Global Macro Scoreboard

Global Macro Scoreboard: North Korea, Venezuela, Greece

This week, the internet turned its attention to China's diplomatic move in North Korea, a default in Venezuela, a debt swap in Greece, and rising tensions in the Saudi-Iran regional cold war.


The score on the left denotes the percentage share an issue captured of the weekly total upswing in digital attention across all major macro issues. For example, the North Korea Crisis accounted for 15 percent of the total increase in online attention to market-moving macro issues over the course of the week. Contact us at if you have questions about our methodology or how to interpret the Scoreboard.

1. This week, online interest in the North Korea Crisis surged. On Wednesday China sent a high-level official to Pyongyang for the first time in two years. Subsequently, our index that tracks volatility in China-North Korea relations was driven upward by Chinese-language attention to the Six Party Talks, the now defunct multilateral negotiations aimed at dismantling the Hermit Kingdom's nuclear program. This spike in digital interest could indicate online observers think China may attempt to restart the talks

2. There were signs of escalation in the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar this week. Media reported on two alleged Saudi-UAE plots, one to destabilize Qatar's economy and another to mobilize tribes hostile to the Qatari royal family. Moreover, we detected an uptick in Qatar security sector volatility in the wake of the Saudi power play against Lebanon — a sign of rising concern that the Kingdom could increase political or even military pressure on Qatar.


3. Online interest rose in the Venezuelan Crisis this week after the government missed payments on its sovereign debt and state oil company PDVSA bonds. Caracas is in ongoing talks with its international creditors to restructure as much as $60 billion in debt

4. In another debt saga, Greece launched a 30 billion euro debt swap on Wednesday, a step to increase liquidity ahead of a potential exit from its current bailout program next year. Signs of potential trouble remain, however. Last week, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras updated lawmakers on creditor review of structural reforms necessary for long-term debt relief, our Greece economy signal spiked, driven upward by digital sources related to the debt crisis and tax evasion. Tax evasion is a notorious problem in Greece; online attention to the issue may indicate concerns are mounting over implementing necessary reforms in the country's taxation. Further, our backtest engine shows Greek CDS tends to rise in the month following spikes in the Greece economy sector signal.


5. As the Kingdom continues to put pressure on Hezbollah, our signals that anticipate Iranian escalations in the Tehran-Riyadh cold war hit an all-time high. In other words, our models are as confident as they have ever been there will be an escalation within the next 30 days.


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