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Power plays


30 November 2017 - London

Bulletin Dec Cover

Compared with the shock-filled 2016, this year saw the electoral pendulum swing back towards the mainstream. While populist forces gained ground in important polls across Europe, veteran figures held on to power, much to the relief of those worried about the prospect of a collapsing liberal world order.

Jacques Lafitte emphasises new French President Emmanuel Macron's progress on tax and labour reforms, while David Smith praises President Mauricio Macri's achievement of cutting inflation in Argentina by half. John Kornblum reassuringly argues that, despite the breakdown in coalition talks, Germany will maintain stability.

In Asia, both Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe consolidated their power in China and Japan, setting the scene for a possible revival in co-operation, writes Adam Cotter.

In this month's Focus report we review the OMFIF Advisers Network's predictions for 2017 against the course of events. Overall, OMFIF advisers did well. Our advisers rightly predicted the Brazilian economy would stabilise in 2017 and that Chancellor Angela Merkel would be unable to win an outright victory in Germany's election.

An unperturbed passage to 2018 is far from guaranteed. Britain remains in the spotlight. There are still considerable risks from the Brexit negotiations, as well as reasons to be optimistic, writes David Marsh in his review of Clean Brexit: Why Leaving the EU still makes sense, while William Wright debunks 10 myths about Brexit's impact on the City of London.

Other highlights of the December 2017 edition:

  • Elliot Hentov emphasises the need to build capital markets to facilitate economic development in Saudi Arabia.
  • Kalin Anev Janse explains the rationale behind the European Stability Mechanism's first dollar bond.
  • Stefan Bielmeier warns that decisions on a European deposit insurance scheme must take account of the risks in a fragmented banking system.
  • Burcu Ünüvar explains how, despite accommodative policies, central bankers are undershooting inflation targets, while negative side effects are growing.
  • Nathan Sheets compares central bankers' records in the pre- and post-crisis periods.
  • Gary Smith focuses on the role of technology and the rise of robots in determining inflation.
  • Otaviano Canuto and Jodie Keane describe how structural economic shifts are transforming global value chains and international trade activity.
  • The end of the bull market for equities appears in sight, members of our Advisers Network predict in this month's poll.
  • Joaquim Levy extols the rise of green bonds and underlines the need to demonstrate their value to investors.

The Bulletin is available to OMFIF members, and to non-members on a subscription basis. To subscribe please contact membership@omfif.org.