Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term. Korea’s parliament voted 234-56 to impeach President Park. Czech National Bank raised the possibility of negative rates to help manage the currency. A Brazilian Supreme Court justice removed Senate chief Renan Calheiros from his post, but was later overturned by the full court. Brazil central bank signaled a possibly quicker easing cycle. In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, UAE (+6.2%), Poland (+6.0%), and Mexico (+5.9%) have outperformed this week, while Czech Republic (-0.6%), Hong Kong (-0.2%), and China (+0.6%) have underperformed. To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 2.8% this week while MSCI DM rose 2.8%.
In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -60 bp), the Philippines (-59 bp), and Indonesia (-40 bp) have outperformed this week, while India (10-year yield +20 bp), China (+5 bp), and Czech Republic (-1 bp) have underperformed. To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 3 bp this week to 2.41%.
In the EM FX space, BRL (+3.1% vs. USD), COP (+2.9% vs. USD), and CLP (+2.8% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while EGP (-2.3% vs. USD), CNH (-0.8% vs. USD), and SGD (-0.7% vs. USD) have underperformed.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term. He cited family reasons. The next chief executive will be selected in March by a committee of 1,200. China has veto power over the final selection, and so it’s clear that another establishment leader will be chosen.
FBI Director says the case against Hillary Clinton mishandling classified emails is closed again
FBI Director James Coney released an official statement saying that Hillary Clinton has been cleared, or that “we have not changed the conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”
Three weeks ago, when we first reported that Qatar had offered to pay the Clinton Foundation $1 million after a hacked Podesta email disclosed that the ambassador of Qatar “Would like to see WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011”, we said that in this particular case, the Clinton Foundation may also be in violation of State Department ethics codes.
SecState Hillary Clinton, left, meets the Prime Minister of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani in 2010.
As we said in early October, while this has been seen by critics of the Clinton Foundation as yet another instance of influence pandering and “pay-to-play”, this time there may actually be consequences for the Clinton Foundation: according to the State Department, the previously undisclosed donation suggests there may be an ethics violation by the foundation, even though the State of Qatar is shown on the foundation’s website as having given at least that amount. There is no date listed for the donation.
Underscoring the potential flagrant abuse of ethical guidelines if the Qatar payment is confirmed, Hillary Clinton promised the U.S. government that while she served as secretary of state the foundation would not accept new funding from foreign governments without seeking clearance from the State Department’s ethics office. The agreement was designed to dispel concerns that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by donations to the foundation.
The India-US relationship would be under threat if Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton wins the upcoming presidential election. According to the US- based political analyst Arvind Kumar, Hillary’s victory would be a disaster for India. In a detailed article published in the Sunday Guardian, the politics expert has shown how the Clintons have always been hostile to India and pursued policies against India not only vis-a-vis Pakistan but also in relation to the Indian space programme and Hindus. Considering the way Hillary’s husband and former US President, Bill Clinton, carried out his hostility towards India, it is highly unlikely that she would chart a different course of action if she wins the election. Kumar has pointed out that Hillary’s record as the US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama has also been anti-India in many aspects.
Here are 10 reasons that would make Hillary’s win a disaster for India, according to Kumar
1. Hillary Clinton’s victory would bring back the US hostility of the 1990s towards India under Bill Clinton
Kumar says that Hillary Clinton’ victory in the election would bring back the US’ hostility of the 1990s towards India under the presidency of Bill Clinton. He writes that India’s relationship with the US took a sudden downturn after Bill Clinton took office in 1993. For nearly a year, Clinton did not appoint an ambassador to India and he opposed India on a number of fronts. Kumar says Bill Clinton took a number of steps to disarm and weaken India by preventing access to technology and carried out a sustained attack on the Indian economy by imposing several economic sanctions.
2. Bill Clinton’s administration took several measures to “retard” development of India’s space and technology sectors
Kumar writes that in 1991, Senator Joe Biden, who is now the US Vice-President, introduced an amendment in the bill granting aid to Russia. The Bill made it mandatory for Russia that it would not sell cryogenic engines for India’s space programme. The Clinton administration took several measures to “retard” development of India’s space and technology sectors. The then US government also blocked the sale of Cray supercomputers that were approved under the Ronald Reagan administration. In contrast, the Clinton administration allowed the sale of these supercomputers to China.
The latest batch of emails released by WikiLeaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta gives an insight into the planning done by the Obama administration to ensure a successfull visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Silicon Valley in 2015.
More than a month and half before Narendra Modi was to visit Silicon Valley in the last week of September, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal wrote an email to John Podesta, who had by then joined the Clinton Campaign, seeking his advice and input on making the trip successful and also checking if the former US president Bill Clinton can co-host a clean energy event with the Modi at Stanford.
In an email to Podesta dated August 12, Biswal said there is a lot of interest in the Indian government to focus on two themes for the Silicon Valley visit.
First is the digital economy, she wrote and added that here the focus will be a visit to google and some announcements on Google’s massive investments in India, she said.
“The other focus is on clean energy. Here the Indians want to visit Tesla and hopefully announce a Tesla partnership/venture with India focusing on their battery storage system for solar,” Biswal said.
“The other major effort is around a clean energy roundtable with Stanford that Commerce had been working on. It now it seems (Commerce Secretary Penny) Pritzker cannot make it to California and the Indians are looking for some other USG (US government) principal to participate with industry, academia and government,” she wrote.
Brazil’s Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski had held consultations with senators and was ready to schedule the special session for the vote on 11 a.m. local time (14:00 GMT), the Globo news portal reported on Tuesday.
The portal added that if 54 senators voted for the impeachment, Rousseff would be removed from office, otherwise the impeachment would be terminated and she would resume the presidency. In May, the upper house of the Brazilian parliament voted 55-22 to start impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she was accused of concealing the country’s budget deficit ahead of the 2014 election. Rousseff regards the impeachment proceedings as an illegal coup attempt. Rousseff has been suspended from office for 180 days. Vice President Michel Temer has being fulfilling the functions of the presidency during that period.
A 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine followed by a referendum, in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, sent Washington-Moscow ties on a downward spiral that continues to feed distrust between the two global powers.
“If Clinton is elected, there’s going to be some level of continuity with [US President Barack] Obama because they share the same type of worldview and to some degree a similar foreign policy,” University of Dayton Political Science Professor Daniel Birdsong told Sputnik.
Birdsong explained the mindset as one in which engagement is primarily diplomatic, and if military intervention is involved, a reluctance to deploy US “boots on the ground,” a reliance on airpower and the use of local proxies in combat zones.
The approach, he said, is reminiscent of President Bill Clinton’s interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s.
The hawkish image projected by Clinton could be rooted in her being the first female presidential candidate from a major political party, Birdsong explained.
“She has to contend with a stereotype of women being weaker on national defense, on military engagement,” Birdsong said. “Her taking a muscular stance on foreign policy, or with Russia more specifically, has to do with that.”
Charging Prime Minister Narendra Modi with “poisoning” the political atmosphere,senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said it is unrealistic for theBJP-led NDA government to expect his party to cooperate and facilitate passage of the GST bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament.
“Government cannot do constitutional murder in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya and expect GST (bill) to be passed,” Ramesh told PTI here today.
“Murder process is still going on in Meghalaya and Manipur. Government is doing its best to cut and clip the wings of the Supreme Court and I think this is dangerous for our democracy,” the former Union Minister alleged.
“Mr Modi wants to silence all opposition. He wants to silence opposition parties and he wants to silence the Supreme Court. This is unacceptable to Indians,” he said.
“There is a certain political environment that is required for bills to be passed and Mr Modi has done everything possible to poison the atmosphere. In this atmosphere to expect the Congress to cooperate, I think it’s been very unrealistic,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
He claimed that the government is looking at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) purely from the point of view of big industries.
“We are looking at GST from an industry, trade and consumer point of view. We want GST to be not only pro-industry, but also pro-consumer. GST is a major innovation, we want GST. GST will benefit, if properly implemented,” the Congress spokesperson said.
But, he also pointed out that the bill would not usher in “full GST”.
The Chinese government likely hacked computers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2010, 2011 and 2013, according a congressional report on Wednesday that cited an internal investigation by the banking regulator.
“Even the former Chairwoman’s computer had been hacked by a foreign government, likely the Chinese,” staff at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology said in the report.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not have immediate comment on the allegations.
China has long been a prolific hacking adversary for the United States, although intelligence officials believe Beijing has decreased its hacking activity since signing a pledge with Washington last September to refrain from breaking into computer systems for the purposes of commercial espionage.
The congressional report provided the latest example of how deeply Beijing has penetrated U.S. government computers.