Financial Calm in the Face of the Ukraine Storm

The Financial Times questions why the markets are so calm in the face of the Ukraine war. 

 The west’s financial warfare against Russia has been dramatic. Commodity markets are chaotic, stoking already uncomfortably high inflation, and global economic growth forecasts have been marked down as a result. Many businesses face big hits from their exits from Russia. Yet many investors and analysts have been surprised at the remarkably modest fallout for the global financial system, and the lack of broader, serious reverberations so far. After initially deepening the global stock market sell-off, the MSCI All-Country World Index has now jumped back above its prewar level, and the Vix volatility index — a proxy for how much fear there is in markets — has slipped below its long-term average, indicating a fall in anxiety.

More information can be found here.

Brazilian Democracy

The Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training has posted a history of the development of Brazilian democracy.  

Brazil’s path to democracy was far from perfect and often tortuous. In 1961, a “possibly half insane” Janio Quadros was elected to the presidency. One of his more miscalculated moves was to threaten resignation if Congress did not give him more power. Congress instead accepted his resignation, and his successor, Joao “Jango” Goulart became President. Goulart, however, was much too leftist for most people and on March 31st 1964, he was overthrown by Brazil’s Armed Forces; U.S. involvement was suspected, but denied by Ambassador Lincoln Gordon. What followed was a military dictatorship that ruled for twenty years with an iron fist, often torturing its own citizens under the guise of maintaining order. 

I was assistant Brazil desk officer while John Crimmings was ambassador.