Venezuela took the highest spot on the Scoreboard this week, as fresh U.S. sanctions have brought the country's political and social crisis back to the forefront of global markets. Washington's move makes Venezuelan sovereigns and PDVSA corporate bonds personae non gratae in U.S. debt markets. Fitch already dropped Venezuela's debt rating from CC to CCC in response. The sanctions further isolate President Nicolas Maduro, who has already been all but cut out of Latin American diplomatic circles.
After Venezuela, the biggest climber on the Scoreboard this week was Brazilian politics -- which these days primarily concerns two questions: When will the abysmally unpopular President Temer leave office, and who will replace him? After surviving one corruption indictment earlier this month, Temer's position appears more secure. For now, attention has turned to the next general election, scheduled for October 2018. Driving the conversation is former president Lula, the frontrunner in polls, who began a three-week bus tour that some speculated would mark the unofficial launch of his campaign. Yet, in an interview, Lula conceded, for the first time, that he may not run given his recent corruption conviction.
Germans head to the polls in three weeks to vote in federal elections. Despite an intensifying domestic debate, the German election came nowhere close to making the Macro Scoreboard this week. By the measure of engagement in the digital realm, where markets seem most concerned with upcoming elections in Europe, it is due to the looming specter of Russian election interference (which was the fourth-highest ranked story on this week). Predata analysts have been tracking Russian election meddling for months, going back to the French election.