Why has South Africa’s currency fallen so precipitously?

  • President Zuma seems to be messing things up.
  • Recently fired respected finance minster and replaced him with an inexperienced yes man, thus putting under question the independence of the country's financial & macroeconomic policy-making institutions.
  • Backdrop a trajectory corruption, cronyism, weak economic performance and sovereign credit rating downgrades.

Is Latin America moving to the right?

  • Seems that way - Pink Tide ending.
  • New Argentina PM Macri is right-wing, recent success for centre-right UMD in Venezuela.
  • Brazil's populist president Rousseff seems doomed.

What was Latin America’s Pink Tide?

  • Recent dominance of left-wing politics.
  • Argentina (2001-15), Brazil (since 2003), Venezuela (since 1999), Bolivia (since 2006), Ecuador (since 2007).
  • Seems to be ending.

French U-turn on Assad?

  • Yes - prior to Paris attacks France considered Assad a pariah.
  • But now focus has shifted to defeating ISIS.
  • France now suggesting that Assad regime's soldiers can fight alongside Coalition-supported opposition groups to defeat ISIS.

Upcoming Paris climate conference Macrosnap?

  • If the terms of any accord are legally binding (i.e. a Treaty), Obama will need Republican dominated Congress' approval, which he's unlikely to get.
  • The Republican party refutes the opinions of humankind's scientific community, and is accordingly hostile to attempts to combat climate change.
  • France has already conceded to the US demand that agreement will not be legally binding.

Global growth macrosnap?

  • US remains engine of global growth.
  • Europe recovery gaining momentum.
  • Emerging markets stay weak as China growth slows.

Brazil still in a quagmire?

  • Yes - economic crisis continues.
  • Political crisis continues too - Rousseff hugely unpopular.
  • Petrobras corruption scandal moving closer to her as investigators arrest corporate, financial, judicial & political grandees.
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