Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: May 15, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

The Apprentice went live at the White House with President Trump assuming his old reality TV role and telling now former FBI Director James Comey, “You’re Fired!” (by letter which reportedly Comey heard about on TV). The stealth move was anything but subtle and caused a firestorm in and of itself with quick references to Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. Interesting juxtaposition on coverage on front pages of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, with the Times in the headline recalling “echoes of Watergate” and the Journal much more straightforward detailing the president’s frustration with Comey. WAY stay tuned as the White House tries to put the whole thing on mute while coming up with an appropriate replacement.

Elsewhere:

  • Big purse for Kate Spade as Coach buys hipper handbagger for $2.4-billion;
  • Sinclair is out to buy Tribune media for $3.9 billion to build TV station giant;
  • Snap snapped on earnings with meh user growth;
  • The overall market barely budged overall with the Dow ending Friday off a mere 0.5 percent to close at 20,896;
  • Sean Spicer does Navy Reserves tour of duty missing perhaps the tough tour from Comey chaos but leaves through the hedges for a way strange gaggle that got social all excited; and
  • France inaugurated its president, which makes us think why we wait so long between election and inauguration.

LatAm Gaze 

  • On Wednesday, Argentina's statistics agency Indec said 12-month inflation through April was 27.5%, 2.6%, above median analyst expectations. Argentina's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to 26.25% on April 11, citing higher inflation expectations. The bank said April inflation would be higher than desired but rise at a slower pace in May.
  • On Thursday, Brazil’s Ministry of Health announced the end of the state of emergency due to the decrease in the number of Zika cases in the country. Officials however stated that the country would continue to combat the mosquito which transmits the virus. 
  • The leader of the Mexican Business Council, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, reported that in 2017,  companies that make up the agency will invest 31.430 billion dollars, reducing their investments by 6.17 due to the uncertainty in the trade relationship with the United States and the exchange rate volatility. 
  • In Panama, over the past year, the gap between the cost of living and the income received has increased their debt in the banking system by $ 1,196 million. The latest report by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP) details that in February 2017, total consumer credit amounted to $10,347,816,000, which represents a 13% increase over the same period in 2016. 
  • On Tuesday, the low cost airline Viva Air Peru had its first take-off. The low cost airline will have a direct impact on domestic tourism: it is estimated that by the end of the year it could double the number of passengers transported by air, leading to a greater flow of local tourism. 
  • According to a plea bargain statement made public on Thursday, Brazilian strategist, Joao Santana, was paid $20 million under-the-table for the 2012 re-election campaign of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, much of it handed over in cash by current President Nicolas Maduro.  

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