Friday, April 29, 2016

FT Of London Weekly Report On Latin America

FINANCIAL TIMES - Latam Viva: Your weekly briefing from the region
The Clash moment
By Andres Schipani 
April 28, 2016
Many Latin Americans who like myself stepped into nightclubs for the first time as the generals in dark glasses were retreating from the political scene, used to listen to Mick Jones pounding "should I stay or should I go?" That is a question several leftwing leaders in the region maybe asking themselves these days.
In Brazil Dilma Rousseff wrestles with a "telenovela" impeachment - although questions are arising over the legality of the move. In Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro may soon face a recall vote. In Ecuador a court this week paved the way for a referendum on repealing a constitutional ruling that bars Rafael Correa from running again for president next year. 
The end of the commodity price boom has been double-edged in Latin America. There is an erosion of constitutional checks and balances ("should I stay?") and a cry for more checks and balances ("should I go?"). The risk for leaders and their parties of trying to cling to power  is increasingly eroding. They are struggling both with low prices for oil and mineral exports - like their African counterparts - and badly managed economies.
In Venezuela, a prolonged drought prompted Maduro to declare two-day working week. The pilsner-loving citizens of the cash-strapped oil-rich country are facing the prospect of beer shortages. As discontent mounts, this could accelerate the opposition's push to remove Maduro through a recall referendum, now the electoral court has allowed signatures to be collected. 
In earthquake-ravaged Ecuador, Correa, a US-trained economist, may have to swallow his pride and ask the IMF for a bailout to pay for reconstruction. In Brazil, the central bank is bracing for a shakeup as it struggles to contain one of the deepest recessions on record while containing soaring inflation. (The IMF’s western hemisphere director did not sound too worried when he told the FT that whether Rousseff stays or goes, Brazil's ability to bounce back depends on how it can hammer out political consensus on a package of spending cuts, tax rises and anti-protectionist measures.)
We may be far from the optimism that followed the region’s transition to democracy in the 1980s, when The Clash was pumping out of loudspeakers. But the question posed by the British punk band back then is still reverberating. It may be time for Dilma, Nicolás, and Rafael, to dust off their old records.
Quote of the week
"We have never seen abuse and the mechanics of impunity and cover-up exposed so clearly and in such an authoritative, detailed fashion. This report is devastating for Mexico’s international reputation” - Daniel Wilkinson, Americas managing director at Human Rights Watch, told the Financial Times.
Chart of the week
The week in review
MSCI Peru ruling threatens to unbalance Frontier index
Fears the move would drive foreign investment away from $67bn bourse
Judge questions Brazil impeachment process
Some lawmakers announced their votes against Dilma Rousseff before ballot
Brazil’s central bank keeps rates on hold
Benchmark left at near-decade high as the country braces for a government shake-up
IMF says Brazil resilience bodes well for recovery post-crises
Fund points to country’s ability to attract foreign direct investment despite political upheaval
Venezuela civil servants put on two-day week to cut power usage
Electricity shortages worsen in crisis-hit Latin American oil producer
Brazilians turn to retail therapy
Premium beer and lipstick are the only products holding up as economy collapses
Credit Suisse poaches UBS wealth management team in Mexico
Swiss bank boosts its relationship manager division as it targets emerging market entrepreneurs
BTG Pactual founder Esteves freed by Brazil’s Supreme Court
Star banker still being investigated over Petrobras scandal but allowed to return to work
Andrew Bailey was not interviewed for FCA job, confirms chairman
Treasury select committee questions process of choosing financial watchdog chief
US shale gas producers bet Mexico is next bonanza
As Donald Trump delivers hostile rhetoric, US producers say sales to neighbour could unlock glut
Report highlights flawed probe into 43 missing Mexican students
Allegations of torture and evidence planting expected to damage Peña Nieto’s government
Rousseff presses her case in Brazil drama
Impeachment fight said to have the feeling of a ‘telenovela’
Argentina puts an end to long holdouts saga
Judge lifts injunctions on country after it pays creditors $9.3bn
Ecuador despairs after quake and seeks urgent funds to rebuild
President Correa may have to swallow pride and seek IMF help
Macri enlists business as austerity bites
Argentina is undergoing a painful transition from interventionist policies
FT LatAm Viva features commentary by the FT's Latin America team and stories fromacross the FT.

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