Venezuela: Delineating Some “Complications” Ahead

At last count, over 48 countries have recognized the role of Acting President Juan Guaido of Venezuela, adding further pressure to the flailing regime of President Nicolas Maduro. U.S. sanctions further amplify Venezuela’s loss of market access, for key energy inputs, energy exports and credit for other goods. This piece surveys some of the economic… Continue reading Venezuela: Delineating Some “Complications” Ahead

Some Thoughts on the Russian Sale of U.S. Treasurys

Recent Russian reports provide more color on Russian official sector's move out of the the USD in Q2 of last year.  The big focus of the CBR reserves composition report  (see thread here) was the move into CNY assets, making Russia is now one of the largest holders of offshore CNY reserve assets. Despite the speeding up… Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Russian Sale of U.S. Treasurys

Iran Deal Response: More Unanswered Questions

Last week, I wrote about some of the key questions surrounding the U.S. withdrawal or rather violation of the JCPOA which focused on the responses of Iran (production, discounting, regional policy), Europe (blocking measures), and Asian buyers of Iranian goods. Since then the focus has been on the European counter response to the U.S. decision,… Continue reading Iran Deal Response: More Unanswered Questions

Iran Sanctions: Unanswered Questions

The U.S. has exited the Iran deal/become non-compliant and announced a timeline to reimpose the sanctions that had been suspended in 2015, as many people feared. Some key questions have been answered including the phase-in period, start of discussions with suppliers,  but many key ones remain unanswered. In this post, I’ll take a look at… Continue reading Iran Sanctions: Unanswered Questions

Spring Meetings Takeaways: Robust Outlook Clouded by Trade and Sanctions Worries

The mood at last week’s Spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank was quite upbeat, as anticipated  (see my preview here) though there were considerable concerns that near-term strength, exacerbated by U.S. fiscal stimulus and still supportive global monetary stimulus might be masking medium-term vulnerabilities. Many major economies are growing above potential, and are… Continue reading Spring Meetings Takeaways: Robust Outlook Clouded by Trade and Sanctions Worries

MBS World Tour: Saudi Arabia’s Looming Tradeoffs

With Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington at the start of his long U.S. tour, there have been no shortage of good analyses written about what’s at stake and the motivations for the trip and Saudi social and economic reform – my favorites include those by Karen Young and Alastair Newton, as… Continue reading MBS World Tour: Saudi Arabia’s Looming Tradeoffs