Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Update

A look around, from IMF/World Bank spring meetings to States of Emergency...I guess those aren't that far apart actually. Onto the update:

  • IMF Survey gives the brief version of what Nicolas Eyzaguirre, director of western hemisphere at the IMF, had to say about the region. The region is rebounding relatively quickly, large countries could face serious capital inflows which could lead to boom-bust cycles, therefore capital controls may be justified. Looks like they might be backing up that talk...

  • Brazil is a prime example of country where cap controls could be applied, according to the IMF. From Bloomberg: "Noting the “high liquidity and high commodity prices” in Latin America’s biggest economy, “Brazil is one that should consider all the instruments in the toolkit,” Eyzaguirre said."

  • One country that won't be using capital controls...Colombia. Reuters has the story: "Colombia is not considering capital controls to limit appreciation of its currency, its finance minister said on Saturday, even though the measures are no longer seen as taboo by many other nations." Pretty good article though, good quotes about the surprise of Colombia's finance minister about the popularity of cap controls at this years spring meetings.

  • Finally, the IMF is calling out Argentina for not allowing the annual Article IV consultations. As a member of the G-20, Argentina is a "systemically important" country, says the IMF. Argentina, for their part, released a statement that said: “If we had followed the recommendations traditionally made by (the IMF) — which have favoured opening our economies, foreign indebtedness, financial liberalization and ‘unbeatable’ market-oriented reforms — the outcome would have been totally different and today we would have been embroiled in a fresh economic, social and political crisis,” and that “Therefore, we celebrate today our well-gained economic independence.” Buenos Aires Herald has the English language run-down.

  • From the World Bank, an announcement today of a boost of capital, and a change in voting structure towards developing countries. $86 billion in new capital, but more importantly, "A 3.13 percentage point increase in the voting power of Developing and Transition countries (DTCs) at IBRD, bringing them to 47.19 percent -- a total shift to DTCs of 4.59 percentage points since 2008. This increase fulfills the Development Committee commitment in Istanbul in October 2009 to generate a significant increase of at least 3 percentage points in DTC voting power." Not everyone is happy; China is now behind only the US and Japan, but some African countries actually lost shares, and the Brazilian Finance Minister thinks the aim should be for at least parity at the next round of negotiations in 2015. Its ridiculous how long it takes to change governance at the IMF and WB.

  • The Washington Post reports on the murdering of journalists in Honduras, death toll is now 7 since March 1. Amazingly, the Post doesn't discuss political motives, and barely mentions Zelaya, without ever mentioning the frente. More evidence that if you really want coverage of Honduras, check out The Real News, Honduras Culture and Politics and Quotha.

  • Judicial issues in both Colombia (threats and murder)...and Venezuela (jail)...

  • Also in Colombia, Piedad Cordoba, facing charges of ties to the FARC, blames Uribe. And it turns out not only was the DAS spying on judges, politicians, journalists and human rights activists in Colombia...but also in Europe. Colombia Reports has it all.

  • And, as has been covered by others, Mockus has pulled even closer to Santos. For a good-looking chart showing the change in polls since Mockus teamed up with Fajardo, head over to IKN.

  • Arizona is fucked up. But maybe it will just be a Pyrrhic victory? At least the White House is responding...maybe even with a lawsuit, according to Jake Tapper.

  • What did Evo really say about Chickens? Mexfiles calls out "chicken-shit "progressives""....and at least one person in the mainstream media seems to understand...

  • Lastly, Paraguayan lawmakers granted Lugo a 30 day state of emergency to combat the Paraguayan Peoples Army. Lugo will "be able to order arrests and the transfer of suspects without court approval," and "The new law also places new limits on civil liberties like the right to assemble by prohibiting public protests." Lugo has been criticized by the right for being to soft on the "army"....the "army" is an estimated 100 people.
I'm sure there is much more I'm missing, let me know...

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