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Media Navel Gaze: January 25, 2016

Mark Kollar  Follow

This time, the weathermen got it right as the East Coast got buried with near-record snowfall (26-plus inches in New York City—0.1 inch shy of the record), causing the city to completely shut down on Saturday (which was really kinda nice) and allowing headline writers to focus on the blizzard instead of the recent market storm, where volatility continued to dominate even as stocks recorded their first positive week of the year. The Dow edged up 0.7 percent after a Friday rally to end at 16,093.

Elsewhere:

  • The New York Times broke the story that Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the president, a decision he will likely make as an independent candidate by March;
  • At Davos, a new index was launched called the S&P Long-Term Value Creation Global Index that reflects companies that can be role model in part by focusing on the long term;
  • Last year was named the world’s hottest, according to climate scientists;
  • A ninth planet may exist, at least in theory and clearly up for debate (Pluto 2.0?);
  • Flint, Mich., continued to search for safe drinking water after lead was found in its system, with TV coverage making the city look like an emerging-market economy;
  • The “academy” that brings us the Oscars has decided to reconsider its membership rules under pressure because of its lack of diversity in nominations;
  • Tina Fey crushed it as Sarah Palin on SNL Saturday, a skit on repeat on all channels on snowy weekend; and
  • “Cats” is coming back to Broadway proving that its 17-year tag line was right, “it’s now and forever.”

LatAm Gaze

  • Brazil President Rousseff said on Friday that the government may consider tapping into the country's foreign reserves at any given moment, further worrying investors about the economy's continued decline.
  • The Brazilian real fell to a record low against the dollar and long-term interest rate futures surged a day after the central bank surprised markets by holding its key interest rate steady. Despite promises of reforms this week by Brazil's Finance Minister, Nelson Barbosa, investors say erratic policy signals are raising doubts over the government's ability to end the country's worst recession in decades.
  • Finance Minister Barbosa said at Davos this week he expects a revival in a regional trade with Argentina, now that their FX policies are better aligned.
  • Mexico's export crude price dropped below $19 on Wednesday, sending the Mexican peso to new lows against the US dollar, raising concern that state oil company Pemex may have to make further cutbacks, while government revenue is protected by oil price hedges. 

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