Argentina faces choice between magic and realism

November 20, 2015

Voters look likely to choose uncharismatic, pro-market Mauricio Macri as their next president in Sunday’s runoff election. Latin America’s No. 3 economy needs a dose of orthodox management after years of Kirchnerist magical thinking. But he could become unpopular very fast.

Catalonia’s risky secession threat may backfire

November 10, 2015

The Spanish region’s government has started a process of “disconnecting”, despite a doubtful mandate and a constitution that forbids a referendum. The plan is unlikely to win much international support, but may provoke Madrid into cutting off financing. Investors will steer well clear.

Modi chooses awkward time for UK rock star welcome

November 9, 2015

India’s prime minister will address a crowd of 60,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium this week. Courting the diaspora makes sense. But the rapturous welcome is out of tune with UK-India business ties and a big local election defeat at home, where Modi mania is definitely over.

Poland’s tilt to nationalism is bad for investment

October 26, 2015

The country’s eurosceptic Law and Justice party has claimed victory in the national election. A likely absolute majority would embolden it to take a more statist approach, including a new balance-sheet levy on banks. Poland’s long-running free-market success is now at risk.

New Canadian PM faces choppy economic ice

October 20, 2015

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals trounced Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in Monday’s election. But the global commodities chill hit Canada hard and the weak currency hasn’t lifted trade. Even hockey franchises are hurting. Trudeau will have to make the most of his honeymoon period.

Hugo Dixon: It’s all up to Tsipras now

By Hugo Dixon
September 21, 2015

The leftist politician’s electoral triumph means domestic forces can’t impede him in implementing Greece’s 86 billion euro bailout deal. The big question is whether Alexis Tsipras has the will and the competence to do so. If not, his victory could soon turn to disaster.

Singapore at 50 ought to loosen up

August 7, 2015

Pragmatic policy and hard work helped the city-state attain a level of prosperity unimaginable five decades ago. Future success depends on dialling back state capitalism and paternalism, and spawning more entrepreneurs. Few will bet against Singapore continuing to defy the odds.

Cameron has work cut out to sustain relief rally

May 8, 2015

UK stocks and bonds, and the pound, have jumped on the Conservatives’ surprise election success. That’s to be expected given fears of a messy outcome. But the result leaves open questions on EU membership and Scotland. Such uncertainties could hold back investment and growth.

UK politics is failing the trust test

By Hugo Dixon
May 4, 2015

In the run-up to the May 7 election, the public has lambasted leaders of the established parties for breaking promises and lack of candour. While the critique is healthy, Britain has yet to give birth to leaders who score high on integrity. This is needed, not just in the UK.

Ready-reckoning the markets post-UK election

April 29, 2015

Next week’s British general election is unlikely to produce a clear winner. But a government will eventually be formed, even if it takes a second vote. Different medium-term trends will emerge after the inevitable short-run volatility in sterling, gilts and UK-listed stocks.