Iran-Saudi Rivalry Saudi Arabia Qatar Iran

Qatar the Outcast

ON MAY 14, Predata observed that, while the war of words between Tehran and Riyadh had been heating up, the reaction of Persian-language and Arabic-language audiences to this increase in threatening rhetoric was muted. Four weeks later, several developments suggest that the potential for an expansion of the two countries’ proxy war may have grown. On May 23, the government of Bahrain cracked down on Shia protestors – resulting in five deaths and hundreds of arrests. Predictably, while Saudi Ara... Continue Reading

iran saudi june 11
Hassan Rouhani Iran Deep State

Can Iran's "Deep State" Make a Comeback?

DESPITE CLAIMS of fraud by losing conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Guardian Council on May 30 confirmed President Rouhani’s re-election. Given that Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei holds substantial power over many of the government’s most powerful institutions, the principal analytic question now is how much can Rouhani achieve in the face of “resistance” by hardline elements supported by the Supreme Leader. The current expectation among most Iran observers is that Rouhani faces major c... Continue Reading

iran deep state 6/4/17
UK politics Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May UK election

Are the Tories About to Blow It?

THE POLLS are tightening, the pound is taking a beating, and one constituency-by-constituency YouGov survey even suggests the Tories, long slated for a landslide victory in next Thursday's election, could be in line to lose as many as 20 seats, potentially leaving them unable to form government on their own. Is the great upset on? If Predata's signals are to be believed, probably not. Like a shaggy dog story, the election has taken interesting and unexpected detours; like a shaggy dog story, it'... Continue Reading

corbs crowd
China Debt Australia Malcolm Turnbull

Australia, The Smashed Avocado Economy

DAVID BYRNE once quipped that the national dish of Australia is toast. For the past year, politicians and pundits throughout the great southern land have done that description justice by engaging in an earnest and at times quite vicious public policy debate about the effect of avocado toast on young Australians' savings habits. Avocado toast is, of course — along with the flat white — Australia's great contribution to 21st century urban culture. Amid a property market bubble that's given Sydney ... Continue Reading

avocado toast
South Africa Jacob Zuma

South Africa: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same?

THE NEWS FLOW on President Zuma continues at a high pace. In the last two weeks, South Africans have tracked the following developments:The President’s May 14 endorsement of his former wife Nkosana Dlamini-Zuma as the candidate to replace him as head of the African National Congress (ANC). This move was widely expected and Dlamini-Zuma is widely regarded as the candidate most likely to protect the president when he leaves office. The May 15 appeal to the Constitutional Court by the opposition U... Continue Reading

zuma 5/28/17
Brazil Michel Temer

Who's Next In Line for Impeachment Once Temer Goes?

DEVELOPMENTS since we wrote about the possible impeachments of Michel Temer and Donald Trump last week have confirmed that of the two embattled presidents, it's Temer who's at far greater risk of being removed from office. If the distraction of Trump's first overseas trip served to take some of the heat off his ailing administration, despite fresh revelations in the investigation of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Temer battled on last week in the face of protests and reports hi... Continue Reading

temer successors 5/28/17
Brexit UK election UK Labour UK Conservatives Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May

The Tories Are Wobbling their Way to Victory

"LOW KEY" campaigning resumes today following the two-day pause observed by all parties in the wake of the Manchester bombing. The attack will affect the rhythm and tone of the campaign, but to what extent and in whose favor is difficult to gauge. The murder of Jo Cox in the final days of last year's Brexit campaign did not trigger a meaningful swing in momentum back to the Remain campaign; nor did the terrorist attack on the Champs Elysées in the home stretch of the French presidential campaign... Continue Reading

corbyn 5/25/17
mexican politics Andrés Manuel López Obrador AMLO mexico state Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto 2018 mexican presidential election

Mexico's Trump Moment Has Arrived

HELPED BY THE TRUMP administration's troubled first months and evaporating hopes of a big jolt of fiscal stimulus in the U.S., the Mexican peso has gained over 15% year-to-date. But the darling of the fund managers may be in for a sudden reverse: Predata's directional FX signals suggest there's a rising likelihood of a big, unexpected, single-day rise in USD/MXN over the next month (see chart above). The forward curve for USD/MXN implies a smooth appreciation of the pair for at least the next 1-... Continue Reading

USDMXN 5/25/17
manchester bombing terrorism

Terrorism's New Normal

FOLLOWING the Westminster attack, we examined the evolving reaction across the continent to increasingly (and hauntingly) frequent terrorist incidents in Europe. Using the same methodology, we find that while the reaction to Monday's bombing in Manchester was muted across Western Europe, the difference in reaction between the UK and its neighbors was the largest we've seen yet following a major terror attack. Unsurprisingly, the terrorism subsector signal for the UK showed the largest jump in ac... Continue Reading

terror chart
Eurozone Emmanuel Macron European Union EU banking union

The EU Banking Union Renaissance?

EMMANUEL MACRON’S VICTORY in the French presidential election has given the European project an injection of sorely needed optimism. With the eurosceptical populists temporarily vanquished, fears of an EU breakup have tempered and cautious enthusiasm for greater economic integration has risen. The new French president is leading the charge toward greater integration. He's already called for a common Eurozone budget, parliament and finance minister, and he and his phalanx of German-speaking minis... Continue Reading