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Ebb and Flow, Flow and Ebb

Getting a bead on inflation is a bit of a mug’s game but nevertheless unavoidable for the cross-border risk-taker. You have to have an opinion, right? The current US administration’s fiscal activism, and skewing of the US energy markets may have primed inflation; the Russian invasion of Ukraine certainly exacerbated things. But how durable will […]


Institutional Reach

Populations are dynamic, so the demographers tell us. They are fruitful and stable, ably replacing themselves and then some. Or, they may be atrophying, having fewer children, making do. They are a phenomenon – like all of us, like each of the people they embody. But, for the cross-border lender or investor, the kernel question […]

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Wanting Bread and Peace

Pandemic, adventurism (theirs, not ours), policy mismanagement and geopolitical fumbling (perhaps ours) have meant ramifying and cascading consequences. For everyone, strong country institutions are the de facto inoculation against such instability. Many countries, sadly many in the EM space, are not exhibiting the institutional depth needed to neutralize knock-on geopolitical effects. Lenders and investors in […]


Price Check

A famous economist once said, roughly, that inflation is anywhere and everywhere a monetary phenomenon. One might not disagree, but one could add that inflation is, in a sense, pretty much always and everywhere, a “political” phenomenon, or one can be even more reductionist and note that it is a “human” one. And there’s the […]

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The Rivers Run Through It

Geopolitical risk is real, with human and business consequences for the unfortunate, the unlucky, and the oblivious. Parsing and understanding this form of risk will not come from just a sole recourse to normally distributed historical data. The successful global risk taker is a student of geopolitics and does the requisite homework. Risk managers must […]


OODA Loop Broken

Much as we did this past September with our comment “Force Majeure, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You,” we explore stresses on the global order and what that portends for asset holders. To paraphrase one notable ideological prime mover, you – the investor or lender – may not be interested in volatility but volatility […]

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A fitful, and perhaps inconstant hegemon – in the eyes of many – nevertheless offers apparent avenues for innovation and change. What this means for asset-holders may be the creation of steady wealth and the appreciation of value over the long-term, secular horizon. This, of course, assumes that such a “fitful”, perhaps “inconstant” (and did […]

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Could be an Intervention…

Turkish interest rate and monetary policy unorthodoxy together conjure another layer of risk premia for the Turkish economy and financial assets. If allowed to metastasize, market and resident negative reaction to this unorthodoxy could entail substantial event risk, challenging local stability and inviting some form of civic intervention. We’ve all probably been there, we’ve all […]


Consider the Anti-Hero Credit…

The due-diligence exercise does not end in the ready access to newspaper feature articles, nor does it reside purely in the macro-economic numbers. Country review requires an appreciation of risk tolerance (yours) and an ongoing assessment of how country institutions work (or not) and your considered judgment on the country capacity and inclination to pay. […]