By Will Pearson and Carlos Ramirez of Eurasia Group
The North American shale gas revolution, currently confined to the US and Canada, could soon spread south to Mexico. Political decisions awaiting incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto will shape the timeline for the development of domestic shale resources. This timeline will in turn have ramifications on energy markets in the US, as well as the rest of the world. If Peña Nieto successfully opens the sector to private investment, US and Canadian firms with expertise in exploiting shale oil and gas will rush into Mexico. Nevertheless, regardless of the trajectory of its shale gas sector, Mexican imports of US shale gas will rise in the immediate future. Continue reading »
It has been pointed out before that Father Christmas and Hugo Chávez share a thing or two in common. Venezuela’s populist president may not have the fluffy white beard, but he has roughly the right build, and sometimes the jovial temperament. Most importantly, the oil-rich leader likes to give. Continue reading »
Is El Salvador, a poor Central American country struggling to overcome a violent history, a safer bet than Portugal? And is Mongolia, a country that has been rescued five times in the past 22 years by the International Monetary Fund, a better investment thesis than Spain?
An economy needs two things if it wants to grow: savings and investment. Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister knows all about that. He told businessmen last month that investment would rise by a massive 8 per cent in 2013 – if achieved, a huge driver of growth.
After his wildly optimistic and wildly wrong prediction of third quarter GDP, readers may not want to take Mantega too seriously. As illustrated by a chart from the IBGE, Brazil’s statistics institute, the current trend is very much in the wrong direction. Continue reading »
Gael García Bernal is not your average Hollywood movie star.
He intersplices his long sentences with references to Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, and throws in a bit of French radical thinker Alan Badiou for good measure. “Right now I’m reading In Praise of Love by Badiou,” he tells me while unwrapping his sandwich. “I’ve never read him, I have to catch up!” Continue reading »
Another day, another rich Chinese buys a French vineyard? Much as they did with Chinese art, Chinese investors are convinced they are onto a good thing with French red wine: they have bought some 30 to 40 vineyards in Bordeaux in the past two years, since China became the French region’s largest export market.
Poland’s economy slowed by more than expected in the third quarter, growing by an annual 1.4 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent in the second quarter, as the combined impact of the slowdown in the eurozone and a slump in domestic demand and investment continued to affect the country. Before the results were released on Friday morning, the consensus was for GDP increase of 1.8 per cent.
The big question now is what the slightly worse-than-expected numbers will mean for the National Bank of Poland’s interest rate setting Monetary Policy Council when it meets next week. Continue reading »
A grim reminder on Friday of the economic havoc that the eurozone crisis is wreaking in the Balkans.
Croatia’s GDP shrank 1.9 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, according to to the state statistics bureau, putting the country well on the way to a 2 per cent contraction for 2012, the fourth year of recession in a row. Hardly the best preparation for joining the EU next July. Continue reading »
Xi Jinping is now in place as China’s new leader. Growth in the world’s second largest economy has been reined in of late, but James Kynge, principal of China Confidential, the FT’s China research service, sees a more optimistic outlook than forecast just a few months ago.
Not such a rebound after all. Hopes that Brazil’s economy was emerging quickly from its recent spell of sluggish growth were disappointed on Friday when the national statistics office (IBGE) said quarter on quarter growth was just 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, half the rate expected by many economists.
Year on year growth was 0.9 per cent, far below the 1.9 per cent expected by 42 analysts polled by Reuters. Continue reading »
Russia’s consumer spending spree could be ending in tears. A credit-fuelled surge has led households to rack up unprecedented levels of consumer debt – so much so that in 2012 some 80 per cent of new consumer loans (excluding mortgages) are going towards interest on existing debt. This cannot go on.
“In Russia, the macro-economic risks are small,” says Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfabank, “But the risks in the banking sector are accumulating. Retail lending is becoming a high-risk segment.” Continue reading »
Friday’s pick from the BB team: India’s growth creates little employment; the message from Tahrir; and the Kremlin steps in with Norilsk Nickel. Plus: Ratan Tata’s lessons for India; Venezuela copes whilst Chávez is in Cuba; and Iraq’s new national anthem.
After more than three years of fully open access, we are taking the step of asking our readers to register on FT.com to read our articles. Beyondbrics will still be free but we'd like to know a bit more about you, our readers. Other FT blogs (including Alphaville) already do the same thing. Registration is active on beyondbrics from May 6.
Many of you are already registered on FT.com, or are subscribers - in which case, if you are logged in to the site you will not notice any difference. Just carry on as before.
For those of you not yet registered, it's a simple process which only takes a few moments.
Reading beyondbrics articles will NOT deduct from your free monthly quota of stories on FT.com.