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Media and LatAm Navel Gaze: October 23, 2017

Mark Kollar,  Ligia Vela-Reid

Former presidents (W and Obama) grabbed headlines last week as they grabbed microphones on separate and distinct occasions to “rebuke” (NYT) President Trump without naming names (namely his) but clearly representing themes of unity, purpose, the benefits of immigration and issues with extreme nationalism. Perhaps a bit of pent-up vocalism with focus slowly turning to tax reform in coming days/weeks. 

Elsewhere:

  • Fed watch continues with a new chief appointment expected by Nov 3 as current honcho Yellen, at least over the weekend, seen as frontrunner;
  • GE telegraphed a series of major shakeups amid poor earnings for the industrial giant;
  • George Soros donated some $18 billion of his fortune to his Open Society foundation, making the philanthropy now one of the largest in the world;
  • Stocks added to their record gains with the Dow now above 23,000 and up 2 percent on the week to end at 23,328 for its 53rd week of the year; and
  • An American, George Saunders, wins the Man Booker prize for his first novel, “Lincoln in the Baro,” the second year in a row for a Yank.

LatAm Gaze: 

  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a credit line to Chile and Argentina for the construction of the Agua Negra tunnel, an international infrastructure project that will unite both countries by the region of Coquimbo and the province of San Juan. 
  • On Wednesday, a Brazilian congressional committee voted against making Michel Temer stand trial on corruption charges. He was accused of obstruction of justice and racketeering, and although the vote was non-binding, it gives Temer political momentum ahead of the full chamber taking up the issue.
  • On Monday, it was announced that Wolf Crypto Investment had become the first entity in Chile to set up capital with cryptocurrency. According to the founders, they created Wolf to "stress" the Chilean system and see how it will regulate and treat virtual currencies.
  • JPMorgan estimates that the Mexican peso could fall as much as $21.9 per dollar if negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the country maintains with the United States and Canada, fails. 
  • Pemex, the Mexican oil company, announced that as part of its new business model and to face the competition, it will renew its gas station business and launch new franchises next November.
  • The Peruvian Minister of Economy and Finance announced that maintaining Peru's fiscal debt at a level of 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is key to achieving economic growth based on long-term private investment. According to the country's Prime Minister, the Peruvian economy will grow 4.2% in 2018, supported by an expected revival of private and public investment, along with the recovery of the mining sector. 

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