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Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: March 27, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

President Trump and the GOP leadership suffered a major defeat in their early days as the Obamacare repeal and replace effort failed to make it to a final vote and the White House and House Speaker said uncle. It seemed like most of the nation and probably part of the world watched closely Friday to see if the measure would make it to a vote, almost like watching a Beltway version of March Madness. 

Elsewhere:

  • The FBI confirmed it is investigating any potential links between the Trump election campaign and the Russian government in what became a complete mosh pit of declarations on what people knew and when, cloudy the issue with one thing clear: investigation underway amid reported signs of conversations and conflicts of interest. WAY more to come;
  • A lone assailant in London left five dead (including himself) and scores injured after running down pedestrians near the gates of Parliament as the number of suspects grew over the weekend;
  • The Wall Street Journal seemed to go a bit rogue for its more conservative lean with a midweek editorial scolding President Trump for his “endless stream of exaggerations,” among other accusations, which went more viral that probably most from the papers ed pages;
  • Stocks suffered major losses last week, following seemingly non-stop records this year, in a retreat from the health-care bill troubles with the Dow down 2.5 percent from its record last at the start of the month to end on Friday at 20,596; and
  • David Rockefeller, banker and philanthropist, died amid front-page flourish on all his civic, business and social accomplishments.

LatAm Gaze

  • China, Egypt and Chile have resumed imports of Brazilian meat after an investigation into whether Brazil, one of the world’s largest meat exporters, had been exporting rotten meat or otherwise violated regulations in preparing processed goods. The investigation, however, continues. Separately, Brazil’s government has postponed a budget cut and is considering raising taxes to help cover a current R$58bn deficit.
  • This week, UK International Trade Minister Greg Hands announced that up to £1bn of export credit support will be available to help UK companies secure business in Argentina, after a near 20-year suspension.  
  • Peru’s Central Reserve Bank (BCR) reported that the annual growth rate of credit to the private sector provided by financial institutions increased from 5.5% in January to 5.9% in February, a continued sign of improving lending conditions in the region.  
  • In Chile, a 43-day strike at a copper mine that cost over US$2.8 billion in losses has come to a stalemate, as workers and union officials have tabled negotiations by 18 months. The strike was led by Escondida, the world’s largest copper producer.
  • Mexico’s 129 private equity and venture deals in 2016 marked a 46.5% increase from its 2015 figure, illustrating that private equity and venture capital funds remain active in the region, despite the uncertainty sparked by Donald Trump’s election.
  • End of Week Market Updates
    • Merval (Argentina):   +   1.39%
    • Bovespa (Brazil):        -    0.55%
    • IPSA (Chile):              +   2.33%
    • IGBC (Colombia):       +   1.56%
    • IPC (Mexico):             +   1.01%
    • BVL (Peru):                 -    0.04% 

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