September 28, 2016 nº 1,796 - Vol. 13

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence."

Henri Frederic Amiel

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  • Top News

WTO cuts trade forecast by a third

The World Trade Organization has cut its forecast for global trade growth this year by more than a third. The new figure of 1.7%, down from its April estimate of 2.8%, would be the slowest pace of trade and output growth since the 2009 financial crisis. It is also the first time in 15 years that international commerce has been left trailing behind the world economy. The downturn reflects the slowdown in countries such as China and Brazil and lower levels of imports into the US. Trade has grown 1.5 times faster than gross domestic product over the long term - but the WTO say it will only grow 80% as fast this year. That would be the first reversal of globalization since 2001 and only the second time this has happened since 1982.

International Bar Association

Horacio Bernardes Neto, senior associate of Motta, Fernandes Rocha – Advogados, has been elected vice-president of the IBA - International Bar Association. Martin Solc, from the Check Republic will be replacing outgoing president David Rivkin. He will chair the congresses of Sydney and Rome, where, in 2018 Bernardes Neto shall be elected the first Brazilian and native Portuguese speaking president of the IBA and the only past president of AIJA (Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats) to preside the IBA.

Beyond the crisis

According to Rafael Bussière, attorney at Campos Mello Advogados, the Brazilian market dynamic "originated from external factors to this sector, influenced not only by national politics and economy, but also by the global trade and industry scenarios". He also affirms "this is undeniably the time to invest, and reap rewards in the post deadlock period". (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1- Houston lawyer shoots nine and is killed by police - click here.

2 - China agrees to help Cambodia overhaul its criticized judiciary - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

What is going on in China's property markets?

Last year, ghost towns - the global shorthand for the economic slowdown in China - filled with millions of empty apartment blocks, towering eerily in cities all over the mainland. But only 12 months later, property prices in some parts of China are up by between 30 and 40%. So why have China's property prices jumped so much, in such a short space of time - especially since the economy is slowing down? Part of the answer lies in one tiny word: debt. Chinese banks have been encouraged to lend more to companies and consumers so as to pump life back into the economy. This is not a new formula. Remember, China did this from 2008 to 2009 in order to get growth going again after the global financial crisis. This model, in part, is what's driving the price rises in some parts of China's property sector. Banks have been handing out loans like there's no tomorrow and that means it's much easier to get a mortgage now than before. In theory, that should do exactly what it's intended to. Banks lend, people buy homes, those homes increase in value, people feel wealthier, they spend money, the economy grows and everyone is happy. Except that trend of debt-fueled growth can become dangerous, especially if homeowners default on their loans, leading to rising bad debts for the banking sector. Chinese households aren't that leveraged - it's the corporate credit risk we are more concerned about.

China court sentences three labor organizers to suspended prison term

A southern China court on Monday sentenced three prominent labor organizers to suspended prison terms, almost nine months after they were arrested during a crackdown on civic organizations working outside of the Communist Party. The three activists were important figures in the labor movement in China, effective at organizing workers to fight for higher wages and better working conditions.


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  • Historia Verdadera


Tres empresas del sector de transporte demandaron a Perú ante un órgano de arbitraje del Banco Mundial por supuestos incumplimientos de contratos en la entrega de terrenos para desarrollar sus proyectos de infraestructura. Se trata de : Portuaria APM Terminals, Lima Airport Partners y el Consorcio Nuevo Metro de Lima. (Presione aquí)


Avianca Brasil, una de las aerolíneas controladas por José y Germán Efromovich, está buscando vender una participación de propiedad de hasta un 20% por más de US$ 150 mlls. La aerolínea contrató a UBS Group AG como asesor para la posible transacción y el proceso de venta ha iniciado.


La estatal Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) comenzará a exportar gas natural a Colombia por primera vez, tras firmar un contrato de venta con Petromil Gas. El acuerdo comercial que firmó su filial PDVSA Gas abre otra fuente de ingresos en divisas para la estatal venezolana, que busca mejorar su flujo de caja tras el impacto que sufrió por el desplome de los precios del crudo.

  • Brief News

Shareholders file suit against Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo shareholders on Monday filed suit against the banking conglomerate over their allegedly deceptive sales practices. The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that the Wells Fargo organization violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by engaging in misleading and incorrect information regarding the financial status of the bank. The shareholders argue that this misinformation caused the stock of the banking giant to trade at an inflated rate causing undue financial harm to them. The shareholders further argue Wells Fargo recouped millions in profit after misleading consumers and the public by creating false cross-selling techniques to make the company more profitable.

Wells Fargo chief forfeits $41m amid corruption probe

Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf will forfeit $41m (£31.5m) in bonuses as the bank tries to stem a scandal over its sales practices. The bank has launched an investigation how more than two million deposit and credit card accounts were opened without customers' permission. The bank said Stumpf would not receive a salary during the inquiry. The former head of retail operations, Carrie Tolstedt, will forfeit $19m of bonuses and left without a payoff. (Click here)

Glass-Steagall back in Washington?

There are discussions about the potential return of the Glass-Steagall Act, a 1933 law that separated investment and commercial banking. The act has been in the news after Donald Trump pledged his support for a revival of Glass-Steagall, while his opponent, Hillary Clinton, does not support a return, despite pressure from within her own party. Glass-Steagall has received even more support recently after Wells Fargo paid a $185 million fine for its sales practices, renewing calls to either reinstate the act or break up the banks altogether.

Facebook ordered to stop collecting data on WhatsApp users in Germany

A Hamburg regulator said on Tuesday that neither the messenger nor its parent company had received individuals’ permission to share digital information. (Click here)

Porsche-driving lawyer Nathan DeSai was Houston gunman

A "disgruntled" Porsche-driving lawyer wearing Nazi emblems has been named by police as the gunman who opened fire on a Texas street, injuring nine people. Nathan DeSai, 46, began firing apparently indiscriminately at people driving by his apartment building in southwest Houston on Monday morning. DeSai was killed during a shootout with police. Prakash DeSai, the suspect's father said that his son was "upset about his law practice not going well" and financial problems. DeSai graduated from University of Tulsa's law school in 1998.

Federal appeals court rules American Express anti-steering credit card policies do not violate antitrust laws

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Monday that American Express (Amex) can enforce rules that ban merchants accepting its credit cards from directing customers to its competitors' cards. The court reversed a lower court's determination that Amex's agreements with merchants impermissibly restrained trade in violation of antitrust laws. (Click here)

US names Cuba ambassador

The US has appointed its first ambassador to Cuba in 55 years as relations between the countries thaw. Obama said it was a "step towards a more normal and productive relationship". But he may face a battle in Congress where some Republicans are opposed to his dealings with the communist island. The new ambassador, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, had been working at the new US embassy in Havana, which opened in July last year.

FBI: violent crime increased in 2015

The FBI on Monday reported an increase in violent crime during 2015 and decrease in property crimes. Crime in the United States, 2015 revealed the first increase in violent crime in recent years, although property crimes have been declining each year for over a decade. While the report showed a 3.9 percent rise in violent crime from 2014, the totals for 2015 were lower than 2011 by 0.7 percent, and lower than 2006 by 16.5 percent.

Paris agrees plan to open experimental nudist zone

Next summer, nudists or naturists may be able to bare it all in a designated area of the French capital, Paris. City councilors have approved plans for an experimental nudist area, possibly in one of Paris's parks or in wooded areas on its outskirts. The Green Party, which proposed the plan, said France was a top destination for naturists, and its capital city should have somewhere for them to go. One centrist councilor, however, called the idea "demented".

Deutsche Bank shares fall further to fresh low

Shares in troubled Deutsche Bank have fallen even further to a new low. They fell another 3% to €10.22 during morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Investors are increasingly worried about the financial health of the bank, which now faces a $14bn fine in the US for mis-selling mortgage-backed bonds before the financial crisis of 2008. The plight of Deutsche Bank could have far-reaching ramifications. This is a strange position for the one-time financial muscleman of European banking to find itself in. There are few German companies more associated with the post-war economic miracle than Deutsche Bank. Long before the European Central Bank existed, it worked hand in glove with the seemingly infallible Bundesbank to provide rock solid non-inflationary growth for decades.

Colombia Farc leader apologizes to victims at peace signing

The leader of the Farc rebel group has apologized to the victims of Colombia's armed conflict which ended with Monday's signing of a peace deal. Colombian leader Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc rebel commander known as Timochenko signed the deal in an emotional ceremony on Monday evening. "I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we may have caused during this war," he said. The guests at the ceremony in Cartagena cheered when Timochenko apologized. Some shouted "Yes, we can!" while Farc members and heads of state from Latin America rose to their feet on the stage and applauded.

Spain court opens fraud trial for former IMF chief

A Spanish court began hearing the fraud trial of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Rodrigo Rato and more than 60 other bankers on Monday concerning allegations the defendants fraudulently used secret credit cards from Bankia bank to pay for personal luxuries. Rato also served as economic minister of Spain, was a member of the Popular Party and headed Bankia until it nearly collapsed in 2012. Prosecutors claim the defendants spent about USD $13.5 million of bank funds on travel, hotels, and entertainment and also failed to report any of the expenses to tax authorities.


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