Mastercard Focuses on Reconstruction with Emphasis on Sustainability

What are Jair Bolsonaro’s chances in the next presidential election in Brazil?

He has a chance, but they are not good. Bolsonaro has the support of nearly 30% of the Brazilian electorate, and his anti-establishment message still resonates among his base of support. But it has paid a heavy price for mismanaging the pandemic, and with inflation squeezing the disposable income of poor families, economic discontent has also grown. With most economists forecasting near zero growth in 2022, there’s a good chance he won’t recover. His best move is to reach a second round against former President Lula da Silva and explore the latter’s vulnerabilities in the face of the massive corruption scandal that rocked the two previous Workers’ Party administrations. Possible, but unlikely to succeed.

Chris Garman. Managing Director, Americas

In Turkey, what share of the country’s youth support leadership?

The ruling Justice and Development Party gets more votes from older groups. The same is true of the AKP’s parliamentary ally, the Nationalist Movement Party. The AKP receives only 17 percent of its 18-34 year old support, while its average support is close to 24 percent. Young Turks are also the most dissatisfied with the state of the economy, with around 85% of those aged 18 to 34 rating the economy as very bad or bad.

What is the likelihood of a war between the United States and China in the next 15 years?

Very weak, but likely to grow over time.

If there is a war soon, it is more likely to be the result of an accidental conflict resulting from miscommunication than a conflict resulting from miscalculation. The United States and China have the strongest trading relationship in world history. Unless there is a fundamental rebalancing of this economic relationship over the next 15 years – which is possible given the continued decoupling of technology and capital flows – the two countries are unlikely to escalate a conflict. to disrupt this. Moreover, cyber capabilities and the economy are so closely linked that any real conflict is more likely to be confined to economic disruption and not turn into a hot war.

The main flashpoint remains Taiwan, and China is years away from having the military capacity and economic dominance to invade without major risks to economic and political stability. Even if the Chinese were to act quickly enough to surprise and overwhelm Taiwan’s defenses, the United States would likely respond with sanctions and trade embargoes that would severely impact the Chinese economy and dramatically increase the costs of the invasion.

Fifteen years is a long time, of course. The conditions for a war would include one and probably more than one of the following: an accelerated decoupling of the exchange of physical goods between the United States and China, a significantly more advanced Chinese army, an internally weak American president unable to rally the Americans to defend Taiwan, more dependence on Chinese regional trading partners (India, Japan and Australia), and a rebalancing of economic power in these countries away from the United States towards China.

Jon lieber. American general manager

To what extent are high energy prices an economic and security threat?

High energy prices have become a major drag on global economic growth. In China, Japan, South Korea and many European countries – all of which are heavily dependent on imports of fossil fuels, natural gas and thermal coal – prices have skyrocketed since late 2020. Europe is struggling. to the further complication of security of supply due to escalating tensions. with its biggest gas supplier, Russia. Large emerging economies like India and Indonesia are also affected by soaring import costs and supply disruptions due to COVID.

At best, rising industrial and domestic energy bills weigh on the outlook for economic growth. At worst, there are supply shortages that lead to industrial shutdowns or even localized blackouts.

The government’s reactions show the seriousness of the problem. European governments have put in place measures to ensure affordable domestic energy this winter, including through exceptional taxes on the energy sector. China has repeatedly intervened in energy markets, capping prices and shutting down some energy-intensive industries. Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, has suspended exports due to tight domestic supply. Even in the United States, which is rich in national oil and gas reserves, the Biden administration intervened in the markets in late 2021 by releasing some of the strategic oil reserve to cool retail gas prices.

The global energy crisis has led to emotional and polarized debates about its cause. This will hamper climate action efforts, as governments juggle the long-term need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the immediate priority of ensuring affordable and reliable energy for all.

Henning gloystein. Director of Energy, Climate and Resources

Should we expect more government crypto regulation this year?

Following the massive influx of capital into the crypto industry and intensified lobbying from the industry in 2021, friendly lawmakers in the U.S. Congress plan to introduce sweeping bill soon to fully incorporate the digital assets in the financial system. The growing group of pro-digital representatives and senators want to provide clearer guidance for digital assets and will seek to standardize their use with rules for stablecoins, consumer protection provisions and updated tax guidelines. While it is likely to stimulate debate within industry and regulators, the passage of the bill will likely be delayed by more pressing administrative priorities and a lack of understanding among policymakers of crypto issues.

Further action by the Securities and Exchange Commission is likely before any new legislation is passed. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler gave a series of speeches at the end of 2021 on the need for tighter regulation of the crypto industry, and the SEC seems almost ready to launch a major regulatory investigation into the global leader in the crypto industry. centralized cryptocurrency exchange Binance and its CEO, likely on charges including money laundering. Jurisdictions in Asia and Europe have already moved last year to curb Binance operations. Nonetheless, the major players in digital assets have deep pockets and will certainly pose legal challenges to any SEC move. The outcome of the current SEC lawsuit against Ripple – for which expert testimony was largely completed in December – will be closely watched for guidance on the position of US courts on issues related to the definition of crypto. -currencies as transferable securities.

Paul triolo. Practice Leader, Géotech

What major changes do we need to watch in (sub-Saharan) Africa this year?

The upcoming elections across the continent will be a major point of vigilance. Kenya heads to the polls in August to nominate President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor in a promising close race, while Joao Lourenço is expected to win a second term as Angolan presidency in the same month despite a better performance expected from the opposition . Meanwhile, Nigeria’s two main parties will hold primaries to select their presidential candidates ahead of the crucial 2023 elections, while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is preferred to win another term as head of the African National Congress despite growing factionalism within the party. Finally, the African Continental Free Trade Area is expected to be launched this year once technical negotiations are completed, creating the world’s largest trading community by area. Yet the economic benefits of the agreement will take years to materialize given the persistence of non-tariff barriers to trade.

Tochi Eni-Kalu. Analyst and Practice Manager, Africa

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