The Russia Investigation: Mueller's First MoveThis week, the issue of Russian Election Meddling registered the greatest positive leap in online attention. The upswing was driven by Friday's report that a federal grand jury had approved criminal charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians during the 2016 election. Ten days earlier, our signal that tracks volatility in digital conversations related to Mueller's investigation began rising (see below) -- indicating online audiences were anticipating developments in the probe.
The indictment was sealed by a federal judge -- as is typical practice in white-collar crime cases -- but is expected to become public Monday. The internet seems to believe the indictment will name former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Our Russia Investigation Volatility Index last spiked when media reported that government investigators had told Manafort he would be indicted. And now, among the key Trump associates who have come under scrutiny in Mueller's probe, online audiences are most interested in Manafort, followed by fired national security advisor Michael Flynn and erstwhile foreign policy advisor Carter Page
EUR-USD Reacts to ECB Meeting as ExpectedThursday's ECB meeting signaled the beginning of the end of the Frankfurt bank's monetary easing, generally in line with market expectations. Shortly after the decision was announced, the euro was trading at its lowest point against the dollar since July. This came as no surprise to Predata's anticipatory model for large, unexpected downward moves in the EUR-USD cross. Digital chatter that has tended to precede moves in the currency pair peaked on October 12, exactly two weeks before the ECB meeting.
The Gulf Widens: Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Flare-up LikelyThe simmering Iran-Saudi Arabia rivalry was one of the bigger gainers on the Scoreboard this week, as the two Gulf powers continue to squabble over issues ranging from Qatar's diplomatic isolation to civil wars in Yemen and Syria. Predata anticipatory signals for the risk of further diplomatic escalation between Iran and Saudi Arabia suggest new developments may be imminent: the signal for the risk of an escalation from the Saudi side hit its highest level in three months this past week. The signal was last at this level in anticipation of this year's Hajj and before the Kingdom severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, in part over the country's warming relations with Iran.
Get free Predata Research and Insights in your email weekly.