April 3rd – The BESA Times


Thirty-Sixth Edition - Monday, 3rd April

Every week, a complete snapshot of what happened around the world in the past seven days

 

Notable Headlines


The Supreme Court of Venezuela took over the legislative power from the country's National Assembly. The crisis in Venezuela has worsened since the new opposition-dominated parliament began its work. Currently there is no cooperation between the legislative and executive authorities. President Nicolas Maduro had previously accused the opposition of coup attempt, after the parliament voted to begin impeachment. In early January, the opposition recognized Maduro as absent from his post, but later the Supreme Court decided that all the latest decisions of the assembly were not valid. Venezuela continues to suffer from food shortages and inflation.


Presidential elections in France this May can become a competition between nationalism and globalism, if Marin Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron will face off in the second round. Le Pen wants to leave the Eurozone and to revive the manufacturing sector using the national currency devaluation. In contrast Macron talks about a united Europe and his program includes the liberalization of the job market and reforming of the education system.


On Wednesday, the UK government officially launched the historic process of leaving the European Union. The British ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, delivered the letter of Prime Minister, Theresa May, to Donald Tusk, the European Council President. This letter initiates the withdrawal of the UK from the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

 

What to remember of last week's news?

London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse will develop their businesses separately, after their £21bn merger has been blocked by EU. Brussels explains this by the fact that the deal would create monopoly in fixed assets. It is a third attempt to create an Anglo-German exchange in 17 years. Analysts believe that the prospects of the LSE look better because of its reliance on the growth of passive investing.


Thousands of people came out on Sunday for anti-corruption protests in more than 75 Russian cities. The mass protests became the largest in the past five years. The police arrested more than 1000 people nationwide. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the issue, “I think it isn’t right when certain political forces try to use this tool to promote themselves ahead of some political events, including electoral campaigns.”


The US auto giant Ford on Tuesday announced that it will invest $ 1.2 billion in upgrading three Michigan plants and build $200 million data center in the US. This is due to the company's promise to invest $ 9 billion in the US, first announced back in 2015. President Donald Trump touted Ford’s announcement on Twitter a few hours before an official statement, “Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!”.


The European Central Bank exceeded its authority by intervening in politics during the eurozone crisis, according to the report of Transparency International. The organization also urged the ECB to withdraw from the “Troika” of international creditors (includes also the EU Commission and International Monetary fund) and make public all its decisions.


 

Understand in Pictures...

What options has a central bank once nominal interest rates are at or very near zero? In these cases, it can opt for some form of quantitative easing, a policy of increasing the supply of base money without changing interest rates. Watch this video to understand the concept better!


 

A Week in the Financial Markets

 

Did you know?

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2016 published by the World Economic Forum, in the last fifty years only 62 countries have had female leaders, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The Nordic and Balkan nations occupy the top positions when it comes to the number of female heads of state. Iceland is a world leader in closing the gap between male and female participation at the highest level of political decision-making (closing 87% of the gap). It is followed by Finland (85%), Norway (84%), Sweden (81%) and Rwanda (80%). The average global earned income for women and men estimated at $10,778 and $19,873, respectively. The Report predicts that the overall global gender gap can be closed in 83 years.

 

What to expect for next week

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their first meeting next Thursday and Friday (6th-7th of April) at Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida. It is expected that they will discuss trade between two countries and how to deal with North Korea's weapons programs. During the election campaign, Trump criticized the Chinese government for currency manipulation in favor of Chinese exporters. He often complained of a significant trade imbalance between the United States and China, which amounted to 347 billion dollars - the largest value in the world. Last year China sold to the US household appliances, clothing and equipment worth $ 463 billion, while the United States supplied to China raw materials worth $ 116 billion. The US also opposed China's construction of man-made islands in the South China Sea.

 

WRITTEN BY VLADISLAVA KOLESNIKOVA

PLEASE DIRECT ANY INQUIRY TO AS.BESA@UNIBOCCONI.IT

THANKS FOR READING THE BESA TIMES, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK TO RECEIVE IT NEXT WEEK!


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