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Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: October 16, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

Crisis teams out in force all week, as we all witness the Harvey Weinstein affair take down a mogul, a company and damage an industry and slowly some of its key players as silence and no action leads to serious consequences. The New Yorker story by Ronan Farrow kicked everything into high gear from the shocking stories and accusations to finger pointing and embarrassment (especially a bit from NBC that seemed to “lose” the story to the weekly magazine). The story has also led to the suspension at Amazon of its studio chief amid allegations of sexual harassment and ties to Weinstein. 

Elsewhere:

  • President Trump signed an executive order that unwinds provisions of Obamacare in a first of other similar moves that will reportedly provide cheaper plans with fewer benefits for self insured; Some said they would offer ACA health plans anyway;
  • Time is getting smaller, literally, with the weekly downsizing its print circulation to 2 million from 3 million;
  • Wal-Mart announced it is opening fewer US stores than in past years;
  • Apple is moving into the content world, with its first bet on Steven Spielberg;
  • The Boys Scouts are admitting girls to the ranks in an apparent effort to offset declining membership;
  • The Dow edged up a big this week (0.4 percent) to close Friday at 22,871, continuing its weekly gains to five; and
  • The US soccer team failed to qualify for the World Cup.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Analysts at Moody’s expect to increase Argentinas credit rating in the coming months due to the country’s economic prospects following the October elections and an improving local credit environment. In order for Argentina to improve its rating, it must sustain growth, lower inflation and reduce the deficit. Separately, Argentina’s energy minister announced the country’s plans to auction offshore oil and gas exploration rights next year, in the hope of developing fields off its Atlantic coast like those in neighboring Brazil.
  • News that Amazon would expand its presence in Brazil sent shares of Argentine rival MercadoLibre, Latin America’s largest online buying and selling community, to a 10% decline.
  • On Tuesday, a Brazilian congressional report recommended against President Michel Temer facing trial for obstruction of justice and membership in a criminal organization, arguing that the charges against him were unfounded.
  • Banco de Chile reported net earnings of $433.66 billion for the third quarter, growing 1.2% over the same cycle last year, narrowly topping rival Santander.  
  • Walmart plans to invest $800 million in Chile in the next three years, including opening 55 to 60 new stores.
  • French oil company Total reached an agreement with GASORED, owner of a network of gas stations in Mexico, to brand and lease 250 gas stations around the territory, marking the French company’s first foray into the Mexican petroleum business. 
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered the estimates of growth for Panama from 5.8 to 5.3%, while the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) lowered its forecast from 5.6% to 5.5% due to the country’s inability to generate enough jobs.
  • Peru announced that in 2018 the government will advance five major mining projects which will generate investments of US $10 billion into the country 

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