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The IMF Knows Uncertainty!

An esteemed US Supreme Court Justice named Potter Stewart many decades ago considered the law and considered the constitutional protections of the First Amendment. Given a particular case before the bench, he wanted to ascertain where those protections may never end, and where they just might, say perhaps at the reaches of obscenity – at […]

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Golden Fleece

China – its national economic success to date and its vast local population focus any risk-taker’s mind and appetites on that place, Covid notwithstanding. So, it’s with interest that this observer read a recent article in the Financial Times (FT) highlighting some additional caveats to think about, a useful benefit from objective reporting. In their […]

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Talking Terms

Borders are closed, vaccines are expedited. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to circulate and policy makers continue to react while trying to plan. More fell developments occur, and so more problems require attention. This past October, the sub-Saharan country Zambia missed a USD 42.5 mln Eurobond coupon payment, the Zambians missed another payment on November 14th, […]

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Reserve Notice

People complain, they always do. Back in the now long-ago heyday of the post-Second World War recovery a leading French technocrat (and later President) Valery Giscard D’Estaing commented – or rather, complained – about the US dollar and its reserve currency status. He derided the Greenback’s “exorbitant privilege”, something the US dollar apparently enjoyed even […]

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Amazonia

The other day I was speaking with a financial services friend of mine, someone I’ve known for a long time – a very kind, warm person, albeit highly analytical. My friend, who’s in private equity, is fascinated by a metamorphosis he thinks he is seeing underway – the transition of the Jeff Bezos substantially-owned Amazon, […]

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Frequency OECD

Geopolitics has become fraught – which may be a rank truism, since the argument may be that geopolitics always is. Countries choose to deal or not with each other, perhaps transact, and often entreat with each other. Underlying every assumed posture or action is an underlying tension, since a country incurs that tension from accommodating […]

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Build It, and Maybe They’ll Come

Like everywhere and like everybody, Saudi Arabia is hurting a bit these days. An onslaught from US energy independence, oil market contretemps, and the global Covid-19 blow have meant a sharp decline in projected economic growth for the Kingdom. See chart below. For the Saudi regime and for Saudi society, there is much to do […]

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Micawber’s Place

The Dickens character, Mr. Micawber, shared a lament and prognosis for anyone caught irretrievably in a tight spot, when chagrined he uttered, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought six, result misery.” The bare arithmetic can be painful, […]

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BRIC Toss

Some years ago, the research department at Goldman Sachs chose to distinguish four large emerging market economies, whom the GS team designated as “The BRICs”, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China. The acronym was part analytical insight, part marketing ploy. During the recent historical heyday of emerging market investing, the moniker caught on. The meme, […]