Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> Americas Fridays




The Risks to America’s Booming Economy After a long and slow recovery from the recession that began a decade ago, the United States economy is now booming. The labor market is at full employment, the inflation rate is rising, and households are optimistic. Manufacturing firms and homebuilders are benefiting from increasing activity. The economy is poised for stronger growth in the year ahead. We no longer hear worries about secular stagnation. -Project Syndicate


The Crisis of Trumpism This isn’t a function of poll numbers, or the Russia controversy, or any other melodrama of the past three months, but something more fundamental: No officeholder in Washington seems to understand President Donald Trump’s populism or have a cogent theory of how to effect it in practice, including the president himself. -Politico

Increased Scrutiny of Visa Applications and Possible Delays On March 17, 2017, the Department of State (“DOS”), through the Secretary of State, issued a cable to all US consulates and embassies with guidance on enhanced screening and vetting of applications for US visas and other immigration benefits. -JD Supra

THE PALM BEACH STORY >> China's Xi to meet Trump for the first time next week -Reuters

The honeymoon's over for Trump and Putin Washington and Moscow are trading sharp words over Russia's weekend political crackdown, civilian deaths in Iraq and the revival of U.S. sanctions touching Russian interests. -Politico

On whirlwind trip to Turkey, Tillerson tries to assuage a frustrated ally -The Washington Post

The Ghost Ship Anchored at Foggy Bottom It would take a consummate diplomat to be the face of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy. -Arms Control Wonk

Trump to unveil $1 trillion infrastructure plan in 2017: official -Reuters


Trump to seek tariff 'snap-back', tax equality in NAFTA revamp In revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trump administration will seek tax equality and the ability to reimpose tariffs if a flood of imports from Canada and Mexico causes "a threat of serious injury" to U.S. industry, a draft of negotiating objectives shows. -Reuters

Venezuela's Maduro decried as 'dictator' after Congress annulled Opposition leaders branded Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro a "dictator" on Thursday after the Supreme Court took over the functions of Congress and pushed a lengthy political standoff to new heights. -Reuters




GLOBALIZATION DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN – BUT CONSUMERS DO >> Remember When Trump Said He Saved 1,100 Jobs at a Carrier Plant? Here’s the essential thing to understand about this business: Furnaces are all pretty much the same, a heater and a blower inside a box. “There are not any key industry secrets that make one manufacturer better than another.” Web-savvy consumers determine what they want and gravitate toward dealers that prove themselves reliable and able to offer good prices. -Bloomberg

A scramble at Cisco exposes uncomfortable truths about U.S. cyber defense When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) swung into action. -Reuters

7 Things the U.S. Business Community Wants from Brexit Negotiations -US Chamber of Commerce

1. Market Access

2. Labor Movement

3. Financial Services

4. Regulation

5. Data

6. Tax Policy

7. Transition measures should be enacted to limit economic uncertainty

Netflix and Amazon are now so big that they’re changing the way global TV shows are financed -Quartz

Delta, American Eye Trans-Pacific Market As Trans-Atlantic Rivals Grow Delta said early Wednesday Eastern time, a move that could strengthen its position in the trans-Pacific as competition escalates just about everywhere else. -Investors Daily

China telecom firm ZTE removed from U.S. trade blacklist The U.S. Department of Commerce will remove Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) from a trade blacklist on Wednesday after the company pleaded guilty to violating sanctions on Iran and agreed to pay nearly $900 million, the agency said in a notice. -Reuters

Chinese Firm Takes Stake in U.S. Investment Bank Cowen As China looks to spread its economic influence around the world, it is taking a bigger interest in financial companies, a move that could raise scrutiny in the era of President Trump. -NYT DealB%k

Liberals reverse course on Chinese takeover of Montreal high-tech firm The Trudeau government has approved a Chinese takeover of a Montreal high-tech firm, a deal that national-security agencies had warned Ottawa in 2015 would undermine a technological edge that Western militaries have over China. -The Global and Mail

Chile surpasses Thailand as a supplier of fruits for China According to data released by the Chinese Customs, in 2016, Chile exported about $1,200 million dollars of fresh fruit to China, i.e. 22% more than in the previous year, replacing Thailand as the largest supplier of fresh fruit for China.

Goldcorp-Barrick Partnership Shows Miners Tip-Toeing to Growth Canada’s two biggest gold miners, Barrick Gold Corp. and Goldcorp Inc., are teaming up to develop a gold-copper deposit in Chile as part of a complex chain of transactions. -Bloomberg


U.S. economic growth revised higher, boosted by consumer spending Gross domestic product increased at a 2.1 percent annualized rate instead of the previously reported 1.9 percent pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its third GDP estimate for the period. -Reuters

The Geography of U.S. Productivity Cities and the energy belt are the most productive economic regions in America. What does that mean for the rest of the country? -The Atlantic

WHAT YOU MISSED IN THE OIL MARKETS >> Oil Market Movers – Fundamentals, Finance, and Volatile Sentiment -CSIS (video)