Martin Hutchinson covers emerging markets and economic policy, drawing on 25 years of experience as an international merchant banker. He ran derivatives platforms for two European banks, before serving as director of a Spanish venture capital company, advisor to the Korean conglomerate Sunkyong and chairman of a US modular building company. In Zagreb he established the Croatian debt capital markets and set up the corporate finance operations of Privredna Banka Zagreb. Since 2000 he has been a financial journalist, and is the author of "Great Conservatives," a book on British political history. He has a first class Honours degree in Mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge and a Harvard MBA.
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Like its larger neighbor, Uruguay is into a second-round presidential election. Unlike Brazil, it’s in decent economic shape and reasonably wealthy. Even the less market-friendly candidate, Tabare Vazquez, has been president before without mishap. The risks look manageable.
Inflation has surged to 5.7 pct while growth has dipped. Declining commodity prices coincided with President Bachelet’s poorly timed tax increases. Yet Chile stands out among its neighbors as a haven of transparency and sound governance. The pause should not last too long.
Unemployment ticked down to 5.8 pct in October as another 214,000 positions were added. Pay is hardly budging, though. In truth, full employment isn’t as close as it seems and real compensation costs are falling. That suggests it’ll be a while before there’s pressure to pay more.
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- Bolivia leader shows socialism has its advantages