Russian Media: “10 Destroyers Leading the World to A Crisis”
The main anti-hero of 2018, of course, was the president of the United States, Donald Trump. His protectionist policies are similar to moving a bulldozer through a supermarket. The wave of global instability launched by them will have far-reaching consequences.
Gazeta.Ru made the top ten politicians and businessmen who, together with the White House owner, “shook the global economy” last year.
Here is evaluation of Russian Gazeta.Ru:
During the first two years of his presidency, Donald Trump, he launched trade wars, including with the European Union and China, imposed sanctions against Russia and Iran, and also spoke out with demands for OPEC to lower oil prices. Moreover, in order to “drive over” the Trump cartel even used the rostrum of the UN General Assembly.
At the same time, Trump kept his promise and cut corporate taxes for American companies. But corporations are still not in a hurry to return production to their homeland, and the president has harshly criticized them because of this, which does not improve the business climate in the country.
But because of fiscal easing to 3.8% of GDP, the budget deficit increased, and the national debt crept up to $ 22 trillion. The agency Bloomberg notes that the growth rate of public debt in 2018 may be the highest since 2012.
Since Trump took office, he has increased by $ 1.9 trillion. All leading analysts have already lowered forecasts for the growth of the world economy in 2019 due to the actions of the American administration. Many are waiting for the beginning of the global crisis in 2019 or 2020
Jerome Powell: Rising Interest Rates
Jerome Powell was considered at the time of his appointment as the chairman of the US Federal Reserve as a “Trump man.” But in fact, he continued the course of Janet Yellen, and the regulator raised interest rates four times in 2018 from 1.375% to 2.375%. Last time it happened on December 19th.
Powell’s commitment to normalizing monetary policy is annoying to Trump. He even said that the head of the Fed was “crazy”, and on the eve of the December meeting he recommended reading The Wall Street Journal to him.
The actions of the Fed increase the attractiveness of dollar assets, so investors began to massively transfer capital to the US market. Emerging markets exchanges began to fever, and their currencies experienced a devaluation. Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia, and others suffered. The peak of the “storm” came in the summer, and it seemed that the world would collapse a little during the crisis, but closer to winter, the situation returned to normal. However, you should not relax.
“It is possible that next year’s normalization will take place more slowly than previously thought, which reduces the risk of capital outflows from emerging markets. However, it is important to bear in mind that the revision of expectations for changes in the policy of key central banks is associated with lower forecasts for the growth rates of the largest economies for the coming year, ”said Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Bank of Russia, in mid-December.
In her opinion, the current lull in trade disputes may also turn out to be nothing more than a temporary truce. “For emerging markets, these are very sensitive risks,” she concluded.
Mohammed bin Salman: the elimination of political opponents.
The Saudis have framed themselves and the whole world at the beginning of October 2018. Saudi journalist Jamal Hashukji, who collaborated with American publications, was assassinated at the embassy of the kingdom in Istanbul. He was in opposition to the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, and as many observers believe today, it was he who gave the order to “deal” with the objectionable. The scandal broke out grand, but Donald Trump decided not to punish Riyadh, and refused to break off military contracts with them.
At the same time, he, apparently, was able to put pressure on the Saudis, so that they would increase oil production and thereby drop the quotes. And this plan worked. With peak barrel values dropped by more than $ 25.
“Oil prices are falling. Wonderful! Like a big tax cut for America and for the world. Enjoy! $ 54 was $ 82 each. Thanks to Saudi Arabia, but let’s do it below! ”Wrote Trump.
Since then, quotes have fallen to $ 55 a barrel in Brent. And the risk that they will continue to descend remains very high. But this is only part of the prince’s problem. The heir to the throne had previously initiated the participation of Saudi Arabia in the devastating armed conflict in Yemen, and also got involved in a diplomatic confrontation with Qatar. In December, the US Senate adopted a resolution on the cessation of military assistance to the Saudis in Yemen, with the exception of operations against al-Qaeda prohibited in the Russian Federation (the organization was banned.
Theresa May: Unpopular “Brexit”
The prime minister is on the verge of resignation, analysts say. Scheduled for December 11, the vote simply did not take place. The new date is unknown, but May speaks about January 2019. Brexit itself is scheduled for March 29, 2019.
According to The Times, cabinet members are looking for opportunities to organize a second referendum. Brexit Minister Stephen Barkley also said that the country’s government is preparing for the option of secession from the EU without an agreement.
The agency Bloomberg called the uncertainty with Brexit one of the main risks to the global economy in 2019.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that Brexit was already having an impact on US companies and investors and that the risk to global markets was underestimated, Reuters reported. “The potential adverse effects of Brexit are not well understood, and in areas where they are understood, they are underestimated,” said SEC head Jay Clayton, speaking in New York.
Petro Poroshenko: the destabilization of the EU gas market
The Ukrainian president is waging a large-scale war with Russia on all fronts. One of the main issues is the issue of transit of Russian gas through the gas transmission system of Ukraine. Gazprom and its European partners are building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as well as the Turkish Stream. After 2020, these pipes will take over the bulk of exports from the Russian Federation. The current contract for transit through Ukraine expires at the end of 2019.
In order to preserve at least some part of the transit, Ukraine must offer Gazprom favorable terms of the deal. But Kiev does not want to compromise, but it is attacking Gazprom in international courts, trying to arrest its assets in order to recover in favor of Naftogaz $ 2.56 billion awarded by the Stockholm arbitration.
In the interests of the administration Poroshenko would be to engage in a constructive dialogue with Moscow, because the main recipient of Russian fuel is the European Union. It would be very rash on the part of Ukraine to arrange for its patrons another gas blackout. In addition, the disruption of the “Nord Stream – 2” will hit the interests of the EU energy companies, which have already invested about 3 billion euros in it.
Trilateral negotiations with the participation of Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission are going without success. So far, one round took place in July 2018. The next, according to the deputy head of the European Commission, Maros Shefchovic, is due to take place in January 2019.
Ilon Musk: an attempt to manipulate exchanges
“We kind of didn’t have enough time. Bumpiness will not, the road will be smooth as glass. This is just a prototype, because until it came out rudely, ”said Ilon Musk, the“ business icon ”of our time, opening the high-speed tunnel in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Instead of smooth asphalt, there was uneven asphalt in the tunnel, along which the Tesla owner managed to drive at a speed of 85 km / h, although the design speed of movement through the tunnel was 240 km / h.
And so Mask happens regularly. In 2018, he almost brought down his business empire, and with it the entire American stock market. In August, an entrepreneur wrote on his Twitter account that he had enough funds to buy Tesla shares to make the company non-public. This statement caused a jump in stock quotes, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Mask of manipulation.
As a result, he was forced to go through one of the most difficult periods in his career, but ended up all in a $ 20 million fine and the loss of the post of chairman of the Tesla board of directors. He was taken in November by Robin Denholm.
But one can hardly assume that Mask came out unscathed. Investors remember his numerous unfulfilled promises, and the launch of the “high-speed” tunnel with curved asphalt did not make them too happy. In addition, as the Wall Street Journal wrote, the FBI checks “whether Tesla brought false information about the release of Model 3 sedans and misled investors about the state of affairs at the company in early 2017.”
Mark Zuckerberg: “Personal Data”
Facebook, one of the largest Internet companies in the whole of 2019, is rocked by scandals. The most significant in magnitude of the consequences is the story of access to personal data of 80 million users of the Cambridge Analytica social network. These British consultants worked including for the campaign headquarters of Donald Trump. Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook, will give an explanation in Congress. Two times for several hours, he answered questions from US parliamentarians.
Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook CEO Cheryl Sandberg was also accused of launching an information attack on billionaire George Soros, who criticized the company.
Then the press was leaked internal correspondence of employees FB, containing “assaults” on competitors. And in December, The New York Times issued a new portion of compromising information regarding the draining of personal data. Former Facebook employees told the publication that the company allegedly entered into partnership and data sharing agreements with 150 IT, retail and entertainment companies (Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, Netflix, etc.). Moreover, they allegedly received free access even to the correspondence of users. Facebook had to make excuses again.
As a result, Facebook’s capitalization for the year fell by about a quarter, and Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune (he owns 13% of the company’s shares) dropped from $ 75 to $ 56 billion by mid-December.
Carlos Ghosn: Concealment of Income
Japanese police broke into the plane immediately after landing. The head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, Carlos Ghosn, nicknamed “cost killer”, was detained. Since November 19, he has been sitting in solitary confinement in the Tokyo District Prison.
One of the most successful top managers of the global automotive industry is accused of not fully declaring his remuneration as the chairman of the board of directors of Nissan, and also used corporate funds for personal purposes. Along with him, Greg Kelly, a member of the board of directors of the Japanese company, was also arrested.
As Japanese and Western news agencies write, Gona could have been handed over by Nissan employees. The alliance is currently structured in such a way that the companies largely act independently, and Gon wanted to achieve a complete merger, which was opposed by the Japanese.
In 1999, the French saved Nissan, who was on the verge of bankruptcy. Renault now has 43.4% of the voting shares of Nissan, and the Japanese have only 15% of non-voting shares of the French company (while the profit of Nissan is about one and a half times higher than that of Renault. Nissan, in turn, owns 34% of Mitsubishi shares, and the Renault group belongs to the controlling stake of Russian AvtoVAZ.
Last year, the alliance came out in the world leaders in auto sales with an indicator of 10.6 million units. In the first half of this year, 5.54 million cars were produced.
Nicolas Maduro: the crisis and millions of refugees
Venezuela has been undergoing a severe economic crisis for several years. Oil production has already collapsed about one and a half times, and the national currency depreciates at a rapid rate.
“Hyperinflation persists. In November, inflation amounted to 144.2%, and on an annualized basis almost 1,300,000%, ”TASS quotes Rafael Gusman, head of the finance committee of the National Assembly. In his opinion, the responsibility for the “hunger and tragedy” in the country lies with the government.
The crisis forces Venezuelans to flee the country. According to various estimates, 2-4 million people have already left Venezuela. They find refuge in neighboring countries, which also do not differ in prosperity and stability. Argentine President Mauricio Macri said that the region is experiencing a “humanitarian crisis that requires urgent action.”
“This is necessary in order to protect the rights of millions of Venezuelans who are fleeing not only from hunger, violence and lack of opportunities, but also from the cruel repression of their government,” he stressed.
But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is not going to resign. He accuses the opposition and the United States, which imposed sanctions against the country and its individual citizens, in all troubles. In December, speaking before the fighters of the national militia, he stated that in the event of aggression of the “enemies”, they would “have their hearts torn out” in their own territory.
As for the sanctions, Washington is not going to remove them, despite the plight of the Venezuelans. US Vice President Mike Pence said that “we will continue to exert sanctions pressure until democracy returns to Venezuela.”
Giuseppe Conte: financial revolt against Brussels
Italy decided to organize a riot against the European Union. The country’s budget for the next year, prepared by the government of Giuseppe Conte, in terms of expenditure, deficit, public debt and fiscal policy has come into sharp contradiction with the norms of the European Union. The European Commission in November refused to coordinate it, stating that it “grossly violated the established economic norms” and threatened to impose sanctions on Italy.
The conflict was finally settled, Conte made concessions, and in December the EC agreed with the submitted project. “Solution reached.