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Lula-Redux

The world continues to turn on its fixed axis, and another populist political leader assumes the executive for a large, dynamic and somewhat unsettled country. At the end of October, Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva was elected President of Brazil, defeating the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. For Lula – the former metal worker, union organizer and […]

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Souffle-State

Dramatic times, it’s said, call for dramatic measures. And so, we’ve seen that happen. The halcyon forty years of the Volcker FED-induced moderating inflation have been supplanted – perhaps due to energy market dislocations, perhaps from fiscal excess and monetary neglect, perhaps from official obtuseness. US inflation now exceeds 8% on a year-over-year basis, and […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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Cornucopia-State

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 […]