NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Oil-rich Venezuela looks increasingly like a failed state. More than a tenth of the Latin American country's people have fled as its economy shrank by half over the past five years. And the cause of much of the problem, President Nicolás Maduro, remains in power even though Juan Guaidó, head of the National Assembly, recently declared himself his interim replacement – and won the backing of the United States and other Western powers.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A lethal dam collapse wiped $18 billion off Brazilian miner Vale’s market capitalization. It may also derail newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to bolster business by rolling back environmental and other regulations. Angry Brazilians and skittish lawmakers may want to go in the opposite direction.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Venezuela’s inept socialist leader Nicolás Maduro is caught in a pincer movement largely of his own making. Street protesters are demanding his ouster and opposition leader Juan Guaidó has declared himself interim president. The self-inflicted wound of cratering oil output, though, is what will get him in the end.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Energy-sector reform is up in the air in both Brazil and Mexico. In the coming year, new regimes in Latin America’s two biggest economies will wrestle with balancing 1970s-style nationalism against the need to open up to foreign and private capital to exploit their oil and gas resources. Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president-elect, has better prospects of getting it right than left-winger Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The ghosts of Argentina’s past will come for President Mauricio Macri in next October's elections. The pro-business president has had to seek IMF help as he tries to steer Latin America’s No. 3 economy to health. That’s a gift to his discredited Peronist opponents. Recovery from drought and currency collapse is likely in 2019, but may come too late to prevent the return of the spendthrifts of yore.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The world is ever more connected via the internet, from cars and power grids to home appliances and toys. That means ever more things are dangerously hackable, security expert Bruce Schneier writes in “Click Here to Kill Everybody.” The title is hyperbolic, but not by much. In some ways, the attack of the killer fridges has already begun.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Mauricio Macri, the pro-market leader of Latin America’s No. 3 economy, has been doing the right thing for Argentina’s long-term prosperity since coming to power in December 2015. But he’s only ever been one step ahead of disaster. Now unchecked inflation, drought and soured investor sentiment threaten his economic reclamation plan.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is rearranging the economy’s deckchairs. A plan he announced on Friday night to devalue the bolivar, peg it to an obscure state-backed cryptocurrency and raise the minimum wage is likely to widen the gaping hole in the OPEC member’s finances.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Poor Mexico, the saying goes. So far from God, so close to the United States. Not so, says Andrew Selee in his new book “Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together”. The two countries, which share a 2,000-mile border and a sometimes bloody history, are united by complex, ever-deeper ties that contradict easy prejudice.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The OPEC member’s mismanaged economy is in freefall and its oil output collapsing. Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed-income strategy at Nomura Securities, tells Martin Langfield how President Nicolas Maduro may lose power even if he wins a controversial May 20 election.