1 December 2016   Leave a comment

The Venezuelan economy is on its last legs as the value of its currency, the bolivar, has cratered.  The mismanagement of the economy has been extraordinary, but the underlying problem is the total dysfunction of the Venezuelan government.  With less than a month to go, it is not at all clear that President Maduro can be forced from office.

The McKinsey Global Institute has published a report on global migration.   More than 90% of the world’s migrants travel voluntarily, usually in search of better jobs.  And there is no question that the developed world benefits tremendously from these flows.  According to the report:

“In fact, migrants make up just 3.4 percent of the world’s population, but MGI’s research finds that they contribute nearly 10 percent of global GDP. They contributed roughly $6.7 trillion to global GDP in 2015—some $3 trillion more than they would have produced in their origin countries. Developed nations realize more than 90 percent of this effect.”

The truth about migrants differs sharply from the politicized rhetoric about them.  India is the source of the largest percentage of global migrants.

Most migration consists of people moving to another country in the same part of the world.

The price of oil has gone up quite dramatically in the last few days.  The increase is due to a decision by OPEC (the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries) and Russia to reduce production of oil to reduce supplies of oil.  The agreement was reached only after Saudi Arabia agreed to make the largest cut in production.  It had been reluctant to do so because Iran, Saudi Arabia’s enemy in the Middle East, refused to cut its production, claiming that it had to make up for lost sales during the boycott of Iranian oil over Iran’s nuclear program.  Apparently, however, Russian President Putin was able to broker a face-saving agreement for both the Saudis and Iranians which essentially involved fudging the data.  We’ll see how long the agreement lasts, but expect that the price of gasoline will go up in the next few days.

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Posted December 2, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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