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Bolivia: Bond Issuance Imminent?

Bolivia: Bond Issuance Imminent?

Investors will be interested in purchasing Bolivian government bonds when they are issued, if for nothing more than diversification purposes.  The planet is awash in liquidity.  Furthermore, developed market fiscal crises (read: in Europe and the U.S.), coupled with high commodity prices and huge concentrations in bellwether emerging markets such as Brazil and Mexico, are […]

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Africa: The Human Challenge

Africa: The Human Challenge

The recent FPA conference, Africa Emerging (see this link), touched on a number of important themes related to Africa’s improving economic performance and the formidable challenges that lie ahead.  One theme echoed louder than all the rest — the necessity for investment in human capital — in education and health care.  As in most discussions about […]

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Great Decisions Review: Inside Indonesia

Great Decisions Review:  Inside Indonesia

Great Decisions: Inside Indonesia (click for Great Decision video preview) To its credit, FPA’s annual world affairs discussion program, Great Decisions, covered the strategically-important, but ambivalent, rising power, Indonesia.  With all the focus on China, the BRICs, conflict in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the like, it is easy for the average world citizen, and Americans […]

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Can Latin America handle another global shock?

Can Latin America handle another global shock?

A decoupling of emerging markets from the struggling developed world is a myth, as we saw in 2011 when euro and US shocks caused a sell-off in EM currencies, including in Latin America. Next year could be rough as global growth slows. Countries from Brazil to China are rushing to reverse their earlier policy tightening. […]

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Debt Dynamics: Who is Most at Risk?

Debt Dynamics: Who is Most at Risk?

The debt dynamics equation was in the past of interest only to sovereign credit analysts (such as this blogger) and macro policy wonks.  Now, more people want to know about it.  You can generate such an equation that is elaborate or not, but the gist is the following:  The primary budget surplus, that is, government revenues minus expenditures — not […]

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Time to Applaud the TARP

Time to Applaud the TARP

The TARP covered banks across the nation The US government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was such a success that it not only saved America’s financial system, with the help of the Federal Reserve, it also saved the global economy AND turned a profit for the US taxpayer.  It was almost three years ago, during […]

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The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve Board With right-wing Republican presidential candidates these days either calling for the Fed to be abolished (Ron Paul) or simply calling the nation’s central bank “treasonous” (Rick Perry), thinking citizens should at least be concerned about the Fed’s activities. I defended the Fed on this blog and still do. People who should […]

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Unasur and Banco del Sur

Unasur and Banco del Sur

The Union of South American Nations Will the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and its monetary fund, Banco del Sur, be successful? It has been difficult for emerging markets to diversify their sources of balance of payments (BOP) support. During the 1997-98 Asian crisis, the shame such Asian nations as Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia […]

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A View on Europe

A View on Europe

The following post is an edited version of an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post earlier this month by Pinchas Landau, author of The Landau Report, a newsletter and consultancy service addressing the needs of foreign firms and financial institutions active in Israel and the Middle East. “Domestic fury, and fierce civil strife Shall […]

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Will China Overtake the US?

Will China Overtake the US?

China and the U.S.: Who’s winning? The IMF’s prediction earlier this year that China will have a larger economy than the US in 2016 has gotten a lot of press.  The validity of this forecast depends on two factors — how you value a country’s output or GDP and what your forecasts for GDP growth […]

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Landau Report: Middle East upheaval – the impact on Israel

Pinchas Landau, author of The Landau Report, is one of Israel’s leading independent analysts and commentators on economic and financial affairs. Prior to establishing an independent consultancy, he was for many years one of the country’s most prominent financial journalists. In 1996, Pinchas launched The Landau Report, a newsletter and consultancy service addressing the needs of foreign firms and […]

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Why so eager to topple Mubarak?

Why so eager to topple Mubarak?

True, the Mubarak regime was authoritarian and at times brutal with its domestic opponents; true, Mubarak squandered opportunities over three decades to gradually introduce pluralism and democracy.  But, compared to other such regimes, was it so bad, especially from the American perspective? Why were Western governments so eager to topple him, yet still tiptoe around the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his […]

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US on Egypt: Conflicting Signals?

US on Egypt: Conflicting Signals?

  I have admired Barack Obama for some time, but since early in the 2008 Democratic primaries, I have written that his Achilles’ heel is his hubris.  It is his strength, for sure, propelling a charismatic politician with little experience (especially on foreign policy) into the White House.  But it can be his undoing.  On […]

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USA: Is EM inflation good or bad?

USA: Is EM inflation good or bad?

Credit Suisse today reported that a number of emerging market (EM) economies are experiencing rising inflation; and in some, central banks are countering with interest rate hikes (see excerpt below).  Might seem strange to those of us who live in a country where policy interest rates are at zero and the Federal Reserve seems to be more […]

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Russia: Rehabilitating Tolstoy?

Russia: Rehabilitating Tolstoy?

Some Russians want to rehabilitate the great novelist Leo Tolstoy.  (Read a NYTimes article on the subject here.)  Russia’s post-Soviet regime turned a cold shoulder to the author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace because the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated him in 1901 and because he was later exalted by Soviet leaders.  In the late 19th century, […]

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About the Author

Roger Scher
Roger Scher

Roger Scher is a political analyst and economist with eighteen years of experience as a country risk specialist. He headed Latin American and Asian Sovereign Ratings at Fitch Ratings and Duff & Phelps, leading rating missions to Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, Korea, Indonesia, Israel and Turkey, among other nations. He was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer based in Venezuela and a foreign exchange analyst at the Federal Reserve. He holds an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University SAIS, an M.B.A. in International Finance from the Wharton School, and a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University. He currently teaches International Relations at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy.

Areas of Focus:
International Political Economy; American Foreign Policy

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