The Week Unpeeled
US media focus – outside of FashionWeek and the US Open in New York, continued on the presidential election, with voting still a distant 14 months away. The field of 16 Republican candidates will have a second debate, this time on CNN this Wednesday, with attention squarely on Trump following his cover story interview in Rolling Stone, where he claims that he doesn’t start the fights, just wins them. Stay tuned what has clearly become the personality campaign.
- Syrian refugees continued to flood into Europe with “Mother Merkel” as their guide;
- Obama’s controversial nuclear pact with Iran gets go-ahead;
- United CEO fired for favoritism with Port Authority;
- Stocks continued a volatile ride with the Dow gaining approximately 2 percent last week to close at 16,433; the blue-chip average is down some 7.8 percent for the year;
- Market watchers now focused on the Fed meeting Thursday but economists expect little change in interest rates, according to fresh polls;
- Queen Elizabeth became the largest reigning monarch in the UK last week, celebrating 64 years on the throne and tells us to stay calm;
- Dethroned: Serena Williams in the semis to an unseeded at the US Open, a defeat that gained massive coverage (three-plus pages alone in The New York Times on Saturday);
- Hillary Clinton says she’s sorry;
- A new human species is discovered in Africa by spelunkers; and
- Apple unveils a pencil.
- Standard & Poors cut its credit rating on Brazil from investment-grade to junk, along with the credit rating of 30 Brazilian corporations, including Petrobras. The nation had been upgraded to investment-grade status just a few years ago in 2008. However a myriad of factors, including but not limited to the end of the commodities super-cycle, slowing economic growth, frowned-upon government intervention in monetary policy, and an unprecedented crackdown on a historically systemic corruption scandal across the nation’s major enterprises, have ultimately brought the country to where it found itself this week. Mexico oil titan Pemex, in response, has voiced optimism that the downgrade will create opportunities for other players in the energy sector, itself among the group.
- Perú cut its growth forecast for the year from 5% to between 4-4.5%, citing a decrease in investments into the country.
- Grupo Telecóm in Argentina will invest US$1.9 billion to upgrade the network’s mobile network in 22 cities across 16 provinces. The move comes at a time where the international telecomm sector is undergoing strong consolidation as demand for better mobile capabilities increases around the world.
- Colombian oil giant Ecopetrol publicly dismissed comments from President Nicolas Maduro, who said the only way for the company to continue fully meeting energy demands in the country was to do so illegally.