Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 02-01-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Negative foreign policy is about preventing bad things from happening, confronting dangers and dealing with bad guys. Positive foreign policy is about building new relationships, expanding markets and opportunities, strengthening alliances and values.
  • India will be the next global Goliath, though not as fast growing as China, because of its size. Indian society, increasingly pro-American, has long been attracted to America.
  • Mexico has gone from being anti-America 30 years ago to a country whose economy is closely linked to the US, a culture that has been Americanized in many respects, and whose politicians regard America as its natural partner.
  • Asia, Latin America, and Africa are moving in the right direction.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1502/01/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 12-21-14

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Movie studios and theaters have made a mistake in not affirming freedom of expression regarding the movie “The Interview”. In the late 1930s, the UK wanted to ban distribution of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”  to appease Nazi Germany.
  • Obama’s strategy of pressuring Russia and making it pay a price has worked.
  • Putin is not really a dictator but an illiberal Democrat.

Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal said:

  • The Castro regime or its successor will be much more obstreperous than we imagine and the liberalization that we seek will not materialize. The opening up of Burma – one of Obama’s great achievements – showed that just setting up an embassy and opening commercial relations was not enough and we gave up too much of our leverage.
  • Cuba is not China and not an important country so there will be no economic bonanza coming our way.
  • Pakistan has chased its best people away.

Anne-Marie Slaughter at New America Foundation said:

  • Robust US economic relations with China has not changed its hold on its society. A US relationship with Cuba is better for both countries and very important for US relations with all of Latin America, given America’s Hispanic population. The Caribbean is an area with much investment and Cuba is a key player.
  • Putin is very weak, and his move into Crimea and Ukraine was the result of both economic and political weakness. Putin’s popularity has been tied to his increasing the standard of living for the majority of Russians four-fold, but now Russia is in recession.
  • The Saudis are lowering oil prices to hurt both Iran and Russia.

Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said:

  • The move toward Cuba is well designed and either works and sets in motion the trends we want to see or doesn’t, and we still have the embargo in place. The move is one of the positive effects of lower oil prices because Venezuela is not going to be able to sustain theIR subsidy.
  • Putin has consolidated power to a degree around his own person that is without precedent in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, which makes it hard to predict how he will react to this pressure.
  • Pakistan is a weak, divided, almost endlessly failing state and the most frightening country in the world with 150, 200 nuclear weapons and many of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

Rana Foroohar at CNN said:

  • A great first step would be to help Cuba build a more robust Internet a la China
  • Lower oil prices is essentially a $100 billion tax rebate for consumers, but very bad news for petro autocrats like Russia and Iran – the negative fallout tends to be more intense than the positive effect.
  • Russia is a failed state economically, with 75% of the exports coming from oil.
  • In Russia and in many other emerging market countries, there is a younger generation that is quite nationalistic.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1412/21/fzgps.01.html

Where have all the Spaniards gone? – BBC News 10-03-14

Salient to Investors:

  • Fundacion Alternativas said 700,000 Spaniards left Spain between 2008 and 2012. The National Statistics Institute reports 547,890 left in 2013, 79,306 of them Spanish nationals born in Spain.
  • Spaniards are fleeing 25% unemployment and flocking to Latin America, including Brazil, where language barriers are few, the cost of living is lower, and the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder are plenty. 5,739 Spaniards moved to just Chile in 2013, versus 3,700 to the whole of Latin America in 2005 .
  • Spaniards are prized for their European education and background. Spaniards are surprised by the modernity, opportunity and comforts of home in countries like Peru, Chile and Brazil.
  • The IMF predicts Spain to grow 1.2% in 2014, Peru 5.5% , Mexico 3%, Chile 3.6%  and Panama 7.2%.

Read the full article at http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20141003-why-are-spaniards-fleeing-home

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World’s Biggest Market Crashes and You Didn’t Even Know It – Bloomberg 09-30-14

Salient to Investors:

Marco Lambertini at The World Wildlife Foundation said:

  • More than half of the world’s vertebrates have disappeared between 1970 and 2010, primarily due to exploitation (37%), habitat degradation (31%), habitat loss (13%), and global warming (7.1%). Meanwhile the human population has nearly doubled.
  • Latin America’s biodiversity dropped 83%, the most of any region.
  • It would take 1.5 planet Earths to meet the present demands that humanity makes on nature: if every human had the same lifestyle as the typical American, it would take 3.9 planet Earths.
  • The effects of climate change are only just starting to be felt and the toll on wildlife is rising.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-30/depressed-market-half-of-world-s-wildlife-disappears-in-40-years.html

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Global AgeWatch Index: Norway best for older people – BBC News 09-30-14

Salient to Investors:

HelpAge International said:

  • Norway is the best of 96 countries to grow old in, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. Afghanistan is the worst.
    Australia, Western Europe and North America rank highly.
  • By 2050, 21% of the global population will be over 60, when 40 of the 96 countries will have 30% of their population aged 60 or over.
  • Mexico, Peru and some other Latin American countries have risen in the rankings.
  • Mexico (30th) ranks ahead of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The tradition of caring for the elderly within extended families is weakening.

The growth of tax-financed, non-contributory “social pensions” is key to helping tackle inequality for seniors.

In Mexico, nearly 9 out of every 10 people aged 65 or older receive a social pension.

Read the full article at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-29426285

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Latin America Disappoints After Squandering Commodity Boom – Bloomberg 05-29-13

Salient to Investors:

Latin America is disappointing investors, economists and businesses with slower-than-forecast growth as waning commodity prices and strong currencies hit nations that failed to diversify and become more competitive.

Economists cut Brazil’s 2013 outlook for the second time in 7 days, forecasting the worst 3-year period in a decade.

The region has invested too little of windfall revenue in roads, technology and education, and to promote businesses outside of mining and agriculture. Chile has the region’s best OECD reading-skills results but is ranked 44 among 65 countries, with Peru second-to-last.

Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru increased primary exports to an average 71.3 percent of foreign sales from 58.3 percent in the decade through 2011, instead of reducing vulnerabilities to commodity boom-and-bust cycles. SA Commodities said 212 vessels awaited cargo in Brazil during March, and the line of trucks to unload soybeans at its busiest port surged to a record 15 miles long.

Alberto Ramos at Goldman Sachs said the easy growth has been collected, and they need to find domestic sources of growth, rather than relying on abundant external liquidity and high commodity prices.

James Gaul at Boston Advisors is more cautious on the region than several years ago, driven by this decline in the global, commodity-led growth theme.

Analysts predict the region will grow 3.38 percent in 2013 versus predicting 3.81 percent 6 months ago, and Asia to accelerate to 6.44 percent.

Alonso Cervera at Credit Suisse said Mexican results in general have disappointed, and Q1 confirmed that Mexico is still dependent on a healthy rest of the world.

The IMF said Latin America will not sustain growth at current levels, given labor constraints and recent trends for capital and productivity increases, and potential growth through 2017 is closer to 3.25 percent versus 4 percent average a year in the decade through 2012.

The World Bank said Brazilian companies spend 2,600 hours a year dealing with tax issues compared with 209 hours in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Henry Stipp at Threadneedle Asset Mgmt said lower commodity prices may help cut inflationary pressure and give central banks more room for monetary stimulus.

Economists have cut Columbia’s 2013 growth forecast to 4.2 percent versus 4.9 percent last August.

Michael Shaoul at Marketfield Asset Mgmt said Latin America has not yet bottomed and will not recover to the growth level of the previous decade because the commodity boom is over and policy makers failed to reduce their dependence on primary goods when money flowed into their economies.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-29/latin-america-disappoints-after-squandering-commodity-boom-era.html

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