.
Argentina: Macri yet to score on economic reform
The government of Argentina can chalk up its first modest successes in improving a badly distorted economy. But the peso’s recent bad run against the dollar has signaled there are limitations to President Macri’s play it by ear, gradualist approach to reforms.
Corruption in Latin America
The Odebrecht scandal, which started off as the Petrobras scandal in Brazil, has sent ripple effects throughout Latin America. It has brought down some regimes and even landed powerful leaders in jail. Perhaps the most important result is voters’ distrust of the traditional political forces. Unsurprisingly, parties in power are set to lose several elections, and in some countries, “outsider” candidates claiming to clean up corruption are leading in the polls.
Latin America’s renewable energy challenge
Prices for renewable energy are dropping in Latin America, making decarbonization – once a far-fetched notion – a very real possibility. The question is whether the political will is there. Many of the country's grids are in bad shape and unprepared to handle the change, while legislation, sometimes intended to help renewables, has ended up throwing obstacles in the way. Can countries in the region implement the necessary reforms?
Argentina’s president looks for easy midterm wins
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is coming to terms with reality after promising a “transformational” government when he took power in early 2016. No shower of foreign investment or gas revenue has materialized, leaving him with a scaled-back philosophy of “gradualism” and fiscal austerity. Given this dour choice, Mr. Macri has focused on splitting his Peronist and Kirchnerista opponents before next month’s parliamentary elections – with a certain measure of success.
Outlook improves for Latin American economies
The economic news coming out of Latin America is finally somewhat positive. Stagnation seems to be turning into growth. However, most of this is due to a recovery in commodity prices. Underlying structural problems, especially inequality, persist. Sustainable economic growth in the coming years will require smart domestic policy choices and lowering barriers to intra-regional trade.
Argentina’s Macri in the crosshairs
Argentina’s Mauricio Macri spent his first 16 months as president playing whack-a-mole with a host of problems – including a faltering economy, an incompetent and often corrupt bureaucracy, and rising public anger at utility price hikes. Now, with parliamentary elections looming, he needs to come up with a strategy to avoid becoming a lame duck for the rest of his term.
Global Outlook 2017: Latin America’s Trump problem
Geography will have a big impact on Latin America in the coming year: the closer a country is to the United States, the worse off it will be. What President Donald Trump does will shape developments in the region, as will the prices of key commodities. If Mr. Trump decides on collaboration instead of unilateral demands, however, the region could see positive developments.
Argentina’s Macri looks to build on initial gains
President Mauricio Macri’s administration enters the second half of its first year in Argentina having made important steps away from the populism of the Kirchner era. Its challenge now is to consolidate these gains despite a sluggish economy. Mr. Macri will need to continue making progress on economic reforms and win over opposition politicians who are distancing themselves from his predecessor.