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Financial markets in Brazil and Argentina have been under pressure this week, following negative news, both domestic and external. In Brazil, the Ibovespa index tumbled nearly 1.8% on Tuesday after a Senate Committee rejected the Government's labour reform bill.
We have no way of knowing what will be the final outcome of the impeachment inquiry now underway in the House of Representatives, but we are pretty sure that the first key stage will end with a vote to send the President for trial in the Senate.
The passage of the House tax cut bill does not guarantee that the Senate will follow suit with its own bill, still less that both chambers will then be able to agree on a single bill which can then b e signed into law. As
The tax plan released by the administration yesterday was so thoroughly leaked that it contained no real surprises. The border adjustment tax is dead -- not that we thought it would have passed the Senate in any event -- and the centerpiece is a proposed cut in the corporate income tax rate to 15% from 35%.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on Wednesday, following an impeachment trial triggered by allegations that Ms. Rousseff used "creative" accounting techniques to disguise Brazil's growing budget deficit, ahead of her re-election in 2014. The Senate voted 61-20 to convict Ms. Rousseff; only 54 votes were needed to oust her. For Ms. Rousseff's leftist Workers' Party, her removal marks the end of 13 years in power.
Recent polls suggest that Jair Bolsonaro has comfortably beaten Fernando Haddad, to become Brazil's president.
After a week--yes, a whole week!--with no significant new developments in the trade war with China--it's worth stepping back and asking a couple of fundamental questions, which might give us some clues as to what will happen over the months ahead.
The news in Brazil on inflation and politics has been relatively positive in recent weeks, allowing policymakers to keep cutting interest rates to boost the stuttering recovery.
We are going to print two days before the July 1 presidential election in Mexico.
The failure of House Republicans to support Speaker Ryan's healthcare bill has laid bare the splits within the Republican party. The fissures weren't hard to see even before last week's debacle but the equity market has appeared determined since November to believe that all the earnings-friendly elements of Mr. Trump's and Mr. Ryan's agendas would be implemented with the minimum of fuss.
The weaker is the economy over the next few months, the more likely it is that Mr. Trump blinks and removes some--perhaps even all--the tariffs on Chinese imports.
It's not our job to pontificate on the merits, or otherwise, of the tax cut bill from a political perspective.
The consensus for today's first post-apocalypse jobless claims number, 1,500K, looks much too low.
We are not political analysts or psephologists, but we note that each of the nine separate election forecasting models tracked by the New York Times suggests that Hillary Clinton will be president, with odds ranging from 67% to greater than 99%.
The budget sequestration process, which cut discretionary government spending by a total of $114B in fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014, was one of the dumbest things Congress has done in recent years.
Inflation in most economies in LatAm is well under control, allowing central banks to keep a dovish bias, and giving them room for further rate cuts.
The 62K jump in jobless claims for the week ended September 2 is a hint of what's to come. Claims usually don't surge until the second week after major hurricanes, because people have better things to do in the immediate aftermath, so we are braced for a further big increase next week.
In Mexico, Banxico left its policy rate unchanged at 7.75% last Thursday, as was widely expected.
Data released last week confirmed that Mexico's economy stumbled in the first half of the year, hurt by a temporary shocks in both the industrial and services sectors, and heightened political uncertainty, due to policy mistakes at the outset of AMLO's presidency.
As we reach our deadline--4pm eastern time--media reports indicate that a debt ceiling agreement is close.
We read the same polls, newspapers, and political websites as everyone else, and we're not claiming any special insight into the outcome of the midterm elections today.
In recent client meetings the first and last topic of conversation has been the market implications of the possible departure of President Trump from office.
Most LatAm currencies have been under pressure recently, with the Brazilian real and the Chilean peso breaking all-time lows versus the USD in recent weeks.
When economic historians look back at the bizarre trade war of 2018-to-19, we think they will see Tuesday June 4 as the turning point, after which the threats of fire and brimstone were taken much less seriously, and markets began to ponder life after tariffs.
Brazil's economic situation has improved this year, and we still expect the recovery to continue over the second half, despite recent political volatility and soft Q2 data.
Today's rate hike will be accompanied by a new round of Fed forecasts, which will have to reflect the faster growth and lower unemployment than expected back in September.
Industrial production in Mexico remained under pressure at the start of Q4. Output rose just 0.1% month-to-month in October, leaving the year-over-year rate unchanged at -1.4%, down from an average of -0.8% in Q3.
As the impeachment hearings gather momentum, we have been asked to provide a cut-out-and-keep guide to the possible outcomes.
Hard data for Brazil and Mexico, released last week, support the case for further interest rate cuts.
Earlier this week the New York Times bleakly suggested--see here--that people in Italy are too depressed to care about this weekend's parliamentary elections.
We now think that Banxico will keep interest rates on hold at 7.50% at its Thursday meeting, as the MXN has stabilized in recent days, despite rising geopolitical risks.
We've had pushback from readers over our take on the likelihood of a trade deal with China in the near future.
Politics will be the key factor in LatAm over the coming quarters, as presidential and legislative elections take place throughout the region.
Brazil's lower house of Congress on Sunday voted to start impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff, who is accused of tampering with the public accounts to help secure her re-election in 2014. Ms. Rousseff's opponents obtained 367 votes, exceeding the two-thirds majority, needed to send the motion to the Senate.
Fed Chair Yellen said something which sounded odd, at first, in her Q&A at the Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday. It is "not clear" she argued, that the rate of growth of wages has a "direct impact on inflation".
The Brazilian Senate concluded last week the first vote- of-two- on the pension reform.
We're not expecting drama from Chair Yellen's semi-annual Monetary Policy Testimony in the Senate today. Dr. Yellen will want to keep alive the idea of a rate hike next month, but she will not signal that action is likely, given the continuing lack of clarity on the path of fiscal policy.
Two fiscal deadlines are on the near-horizon.
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