Abdi Latif Dahir in Nairobi, Emily Schmall in New Delhi, Skandha Gunasekara in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Salman Masood in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed reporting. Li You and Ana Lankes contributed research.

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Worldwide Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Industry to 2027 – Key Drivers and Challenges – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Global Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market By Component (Anti-Reflective Coating, Silicon wafers, Passivation layer, Capping Layer, Others), By Type (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, Thin Film), By Application, By Region, Competition, Forecast and Opportunities , 2017-2027” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market is projected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast years, 2023-2027. Increasing demand for better and more efficient energy storage solutions to meet the growing energy requirement worldwide is the primary driver for the global passivated emitter rear cell market.

Solar panels with passivated emitter rear cells (PERCs) contain an extra layer covering the typical solar cells’ backs, increasing the efficiency and output of electrical energy from solar radiation. The safety of the solar panels can be enhanced by using PERC (passivated emitter rear cell) modules.

These modules are able to reduce back recombination and prevent longer-wavelength solar light from turning into heat energy, both of which are detrimental to the device and its performance. Market players are continuously making high-end investments in research and development activities to find new innovative solutions and upgrade the existing infrastructure.

Further improvements to the device are being made to lower installation and maintenance costs in addition to improving its efficiency. Modern PERC panels make better use of available space and operate more efficiently even when fewer panels are put in, which reduces installation time and expense.

The global passivated emitter rear cell market segmentation is based on component, type, application, regional distribution, and competitive landscape. Based on type, the market is divided into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. The monocrystalline segment is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period, 2023-2027.

Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cell is a combination of single-crystal cell, passivated emitter cell, and back cell. The solar panel provides high flexibility and has various placements viability & tilt options without compromising efficiency. Monocrystalline passivated emitter rear cells are also efficient in case of low lighting; thus, regions such as Europe can effectively use these for power generation.

Years considered for this report:

  • Historical Years: 2017-2020
  • Base Year: 2021
  • Estimated Year: 2022
  • Forecast Period: 2023-2027

Objective of the Study:

  • To analyze the historical growth in the market size of the global passivated emitter rear cell market from 2017 to 2021.
  • To estimate and forecast the market size of global passivated emitter rear cell market from 2022 to 2027 and growth rate until 2027.
  • To classify and forecast the global passivated emitter rear cell market based on component, type, application, region, and company.
  • To identify the dominant region or segment in the global passivated emitter rear cell market.
  • To identify drivers and challenges for the global passivated emitter rear cell market.
  • To examine competitive developments such as expansions, new product launches, mergers & acquisitions, etc., in the global passivated emitter rear cell market.
  • To identify and analyze the profiles of leading players operating in the global passivated emitter rear cell market.
  • To identify key sustainable strategies adopted by market players in global passivated emitter rear cell market.

Companies Mentioned

  • Targray
  • Aleo Solar
  • SunPower Corporation
  • JinkoSolar
  • JA Solar
  • Trina Solar

Report Scope:

In this report, global passivated emitter rear cell market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Component:

  • Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Silicon wafers
  • Passivation layer
  • Capping Layer
  • Others

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Type:

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline
  • Thin Film

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Application:

  • Residential
  • Commercial & Industrial
  • Utilities

Passivated Emitter Rear Cell Market, By Region:

  • North America
  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Asia-Pacific
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Middle East & Africa
  • South Africa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • UAE
  • Iraq
  • Turkey
  • South America
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Colombia
  • Peru
  • Chile

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/n6onw8

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A Strong Dollar Is Wreaking Havoc on Emerging Markets. A Debt Crisis Could Be Next.

The average household in Ghana is paying two-thirds more than it did last year for diesel, flour and other necessities. In Egypt, wheat is so expensive that the government has fallen half a billion dollars short of its budget for a bread subsidy it provides to its citizens. And Sri Lanka, already struggling to control a political crisis, is running out of fuel, food and medical supplies.

A strong dollar is making the problems worse.

Compared with other currencies, the U.S. dollar is the strongest it has been in two decades. It is rising because the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates sharply to combat inflation and because America’s economic health is better than most. Together, these factors have attracted investors from all over the world. Sometimes they simply buy dollars, but even if investors buy other assets, like government bonds, they need dollars to do so — in each case pushing up the currency’s value.

That strength has become much of the world’s weakness. The dollar is the de facto currency for global trade, and its steep rise is squeezing dozens of lower-income nations, chiefly those that rely heavily on imports of food and oil and borrow in dollars to fund them.

But much of the damage is already behind us.

  • Discordant Views: Some investors just don’t see how the Federal Reserve can lower inflation without risking high unemployment. The Fed appears more optimistic.
  • Weathering the Storm: The rout in the stock and bond markets has been especially rough on people paying for college, retirement or a new home. Here is some advice.
  • College Savings: As the stock and bond markets wobble, 529 plans are taking a tumble. What’s a family to do? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but you have options.
  • “We are in a fragile situation,” Mr. El-Erian said. “Country after country is flashing amber, and some are already flashing red.”

    Many lower-income countries were already struggling during the pandemic.

    Roughly 22 million people in Ghana, or a third of its population, reported a decline in their income between April 2020 and May 2021, according to a survey from the World Bank and Unicef. Adults in almost half of the households with children surveyed said they were skipping a meal because they didn’t have enough money. Almost three-quarters said the prices of major food items had increased.

    Then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war between two of the world’s largest exporters of food and energy led to a big surge in prices, especially for importers like Ghana. Consumer prices have gone up 30 percent for the year through June, according to data from the research firm Moody’s Analytics. For household essentials, annual inflation has reached 60 percent or more this year, the S&P data shows.

    To illustrate this, consider the price of a barrel of oil in dollars versus the Ghanaian cedi. At the beginning of October last year, the price of oil stood at $78.52 per barrel, rising to nearly $130 per barrel in March before falling back to $87.96 at the beginning of this month, a one-year increase of 12 percent in dollar terms. Over the same period, the Ghanaian cedi has weakened over 40 percent against the dollar, meaning that the same barrel of oil that cost roughly 475 cedi a year ago now costs over 900 cedi, almost twice as much.

    Adding to the problem are large state-funded subsidies, some taken on or increased through the pandemic, that are now weighing on government finances.

    Ghana’s president cut fuel taxes in November 2021, losing roughly $22 million in projected revenue for the government — the latest available numbers.

    In Egypt, spending on what the government refers to as “supply commodities,” almost all of which is wheat for its long-running bread subsidy, is expected to come in at around 7 percent of all government spending this year, 12 percent higher — or more than half a billion dollars — than the government budgeted.

    As costs ballooned throughout the pandemic, governments took on more debt. Ghana’s public debt grew to nearly $60 billion from roughly $40 billion at the end of 2019, or to nearly 80 percent of its gross domestic product from around 63 percent, according to Moody’s.

    It’s one of four countries listed by S&P, alongside Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka, where interest payments alone account for more than half of the government’s revenues.

    “We can’t forget that this is happening on the back end of a once-in-a-century pandemic in which governments, to try and support families as best they could, did borrow more,” said Frank Gill, an analyst at S&P. “This is a shock following up on another shock.”

    In May, Sri Lanka defaulted on its government debt for the first time in its history. Over the past month, the governments of Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana have all reached out to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout as they struggle to meet their debt financing needs, no longer able to turn to international investors for more money.

    “I don’t think there is a lot of appetite to lend money to some of these countries,” said Brian Weinstein, co-head of credit trading at Bank of America. “They are incredibly vulnerable at the moment.”

    That vulnerability is already reflected in the bond market.

    In 2016, Ghana borrowed $1 billion for 10 years, paying an interest rate of just over 8 percent. As the country’s financial position has worsened and investors have backed away, the yield — indicative of what it would now cost Ghana to borrow money until 2026 — has risen to above 35 percent.

    It’s an untenable cost of debt for a country in Ghana’s situation. And Ghana is not alone. For bonds that also mature in 2026, yields for Pakistan have reached almost 40 percent.

    “We have concerns where any country has yields that calls into question their ability to refinance in public markets,” said Charles Cohen, deputy division chief of monetary and capital market departments at IMF.

    The risk of a sovereign debt crisis in some emerging markets is “very, very high,” said Jesse Rogers, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. Mr. Rogers likened the current situation to the debt crises that crushed Latin America in the 1980s — the last time the Fed sought to quell soaring inflation.

    Already this year, more than $80 billion has been withdrawn from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — two popular types of investment products — that buy emerging market bonds, according to EPFR Global, a data provider. As investors sell, the United States is often the beneficiary, further strengthening the dollar.

    “It’s by far the worst year for outflows the market has ever seen,” said Pramol Dhawan, head of emerging markets at Pimco.

    Even citizens in some of these countries are trying to exchange their money for dollars, fearful of what’s to come and of further currency depreciation — yet inadvertently also contributing to it.

    “For pockets of emerging markets, this is a really challenging backdrop and one of the most challenging backdrops we have faced for many years,” Mr. Dhawan said.

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    Strong Dollar Is Good for the US but Bad for the World

    The Federal Reserve’s determination to crush inflation at home by raising interest rates is inflicting profound pain in other countries — pushing up prices, ballooning the size of debt payments and increasing the risk of a deep recession.

    Those interest rate increases are pumping up the value of the dollar — the go-to currency for much of the world’s trade and transactions — and causing economic turmoil in both rich and poor nations. In Britain and across much of the European continent, the dollar’s acceleration is helping feed stinging inflation.

    On Monday, the British pound touched a record low against the dollar as investors balked at a government tax cut and spending plan. And China, which tightly controls its currency, fixed the renminbi at its lowest level in two years while taking steps to manage its decline.

    Somalia, where the risk of starvation already lurks, the strong dollar is pushing up the price of imported food, fuel and medicine. The strong dollar is nudging debt-ridden Argentina, Egypt and Kenya closer to default and threatening to discourage foreign investment in emerging markets like India and South Korea.

    the International Monetary Fund.

    Japanese yen has reached a decades-long high. The euro, used by 19 nations across Europe, reached 1-to-1 parity with the dollar in June for the first time since 2002. The dollar is clobbering other currencies as well, including the Brazilian real, the South Korean won and the Tunisian dinar.

    the economic outlook in the United States, however cloudy, is still better than in most other regions.

    loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

    A fragile currency can sometimes work as “a buffering mechanism,” causing nations to import less and export more, Mr. Prasad said. But today, many “are not seeing the benefits of stronger growth.”

    Still, they must pay more for essential imports like oil, wheat or pharmaceuticals as well as for loan bills due from billion-dollar debts.

    debt crisis in Latin America in the 1980s.

    The situation is particularly fraught because so many countries ran up above-average debts to deal with the fallout from the pandemic. And now they are facing renewed pressure to offer public support as food and energy prices soar.

    Indonesia this month, thousands of protesters, angry over a 30 percent price increase on subsidized fuel, clashed with the police. In Tunisia, a shortage of subsidized food items like sugar, coffee, flour and eggs has shuttered cafes and emptied market shelves.

    New research on the impact of a strong dollar on emerging nations found that it drags down economic progress across the board.

    “You can see these very pronounced negative effects of a stronger dollar,” said Maurice Obstfeld, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the study.

    central banks feel pressure to raise interest rates to bolster their currencies and prevent import prices from skyrocketing. Last week, Argentina, the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Norway raised interest rates.

    World Bank warned this month that simultaneous interest rate increases are pushing the world toward a recession and developing nations toward a string of financial crises that would inflict “lasting harm.”

    Clearly, the Fed’s mandate is to look after the American economy, but some economists and foreign policymakers argue it should pay more attention to the fallout its decisions have on the rest of the world.

    In 1998, Alan Greenspan, a five-term Fed chair, argued that “it is just not credible that the United States can remain an oasis of prosperity unaffected by a world that is experiencing greatly increased stress.”

    The United States is now facing a slowing economy, but the essential dilemma is the same.

    “Central banks have purely domestic mandates,” said Mr. Obstfeld, the U.C. Berkeley economist, but financial and trade globalization have made economies more interdependent than they have ever been and so closer cooperation is needed. “I don’t think central banks can have the luxury of not thinking about what’s happening abroad.”

    Flávia Milhorance contributed reporting from Rio de Janeiro.

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    Bad News From the Fed? We’ve Been Here Before.

    The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates again is hardly a positive development for anyone with a job, a business or an investment in the stock or bond market.

    But it isn’t a great shock, either.

    This is all about curbing inflation, which is running at 8.3 percent annually, near its highest rate in 40 years. On Wednesday, the Fed raised the short-term federal funds rate for a third consecutive time, to 3.25 percent, and said it would keep increasing it.

    “We believe a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain later on,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said. He acknowledged that the Fed’s rate increases would raise unemployment and slow the economy.

    last time severe inflation tested the mettle of the Federal Reserve was the era of Paul A. Volcker, who became Fed chair in August 1979, when inflation was already 11 percent and still rising. He managed to bring it below 4 percent by 1983, but at the cost of two recessions, sky-high unemployment and horrendous volatility in financial markets.

    around 6 percent — and had set the country on a path toward price stability that lasted for decades.

    The Great Moderation.” This halcyon period lasted long after he left the Fed, and ended only with the financial crisis of 2007-9. As the Fed now puts it on a website devoted to its history, “Inflation was low and relatively stable, while the period contained the longest economic expansion since World War II.”

    mandates — “the economic goals of maximum employment and price stability”— as new information arrived.

    Donald Kohn, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, was a Fed insider for 40 years, and retired as vice chair in 2010. With his inestimable guidance, I plunged into Fed history during the Volcker era.

    I found an astonishing wealth of material, providing far more information than reporters had access to back then. In fact, while the current Fed provides vast reams of data, what goes on behind closed doors is better documented, in some respects, for the Volcker Fed.

    That’s because transcripts of Fed meetings from that period were reconstructed from recordings that, Mr. Kohn said, “nobody was thinking about as they were talking because nobody knew about them or expected that this would ever be published, except, I guess Volcker.” By the 1990s, when the Fed began to produce transcripts available on a five-year time delay, Mr. Kohn said, participants in the meetings “were aware they were being recorded for history, so we became more restrained in what we said.”

    So reading the Volcker transcripts is like being a fly on the wall. Some names of foreign officials have been scrubbed, but most of the material is there.

    In a phone conversation, Mr. Kohn identified two critical “Volcker moments,” which he discussed at a Dallas Federal Reserve conference in June. “In both cases, the Fed moved in subtle ways and surprised people by changing its focus and its approach,” he said.

    Congress, financial circles and academic institutions. Economics students may remember Milton Friedman saying: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”

    For Fed watchers, the change in the central bank’s emphasis had practical implications. Richard Bernstein, a former chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch who now runs his own firm, said that back then: “You needed a calculator to figure out the numbers being released by the Fed. By comparison, now, there are practically no numbers. You just need to look at the words of Fed statements.”

    The Fed’s methods of dealing with inflation are abstruse stuff. But its conversations about the problem in 1982 were pithy, and its decisions appeared to be based as much on psychology as on traditional macroeconomics.

    As Mr. Volcker put it at a Federal Open Market Meeting on Oct. 6, 1979, “I have described the state of the markets as in some sense as nervous as I have ever seen them.” He added: “We are not dealing with a stable psychological or stable expectational situation by any means. And on the inflation front, we‘re probably losing ground.”

    17 percent by March 1980. The Fed plunged the economy into one recession and then, when the first one failed to curb inflation sufficiently, into a second.

    unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent, a postwar high that was not exceeded until the coronavirus recession of 2020. But in 1982, even people at the Fed were wondering when the economy would begin to recover from the damage that had been done.

    The fall of 1982 was the second “Volcker moment” discerned by Mr. Kohn, who was in the room during meetings. The Fed decided that inflation was coming down — although in September 1982, it was still in the 6 to 7 percent range. The economy was contracting sharply, and the extraordinarily high interest rates in the United States had ricocheted around the world, worsening a debt crisis in Mexico, Argentina and, soon, the rest of Latin America.

    Fed meeting that October, when one official said, “There have certainly been some other problem situations” in Latin America, Mr. Volcker responded, “That’s the understatement of the day, if I must say so.”

    Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma had collapsed, a precursor of other failures to come.

    “We are in a worldwide recession,” Mr. Volcker said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.” He added: “I don’t know of any country of any consequence in the world that has an expansion going on. And I can think of lots of them that have a real downturn going on. Obviously, unemployment is at record levels. It is rising virtually everyplace. In fact, I can’t think of a major country that is an exception to that.”

    It was time, he and others agreed, to provide relief.

    The Fed needed to make sure that interest rates moved downward, but the method of targeting the monetary supply wasn’t working properly. It could not be calibrated precisely enough to guarantee that interest rates would fall. In fact, interest rates rose in September 1982, when the Fed had wanted them to drop. “I am totally dissatisfied,” Mr. Volcker said.

    It was, therefore, time, to shift the Fed’s focus back to interest rates, and to resolutely lower them.

    This wasn’t an easy move, Mr. Kohn said, but it was the right one. “It took confidence and some subtle judgment to know when it was time to loosen conditions,” he said. “We’re not there yet today — inflation is high and it’s time to tighten now — but at some point, the Fed will have to do that again.”

    The Fed pivot in 1982 had a startling payoff in financial markets.

    As early as August 1982, policymakers at the central bank were discussing whether it was time to loosen financial conditions. Word trickled to traders, interest rates fell and the previously lackluster S&P 500 started to rise. It gained nearly 15 percent for the year and kept going. That was the start of a bull market that continued for 40 years.

    In 1982, the conditions that set off rampant optimism in the stock market didn’t happen overnight. The Volcker-led Fed had to correct itself repeatedly while responding to major crises at home and abroad. It took years of pain to reach the point at which it made sense to pivot, and for businesses to start rehiring workers and for traders to go all-in on risky assets.

    Today, the Fed is again engaging in a grand experiment, even as Russia’s war in Ukraine, the lingering pandemic and political crises in the United States and around the globe are endangering millions of people.

    When will the big pivot happen this time? I wish I knew.

    The best I can say is that it would be wise to prepare for bad times but to plan and invest for prosperity over the long haul.

    I’ll come back with more detail on how to do that.

    But I would try to stay invested in both the stock and bond markets permanently. The Volcker era demonstrates that when the moment has at last come, sea changes in financial markets can occur in the blink of an eye.

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    Attempt To Kill Argentina VP Fails When Handgun Misfires

    The attack came as the vice president is facing a trial for alleged acts of corruption during her 2007-2015 presidency.

    A man tried to kill Argentina’s politically powerful Vice President Cristina Fernández outside her home, but the handgun misfired, the country’s president said.

    The man was quickly overpowered by her security officers in the incident Thursday night, officials said.

    President Alberto Fernández, who is not related to the vice president, a former president herself, said the pistol did not discharge when the man tried to fire it.

    “A man pointed a firearm at her head and pulled the trigger,” the president said in a national broadcast following the incident. He said the firearm was loaded with five bullets but “didn’t fire even though the trigger was pulled.”

    The vice president did not appear to have suffered any injury, and the man was overpowered within seconds as he stood among a crowd of her supporters.

    Gina De Bai, a witness who was near the vice president during the incident, told The Associated Press she heard “the sound of the trigger being pulled.” She said she didn’t realize it was a handgun until the man was rushed by security personnel.

    President Fernández called it “the most serious incident since we recovered democracy” in 1983 after a military dictatorship and urged political leaders, and society at large, to repudiate the attempted shooting.

    The attack came as the vice president is facing a trial for alleged acts of corruption during her 2007-2015 presidency — charges that she vehemently denies and that have led her supporters to surround her home in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood of Argentina’s capital.

    Video broadcast on local television channels showed Fernández exiting her vehicle surrounded by supporters when a man is seen extending his hand with what looks like a pistol. The vice president ducks as people around the apparent gunman appear shocked at what is happening.

    Unverified video posted on social media shows the pistol almost touched Fernández’s face.

    The alleged gunman was identified as Fernando André Sabag Montiel, a Brazilian citizen, said an official at the Security Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He does not have a criminal record, the official said, adding that the weapon was a .32-caliber Bersa.

    The president declared Friday a holiday “so the Argentine people can, in peace and harmony, express itself in defense of life, democracy and in solidarity with our vice president.”

    Supporters of the vice president have been gathering in the streets surrounding her home since last week, when a prosecutor called for a 12-year sentence for Fernández as well as a life-long prohibition in holding public office in the corruption case.

    Shortly after the incident, government officials were quick to decry what they called an assassination attempt.

    “When hate and violence are imposed over the debate of ideas, societies are destroyed and generate situations like the one seen today: an assassination attempt,” Economy Minister Sergio Massa said.

    Cabinet ministers issued a news release saying they “energetically condemn the attempted homicide” of the vice president. “What happened tonight is of extreme gravity and threatens democracy, institutions and the rule of law.”

    Former President Mauricio Macri, a conservative who succeeded the left-of-center Fernández in the presidency, also condemned the attack. “This very serious event demands an immediate and profound clarification by the judiciary and security forces,” Macri wrote on Twitter.

    Patricia Bullrich, president of the opposition Republican Proposal party, criticized President Fernández’s reaction to the attack, accusing him of “playing with fire.” She said that “instead of seriously investigating a serious incident, he accuses the opposition and the press, decreeing a national holiday to mobilize activists.”

    Tensions have been running high in the Recoleta neighborhood since the weekend, when the vice president’s supporters clashed with police in the streets surrounding her apartment amid an effort by law enforcement officers to clear the area. Following the clashes, what had been a strong police presence around the vice president’s apartment was reduced.

    When Fernández leaves her apartment every day at around noon, she greets supporters and signs autographs before getting in her vehicle to go to the Senate. She repeats the same routine every evening.

    Following the incident, allies of the vice president quickly pointed the finger at the opposition for what they said is hateful speech that promotes violence. In recent days, several key officials have said opposition leaders were looking for a fatality.

    “This is a historic event in Argentina that must be a before-and-after,” Buenos Aires Gov. Axel Kicillof said.

    Regional leaders also condemned the attack.

    “We send our solidarity to the vice president in this attempt against her life,” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Twitter.

    Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, who is a candidate in that nation’s presidential election next month, also expressed solidarity with Fernández, calling her a “victim of a fascist criminal who doesn’t know how to respect differences and diversity.”

    Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    How Reproductive Rights Were Won In Latin America

    By Newsy Staff
    August 10, 2022

    A movement called “The Green Wave” has pushed the success of the reproductive rights movement in three of Latin America’s most populous countries.

    When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the United States became one of only four countries that have rolled back abortion rights since the mid-90s, joining Poland and two Latin American countries: El Salvador and Nicaragua.

    But elsewhere in Latin America, there’s been momentum building in the opposite direction.

    A widespread, grassroots movement known as “The Green Wave” has been gaining ground for reproductive rights in the region, winning major legal victories in the last couple of years. That’s in Latin America’s three most populous countries.

    In December 2020, lawmakers in Argentina passed a law allowing abortion within the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Less than a year later, in September 2021, Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion through a unanimous decision. Then in February of this year, Colombia’s highest court legalized abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Coming up in September, voters in Chile will decide whether to ratify a new constitution that would protect the right to abortion.

    These changes are a huge deal for countries that are predominantly Catholic and historically very conservative with abortion rights.

    Argentina is the birthplace of Pope Francis, who made last-minute appeals against both an unsuccessful bill in 2018 and the bill that was passed in 2020. Meanwhile Chile, another historically very Catholic country, had a total abortion ban until as late as 2017.

    So, what exactly is this movement, and how did it achieve such huge victories against the odds?

    The Green Wave began in Argentina. Organizers took inspiration from the “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo:” a group of women who protested against the ruling military junta in the late 70s. The women, protesting the thousands of civilian killings ordered by the mIlitary, famously wore white scarves on their heads.

    Fast forward a couple of decades, two women decided to pay homage to the protesters without reusing the color white. The original organizers brainstormed together and settled on the color green to symbolize life and growth.

    The green bandanas made their debut in 2018 to support a bill to decriminalize abortion. Though the law didn’t pass then, the image of the waves of green stuck – and the movement began in earnest.

    It’s worth noting: The region is still one of the most restrictive in the world when it comes to reproductive health laws. As of 2021, abortion is entirely banned in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Suriname.

    But, the recent wave of victories seems to be changing public opinion. For example, one poll in Mexico showed support for abortion access jumped dramatically from 29 to 48%. That poll was taken just as Argentina was passings its laws, and Mexico would follow nine months later.

    This shift correlates with another important shift in the region: Some surveys indicate a decline in Catholicism among most Latin American countries. Argentina had one of the biggest drops in this regional survey, from 76% to 49% reporting they identified as Catholic. 

    That begs the question: What effect from this might be seen in the U.S.? The green symbolism has already made its way stateside, and some elected officials like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a green bandana on the steps of the Supreme Court after the ruling.

    Still, the question still remains of how the U.S. might translate this symbolism into real, legislative action seen in Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.

    Source: newsy.com

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    U.S. Inflation Slips From 40-Year Peak But Remains High At 8.5%

    By Associated Press

    and Newsy Staff
    August 10, 2022

    Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June, according to government data.

    Falling gas prices gave Americans a slight break from the pain of high inflation last month, though the surge in overall prices slowed only modestly from the four-decade high it reached in June.

    Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the smallest such rise more than two years.

    Still, prices have risen across a wide range of goods and services, leaving most Americans worse off. Average paychecks are rising faster than they have in decades — but not fast enough to keep up with accelerating costs for such items as food, rent, autos and medical services.

    Last month, excluding the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices rose just 0.3% from June, the smallest month-to-month increase since April. And compared with a year ago, core prices rose 5.9% in July, the same year-over-year increase as in June. 

    President Joe Biden has pointed to declining gas prices as a sign that his policies — including large releases of oil from the nation’s strategic reserve — are helping lessen the higher costs that have strained Americans’ finances, particularly for lower-income Americans and Black and Hispanic households.

    Yet Republicans are stressing the persistence of high inflation as a top issue in the midterm congressional elections, with polls showing that elevated prices have driven President Biden’s approval ratings down sharply.

    On Friday, the House is poised to give final congressional approval to a revived tax-and-climate package pushed by the president and Democratic lawmakers. Economists say the measure, which its proponents have titled the Inflation Reduction Act, will have only a minimal effect on inflation over the next several years.

    While there are signs that inflation may ease in the coming months, it will likely remain far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual target well into next year or even into 2024. Chair Jerome Powell has said the Fed needs to see a series of declining monthly core inflation readings before it would consider pausing its rate hikes. The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term rate at its past four rate-setting meetings, including a three-quarter-point hike in both June and July — the first increases that large since 1994.

    A blockbuster jobs report for July that the government issued Friday — with 528,000 jobs added, rising wages and an unemployment rate that matched a half-century low of 3.5% — solidified expectations that the Fed will announce yet another three-quarter-point hike when it next meets in September. Robust hiring tends to fuel inflation because it gives Americans more collective spending power.

    One positive sign, though, is that Americans’ expectations for future inflation have fallen, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, likely reflecting the drop in gas prices that is highly visible to most consumers.

    Inflation expectations can be self-fulfilling: If people believe inflation will stay high or worsen, they’re likely to take steps — such as demanding higher pay — that can send prices higher in a self-perpetuating cycle. Companies then often raise prices to offset their higher labor costs. But the New York Fed survey found that Americans foresee lower inflation one, three and five years from now than they did a month ago.

    Supply chain snarls are also loosening, with fewer ships moored off Southern California ports and shipping costs declining. Prices for commodities like corn, wheat and copper have fallen steeply.

    Yet in categories where price changes are stickier, such as rents, costs are still surging. One-third of Americans rent their homes, and higher rental costs are leaving many of them with less money to spend on other items.

    Data from Bank of America, based on its customer accounts, shows that rent increases have fallen particularly hard on younger Americans. Average rent payments for so-called Generation Z renters (those born after 1996) jumped 16% in July from a year ago, while for baby boomers the increase was just 3%.

    Stubborn inflation isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Prices have jumped in the United Kingdom, Europe and in less developed nations such as Argentina.

    In the U.K., inflation soared 9.4% in June from a year earlier, a four-decade high. In the 19 countries that use the euro currency, it reached 8.9% in June compared with a year earlier, the highest since record-keeping for the euro began.

    Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    As Latin America Shifts Left, Leaders Face a Bleak Reality.

    BOGOTÁ, Colombia — In Chile, a tattooed former student activist won the presidency with a pledge to oversee the most profound transformation of Chilean society in decades, widening the social safety net and shifting the tax burden to the wealthy.

    In Peru, the son of poor farmers was propelled to victory on a vow to prioritize struggling families, feed the hungry and correct longstanding disparities in access to health care and education.

    In Colombia, a former rebel and longtime legislator was elected the country’s first leftist president, promising to champion the rights of Indigenous, Black and poor Colombians, while building an economy that works for everyone.

    election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico and could culminate with a victory later this year by a leftist candidate in Brazil, leaving the region’s six largest economies run by leaders elected on leftist platforms.

    A combination of forces have thrust this new group into power, including an anti-incumbent fervor driven by anger over chronic poverty and inequality, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and have deepened frustration among voters who have taken out their indignation on establishment candidates.

    sliding backward, and instead of a boom, governments face pandemic-battered budgets, galloping inflation fed by the war in Ukraine, rising migration and increasingly dire economic and social consequences of climate change.

    In Argentina, where the leftist Alberto Fernández took the reins from a right-wing president in late 2019, protesters have taken to the streets amid rising prices. Even larger protests erupted recently in Ecuador, threatening the government of one of the region’s few newly elected right-wing presidents, Guillermo Lasso.

    “I don’t want to be apocalyptic about it,” said Cynthia Arnson, a distinguished fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “But there are times when you look at this that it feels like the perfect storm, the number of things hitting the region at once.”

    Chile and Colombia, have shown people the power of the streets.

    five of the six largest economies in the region will be run by leaders who campaigned from the left.

    focused on austerity, is reducing spending.

    What does link these leaders, however, are promises for sweeping change that in many instances are running headlong into difficult and growing challenges.

    have plummeted.

    Ninety percent of poll respondents told the polling firm Cadem this month that they believed the country’s economy was stuck or going backward.

    Like many neighbors in the region, Chile’s yearly inflation rate is the highest it’s been in more than a generation, at 11.5 percent, spurring a cost-of-living crisis.

    In southern Chile, a land struggle between the Mapuche, the country’s largest Indigenous group, and the state has entered its deadliest phase in 20 years, leading Mr. Boric to reverse course on one of his campaign pledges and redeploy troops in the area.

    Catalina Becerra, 37, a human resources manager from Antofagasta, in northern Chile, said that “like many people of my generation” she voted for Mr. Boric because Mr. Kast, “didn’t represent me in the slightest.”

    according to the Institute of Peruvian Studies — is now subject to five criminal probes, has already faced two impeachment attempts and cycled through seven interior ministers.

    40 percent of households now live on less than $100 a month, less than half of the monthly minimum wage — while inflation has hit nearly 10 percent.

    Still, despite widespread financial anxiety, Mr. Petro’s actions as he prepares to assume office seem to have earned him some support.

    He has made repeated calls for national consensus, met with his biggest political foe, the right-wing former president Álvaro Uribe and appointed a widely respected, relatively conservative and Yale-educated finance minister.

    The moves may allow Mr. Petro to govern more successfully than say Mr. Boric, said Daniel García-Peña, a political scientist, and have calmed down some fears about how he will try to revive the economy.

    But given how quickly the honeymoon period ended for others, Mr. Petro will have precious little time to start delivering relief.

    “Petro must come through for his voters,” said Hernan Morantes, 30, a Petro supporter and environmental activist. “Social movements must be ready, so that when the government does not come through, or does not want to come through, we’re ready.”

    Julie Turkewitz reported from Bogotá, Colombia, Mitra Taj from Lima, Peru and John Bartlett from Santiago, Chile. Genevieve Glatsky contributed reporting from Bogotá.

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    The big default? The dozen countries in the danger zone

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    LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) – Traditional debt crisis signs of crashing currencies, 1,000 basis point bond spreads and burned FX reserves point to a record number of developing nations now in trouble.

    Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Russia, Suriname and Zambia are already in default, Belarus is on the brink and at least another dozen are in the danger zone as rising borrowing costs, inflation and debt all stoke fears of economic collapse.

    Totting up the cost is eyewatering. Using 1,000 basis point bond spreads as a pain threshold, analysts calculate $400 billion of debt is in play. Argentina has by far the most at over $150 billion, while the next in line are Ecuador and Egypt with $40 billion-$45 billion.

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    Crisis veterans hope many can still dodge default, especially if global markets calm and the IMF rows in with support, but these are the countries at risk.

    ARGENTINA

    The sovereign default world record holder looks likely to add to its tally. The peso now trades at a near 50% discount in the black market, reserves are critically low and bonds trade at just 20 cents in the dollar – less than half of what they were after the country’s 2020 debt restructuring.

    The government doesn’t have any substantial debt to service until 2024, but it ramps up after that and concerns have crept in that powerful vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner may push to renege on the International Monetary Fund. read more

    Reuters Graphics

    UKRAINE

    Russia’s invasion means Ukraine will almost certainly have to restructure its $20 billion plus of debt, heavyweight investors such as Morgan Stanley and Amundi warn.

    The crunch comes in September when $1.2 billion of bond payments are due. Aid money and reserves mean Kyiv could potentially pay. But with state-run Naftogaz this week asking for a two-year debt freeze, investors suspect the government will follow suit. read more

    Ukraine bonds brace for default

    TUNISIA

    Africa has a cluster of countries going to the IMF but Tunisia looks one of the most at risk. read more

    A near 10% budget deficit, one of the highest public sector wage bills in the world and there are concerns that securing, or a least sticking to, an IMF programme may be tough due to President Kais Saied’s push to strengthen his grip on power and the country’s powerful, incalcitrant labour union.

    Tunisian bond spreads – the premium investors demand to buy the debt rather than U.S. bonds – have risen to over 2,800 basis points and along with Ukraine and El Salvador, Tunisia is on Morgan Stanley’s top three list of likely defaulters. “A deal with the International Monetary Fund becomes imperative,” Tunisia’s central bank chief Marouan Abassi has said. read more

    African bonds suffering

    GHANA

    Furious borrowing has seen Ghana’s debt-to-GDP ratio soar to almost 85%. Its currency, the cedi, has lost nearly a quarter of its value this year and it was already spending over half of tax revenues on debt interest payments. Inflation is also getting close to 30%.

    Reuters Graphics

    EGYPT

    Egypt has a near 95% debt-to-GDP ratio and has seen one of the biggest exoduses of international cash this year – some $11 billion according to JPMorgan.

    Fund firm FIM Partners estimates Egypt has $100 billion of hard currency debt to pay over the next five years, including a meaty $3.3 billion bond in 2024.

    Cairo devalued the pound 15% and asked the IMF for help in March but bond spreads are now over 1,200 basis points and credit default swaps (CDS) – an investor tool to hedge risk – price in a 55% chance it fails on a payment. read more

    Francesc Balcells, CIO of EM debt at FIM Partners, estimates though that roughly half the $100 billion Egypt needs to pay by 2027 is to the IMF or bilateral, mainly in the Gulf. “Under normal conditions, Egypt should be able to pay,” Balcells said.

    Egypt’s falling foreign exchange reserves

    KENYA

    Kenya spends roughly 30% of revenues on interest payments. Its bonds have lost almost half their value and it currently has no access to capital markets – a problem with a $2 billion dollar bond coming due in 2024.

    On Kenya, Egypt, Tunisia and Ghana, Moody’s David Rogovic said: “These countries are the most vulnerable just because of the amount of debt coming due relative to reserves, and the fiscal challenges in terms of stabilising debt burdens.”

    Kenya’s concerns

    ETHIOPIA

    Addis Ababa plans to be one of the first countries to get debt relief under the G20 Common Framework programme. Progress has been held up by the country’s ongoing civil war though in the meantime it continues to service its sole $1 billion international bond. read more

    Africa’s debt problems

    EL SALVADOR

    Making bitcoin legal tender all but closed the door to IMF hopes. Trust has fallen to the point where an $800 million bond maturing in six months trades at a 30% discount and longer-term ones at a 70% discount.

    PAKISTAN

    Pakistan struck a crucial IMF deal this week. read more The breakthrough could not be more timely, with high energy import prices pushing the country to the brink of a balance of payments crisis.

    Foreign currency reserves have fallen to as low as $9.8 billion, hardly enough for five weeks of imports. The Pakistani rupee has weakened to record lows. The new government needs to cut spending rapidly now as it spends 40% of its revenues on interest payments.

    Countries in debt distress at record high

    BELARUS

    Western sanctions wrestled Russia into default last month read more and Belarus now facing the same tough treatment having stood with Moscow in the Ukraine campaign.

    Belarus bonds

    ECUADOR

    The Latin American country only defaulted two years ago but it has been rocked back into crisis by violent protests and an attempt to oust President Guillermo Lasso. read more

    It has lots of debt and with the government subsidising fuel and food JPMorgan has ratcheted up its public sector fiscal deficit forecast to 2.4% of GDP this year and 2.1% next year. Bond spreads have topped 1,500 bps.

    NIGERIA

    Bond spreads are just over 1,000 bps but Nigeria’s next $500 million bond payment in a year’s time should easily be covered by reserves which have been steadily improving since June. It does though spend almost 30% of government revenues paying interest on its debt.

    “I think the market is overpricing a lot of these risks,” investment firm abrdn’s head of emerging market debt, Brett Diment, said.

    Currency markets in 2022
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    Reporting by Marc Jones; Additional Reporting by Rachel Savage in London and Rodrigo Campos in New York; Editing by Susan Fenton

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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