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September 2002

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  • The IMF has disbursed $13 billion to Tukey this year and claims to see widespread support for economic reform in the country. But the summer’s political crisis has raised the prospect of electoral success for the Islamists.
  • You will find them in the leafier, tonier suburbs of London, Frankfurt, New York, San Francisco, Chicago. Well-groomed, satisfied-looking men and women sipping cappuccinos, enjoying the afternoon sun on a working day. The new investment banking unemployed are rediscovering the pleasures of family life and ample leisure.
  • Equity exchanges
  • To talk, as many people do, of common technological standards in the drive towards straight-through processing is hypothetical. In the purest sense, there is no such thing. The same can also be said of straight-through processing itself.
  • South Africa
  • Businessmen are joining Kazakhstan's democracy movement as independent economic activity hits a ceiling.
  • The affair is not over but investors’ passion for a new EU convergence story has cooled. They are beginning to price in the impact of delays to entry for leading candidates, the long run-in for others, and the unlikelihood of rapid single-currency status for any new members.
  • Issuer: Republic of LebanonAmount: $750 millionLaunched: August 2 2002Bookrunner: Morgan Stanley
  • Russia
  • Forget proper arguments, who's got the best celebs on their side? This is what the euro vote is coming to in the UK as the two camps draw up their campaigns.
  • Hedge funds
  • European integration
  • In my view the bear market in equities will resume beyond the so-called summer rally. Crucially, the huge fall in household wealth will dampen consumer demand and rising risk aversion will delay a revival of global investment. There will also be much weaker corporate earnings growth, making equities overvalued; a weaker dollar spreading deflation into emerging economies; and poor leadership from the US administration on global economic policy and geopolitics.
  • South Africa’s big banks have first-world management, technology and systems but operate in an emerging market where growth prospects are poor and the future is uncertain. They’re seeking ways to grow without risking the bank.
  • For over a decade the triumph of the Anglo-American model of capitalism seemed assured: but no longer. So what happened to the Washington Consensus, and what new ideology might replace it?
  • Credit markets have contracted dramatically in recent months and all but the safest borrowers, which have benefited from a flight to quality, have had to pay a high price for funds. On the buy side investors want assurances that they will be protected from risk. The banks that have performed best in this year’s capital-raising poll are therefore those that have come furthest in developing complex products that can save money for borrowers and enable lenders to hedge effectively.
  • From the highway packed with crawling traffic heading downtown you can see the tangle of buckled carriages skewed across the track. Final test runs of the AirTrain, San Francisco's state-of-the-art driverless airport link, don't seem to be going to plan.
  • Kazakhstan led the world growth table in 2001 and credit rating agencies see it as a sound candidate for borrowing. Export credit agencies are not so confident, pointing in their ratings to paltry political reform and a nepotistic ruling elite.
  • With asset prices beaten down, private-equity firms see big opportunities to buy now. But are they calling the bottom of the market too soon?
  • China is a massive liberalizing market. Does this mean big opportunities for foreigners to make money? Up to a point perhaps – size of this order is difficult for outsiders to get a grip of and domestic institutions will in any case want the biggest share.
  • Latin America
  • A couple of years ago, wearing a suit and tie marked you as a stick-in-the-mud. It might mean you were caught in the past and didn't get the new economy.
  • IMF/World Bank meeting
  • MarketAxess has risen to the top of online credit trading through a mix of luck and skill. Now TradeWeb has launched corporate bond trading too. The downturn has helped position them as the two biggest platforms. But they’re competing for a tiny share of overall corporate bond business.
  • Kazakhstan has had more success than most former Soviet states in reforming its power sector. Electricity suppliers hope prices can be pushed higher but the abundance of oil and gas will limit rises.
  • Brazilian banks continue to dominate indigenous banking in Latin America and continue to grow despite the economy’s woes.
  • Latin America faces what one analyst calls the worst period in its economic history since the middle of the 19th century. The decade of reform appears to be ending with little having been achieved. Political crises abound. Much needed foreign capital is drying up. And those looking to the IMF for salvation are likely to be disappointed.
  • Euromoney’s analysts have taken a measured view of such hyperbole as the “axis of evil” and resisted over-reacting to the situation in such regional crisis points as southern Africa. Latin America’s troubled economies suffer the severest downgrades.
  • India
  • The US is unlikely to remain the world’s engine of growth. The trade deficit is at a record high, the federal budget has reverted to deficit, and talk of a fall in consumer spending, even deflation, is growing. The Bush administration appears hell-bent on war with Iraq. Congressional politics are acrimonious and gridlock is the likely outcome of upcoming mid-term elections.
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