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Showing posts from March, 2019

Brexit Update (Special Survey March 28th 2019)

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The Ides of March continue....Brexit delayed; final outcome remains unclear On 21 March the EU agreed to delay Brexit until 12 April to give the UK parliament more time to coalesce around a way forward. While this move shifts the date of a possible no-deal Brexit back by two weeks, it does nothing to reduce political uncertainty, which will continue to hinder business investment and the economy until clarity emerges regarding the final outcome of the Brexit process. A further vote on the prime minister’s deal is possible in the coming days. If the deal is approved, Brexit will be further delayed until 22 May to allow the passage of necessary legislation. If the deal is rejected, the UK will have until 12 April to decide how to proceed. According to James Smith, an economist at ING: “Those Brexiteers that calculate a long delay is inevitable may… still decide to back it [Theresa May’s deal], while those more moderate MPs that fear ‘no deal’ may also decide to get behind it – although …

Venezuela Stand Off Far from Over

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The political standoff between President Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president on 23 January and has been recognized as such by more than 50 countries, is far from over. Following the unsuccessful attempt by Guaidó and his allies to deliver aid into the country on 23 February, the opposition leader embarked on a support-seeking tour across the region before returning to Venezuela without incident on 4 March, despite breaking a court-imposed travel ban, to continue pressing on President Maduro to step down. Meanwhile, the diplomatic and economic pressure continues to mount as the U.S. announced new sanctions targeting high-profile figures in the Venezuelan government and military. This follows the painful sanctions imposed on the all-important oil industry in late-January, which have led government officials to scramble in seeking alternative markets to sell crude and securing access to its gold reserves as well as much-needed foreign currency. The lat…