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FX MACROECONOMICS


center-right. The outcome of the European Parliamentary elections will drive the formation of the new European Commission.


The outcome may be particularly important in Italy. League leader and Deputy PM Salvini, the junior partner in the coalition with the Five Star Movement, is feeling his oats and has been embo lde ne d by


stronger


public support since the spring election. He is outshining M5S leader and fellow Deputy PM Di Maio. There is some risk that if the League puts in a strong p e rfo rma nc e in the EU Parliament elections, Salvini will manufacture a crisis that leads to national elections and with the hopes of becoming Prime Minister, perhaps in an alliance with his former partner Forza Italia.


terms of two other board members end next year:


Coeure (December).


Praet (May) and The three


account for half of the Executive Board. The Bundesbank's Wiedmann had


been the early


favorite to replace Draghi, but this never seemed to us as the most


national be president of the ECB. Lautenschlager may be the obvious choice, but Merkel has signaled that she will not press hard. We suspect she realizes that German interests are best pursued in the critical period ahead, not at the ECB where the thankless job of normalization has begun with the completion of the asset pu r ch a se program, but at the EC level. It is in the c omp osit io n of the new E u r op e an Commis sio n that we look for German to exert its


influence.


Until the confrontation with the US, Chinese officials did not seem to be aware of the extent of their isolation


Te European Central Bank is also in the middle of a transition that will culminate with a new ECB President at the end of October 2019. In addition to Draghi, the


14 FX TRADER MAGAZINE January - March 2019


likely outcome. He was too divisive where consensus-building was desired. Moreover, Wiedmann's ECB presidency would also require the other German board member, Lautenschlager, the only woman on the board to resign, as no country is allowed two executive members.


While given the way Europe does things, it would seem to naturally to be Germany's turn to have a


F i n lan d ' s Liikanen is seen as the front-runner to replace Draghi.


I t a l y ' s


confrontation with the EC over the 2019 budget has been resolved. Te underlying debt dynamics have not changed. Nor are many convinced that


the government's initiatives


address the structural rigidities of the Italian economy, where growth is chronically too weak to reduce the debt burden. Unfortunately, the early Q4 18 data does not show much improvement after the economy contracted in Q3.


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