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MACROECONOMICS


The outlook for Germany's largest bank is rattling investors more than the


bad loans at Italian


banks. Spain's minority Socialist government has not passed the 2019 budget. The failure to do so by mid- January could spur national elections. The holidays have sapped Yellow Vest movement in France which erupted out of nowhere and without a p p a r e n t leadership. It forced Macron to back off some of the more ant a g on i s t i c measures at a cost that would appear to push the French budget deficit toward 3.4%, risking the


EC's objections. Macron's


unpopularity and weakness domestically undermine France's ability to project its power in Europe. German


politics are


influx. We suspect that the four state elections in Germany in 2019 (Bremen May 26, Brandenburg September 1, Saxony September 1,


and Thuringian October 27)


may determine if and how Merkel completes her term that ends in


2021.


Several EMU members, including Belgium, The Netherlands,


FX


electoral showing eight months ago, is becoming subject to "yellow vest" type demonstrations.


Russia appears intent


on


fostering and w i d e n ing tensions in the United States and Europe. While the focus has been on Sino-American confrontation, Russia has been so l id if yi n g a


sphere of


Emerging markets may come back into favor this year


Finland, Portugal, and Greece hold national elections in 2019. Tirteen of


Spain's autonomous regions


go to the polls as well. Enlarging the field, Switzerland and Poland hold national elections. Investors will be sensitive to the success of extremist parties. Immigration and poor maldistributed economic performance


appear to be the


most salient issues, at the risk of over-simplifying. As the year winds down, Orban's government in Hungry, despite the impressive


i n fl ue nc e in center of the Eurasian landmass. It has been developing alliances not just with China, but with Iran. The


extent of


the rapprochement with NATO- member Turkey is not clear. With the US seemingly distracted, Russia could press its interests more forcefully in 2019 in Ukraine and what it considers the near- abroad. Putin seems less fearful than many of antagonizing the mercurial American President and participated in war


games


with Venezuela at the end of 2018 that included the provocative deployment of bombers.


two strategic FX TRADER MAGAZINE January - March 2019 15


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