The oil price affects all of us, so its movements are a popular target of speculation. So far in 2019, the oil price has been tracking upward, and oil-market watchers are asking themselves if it could hit $100 per barrel soon. The definitive answer remains elusive, as the multiple and at times conflicting elements that determine the price of oil are in a word: complicated. Stay tuned as OPEC meets in June.
President Jair Bolsonaro assumed Brazil’s highest political office on January 1, 2019. From mid-2016 to the end of 2018, a team of experts worked diligently to improve Brazil’s integration with the global economy in such areas as relations with international organizations, domestic framework for officially supported export credits and trade policy. Their initiatives provide the new administration with a strong path to prosperity through reduction of lingering barriers to international inclusion.
In 2017 Russia enjoyed a refreshing return to economic growth and general optimism—until November, when a GDP contraction took analysts by surprise. The question is, was the setback a minor bump in the road on the nation’s path to sustained recovery, or was it a signal that Russia has fallen back into recession after a good but temporary run?
Russia’s economy suffered some major setbacks in recent years, especially as a result of low oil prices, slow growth and sanctions. The country’s equity-market performance slumped in response to the unfavourable macroeconomic and political conditions, but in 2017 it turned upbeat as investors flocked back to take advantage of emerging opportunities, creating an environment conducive to further business growth and prosperity for 2018.
Russia is amongst the global heavyweights, but its economy and stock markets are vulnerable to forces outside of its control, especially the price of oil but also politics in other parts of the world, such as the United States. The country’s fortunes will depend on how oil prices fare but also on how well relations with the new administration in Washington pan out.
Banks continue to unwittingly act as laundromats for dirty money, but hopefully never again on the same scale as the recent operation dubbed Laundromat, which saw billions of dollars pass from Russian sources through numerous banks around the world. Authorities are still working to unravel the tangled trail and uncover those who were complicit in carrying out the shockingly successful operation.
In the aftermath of the United States 2016 presidential election, there has been much debate over whether Russian hackers interfered with the electoral process in order to help secure a victory for Donald Trump. Around the same time, however, it was revealed that Russia was the victim of cyberattacks of its own.
After a heavy recession brought on by the military conflict with Russia, Ukraine’s economy and banking system now appear to be firmly on the mend. Indeed, things have improved to such an extent that by the end of May, Moody’s had revised its outlook for Ukrainian banking from negative to stable.