Martes 25 de Febrero 2020
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Friday, February 21, 2020



“If Argentina wants to grow and get out of this mess, it has to treat bondholders with respect.”
Alberto Bernal, chief emerging markets strategist at XP Investments in New York, quoted by Reuters, February 20, 2020.

“It must generate lots of confidence to be extorted by the National Palace."
Valeria Moy, director of the think tank “Mexico, Como Vamos,” and an economist at the Mexico's Autonomous Institute of Technology, in a post on Twitter, February 13, 2020, commenting on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's dinner with prominent businesspeople where he asked them to participate in his controversial raffle.

“I guess each of us have decided where to have dinner today.”
Tweet on February 13, 2020 by Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of conglomerate Alfa SAB, who declined to attend a dinner at the Mexican presidential palace where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador asked prominent businesspeople to participate in his controversial raffle.

"Everybody was going to Disneyland, the maid was  going to Disneyland, it was a hell of a party."
Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes on when the Real was stronger compared with the US dollar, as quoted by Folha de S. Paulo, February 12, 2020.

“I don’t know how that’s physically possible."
Talos Energy Chief Executive Officer Tim Duncan on statements from Pemex CEO Octavio Romero that  the reservoir Asab would hypothetically be brought into production next year, as quoted by Reuter, February 11, 2020.

"Forget 21st-century socialism: This is a good old barony of bandits."
Bloomberg columnist Mac Margolis, February 10, 2020, on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro giving lpatronage jobs, a cut of public concessions and even authority over basic bureaucratic functionss to favored bureaucrats, political operators, military officials and assortment of felons.

"These are not reforms, they’re tidbits for cronies. It’s all a balancing act."
Monica de Bolle, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, quoted by Bloomberg, February 10, 2020, on recent changes in Venezuela.

"Maduro’s market maneuvers bespeak a leader who wants to have his revolution and short it, too."
Bloomberg columnist Mac Margolis, February 10, 2020, on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

"His ego is probably bigger than that of Trump and an arrogance without parallel."
Germán Efromovich, majority shareholder of Colombian airline Avianca, on minority shareholder Roberto Kriete, as quoted by Semana, Fenruary 8, 2020.

"Because I come from the real estate industry, the sunset concept made a lot of sense to me."
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser of President Donald Trump, on the controversial sunset clause in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, in an op-ed in CNBC, February 4, 2020.

"Privatization without deregulation is nothing more than a #Ferrari without gas."
Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, on Nicolas Maduro's plans to privatize oil in Venezuela, in a Tweet, February 1, 2020.

“Our hope is that there is an investment opportunity in Mexico. I would say there isn’t today, unfortunately.”
Ferris Hussein, Carlyle’s managing director for energy and power infrastructure, as quoted by Bloomberg, january 29, 2020.

"This government isn’t doing anything to entice investment. All they’re good at is cancelling stuff.”
The head of one big Canadian company investing in Mexico, as quoted by the Financial Tines, January 27, 2020.

“We have seen with profound concern how the perception of uncertainty and hostility to private investment has increased It is taking a great deal of work to convince our headquarters to invest in Mexico.”
Claudia Jañez, president of the Executive Council of Global Companies and Latin American chief of US chemicals group DuPont, to journalists a day before the US Senate vote on the USMCA, as quoted by the Financial Tines, January 27, 2020.

"The result has been disastrous."
Anne Krueger, former World Bank chief economist and former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, on Donald Trump's protectionist trade policies, in her Project Syndicate column, January 24, 2020.

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas. We’re going to change that.”
President Donald Trump quoted in the new book “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America,” by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig

“There’s not really any light at the end of the tunnel. The market generally believes its strategy is the wrong one.”
Graham Stock, a partner and senior sovereign strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, on the Mexican government's strategy of betting on state oil company Pemex and weakening private oil activity, as quoted by the Financial Times, January 8, 2020.

“So you have a Pemex for which producing costs more every day because of declining fields and if it puts [oil] into its refineries, it loses money."
Independent analyst Rosanety Barrios as quoted by the Financial Times, January 8, 2020.

“Foreign investors are looking for reality rather than rhetoric."
Greg Konstantinidis, a portfolio manager at Fidelity International, on how factors such as high unemployment and low capacity utilition are signs of a weak economic growth backdrop, quoted by the Financial Times, December 17, 2019.

“We have a schizophrenic Brazil at the moment. You have Dr Jekyll: the economic team, plus competent ministers in areas such as infrastructure and agriculture. And you have Mr Hyde: Bolsonaro and his social agenda covering education, morals, the environment, plus the antics of members of his family. The risk for Brazil is that growth takes too long to appear, the people grow restive and Mr Hyde takes over.”
A senior investment banker in São Paulo, quoted by the Financial Times, December 2, 2019.

“Congress is governing despite Bolsonaro. If we had somebody capable as president who could negotiate with Congress, the economy would be growing much faster."
The chairman of one bank in São Paulo, referring to pro-business legislators passing reforms despite the weak and erratic  President Jair Bolsonaro, as quoted by the Financial Times, December 2, 2019.

“Brazil’s president thought he had a big brother. Now he realizes he does not.” Carlos Melo, a political science professor at the Insper University in Sao Paulo, as quoted by The Associated Press, December 2, 2019.

“This is an unfair relationship. Brazil is making gesture after gesture to support the U.S. in international forums, but the U.S. is not doing the same."
Rubens Barbosa, a former Brazilian ambassador to Washington, told The Associated Press, December 2, 2019.

"Chile and Argentina are a very clear signal that if reforms are to succeed, people need food on the table."
Gabriella Dorlhiac, executive director of the International Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, as quoted by the Financial Times, December 2, 2019.

"Argentina is in the emergency ward and the economy, which is the patient, is in critical condition and gasping for oxygen."
Anupam Damani, a port­folio manager for US asset manager Nuveen’s global fixed-income team, on the urgency of president-elect Alberto Fernandez to start engaging with the IMF and bondholders, as quoted by the Financial Times, November 19, 2019.

“Total disaster is the best way to describe this morning’s round.”
Ivan Cima, a managing director at consultancy Welligence, referring to lack of private participation and the loss of $9 billion in potential signing bonuses to be received by the government at the November 6 oil auction in Brazil, as quoted by Reuters, November 6, 2019.

"After nearly nine months in office, Bolsonaro is still the provocateur-in-chief, for whom no venue is too august to forego a screed or vent an ideological conceit."
Bloomberg columnist Mac Margolis, September 25, 2019, on Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro using UN General Assembly to attack international "meddling" in Amazon fires.

“This looks to me like a step backwards."
Pablo Medina, a Mexico City-based oil analyst with Welligence, on new Pemex public-private partnerships exploration, extraction contracts, as quoted by Reuters, September 10, 2019.

"The government's bellicose rhetoric makes it difficult for foreign investors to appreciate the reformist content."
Christopher Garman, Managing Director for the Americas of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, as quoted by Valor Economico, September 6, 2019.

"There's no point in having oil if in order to extract it you have to let multinationals come and take it away."
Argentina's Peronist candidate for president, Alberto Fernandez, during a visit to Madrid, as quoted by Reuters, September 5, 2019.

"Just because the Wall Street Journal said it doesn't mean it's true. I've seen them lying before."
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, commenting on a WSJ report that his ally, billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego (photo) owned equity in a fertilizer company that was bought by state oil company Pemex - in a deal that is at the heart of a corruption probe over whether officials overpaid for the assets, as quoted by Bloomberg, September 5, 2019.

"There don’t appear to be any adults left in the room with the ability or inclination to restrain his worst impulses.”
Robert Muggah from Rio de Janeiro think tank Igarape Institute, after Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's erratic behavour over Amazon fires and deforestation and growing insults against France and Europe, as quoted by AFP, August 29, 2019.

“Germany and in particular France are buying our sovereignty. It seems that US$20 million is our price. Brazil doesn’t have a price of 20 million or 20 trillion – it’s the same thing for us.”
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on the G7 $20 million offer of aid to fight Amazon fires, as quoted by AFP, August 29, 2019.

"Today we have a happy ending, but this is a situation the government created.”
Pablo Zárate, managing director of FTI Consulting and an energy expert, on the announced deal between Mexico's state electricity company CFE and private pipeline companies, as quoted by the Financial Times, August 27, 2019.

“He’s won the battle, but not the war."
Industry source familiar with the negotiations between Mexico's state electricity company CFE and private pipeline companies, on the renegotoated contract announced by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by Reuters, August 27, 2019.

"I hope that they will quickly have a president who is up to the job."
French President Emmanuel Macron talking about Brazil after he described his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro as "extremely disrespectful" after the South American leader appeared to mock his wife, Brigitte Macron, in a Facebook post, as quoted by The Guardian, August 26, 2019.

"This is the worst crisis Brazil has had for its image in 50 years."
Rubens Ricupero, Former Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, former Brazil minister of finance and former minister for the environment and Amazonian affairs, on President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the Amazon deforestation and fires, as quoted by Globo, August 23, 2019.

"Macri deserves a monument because he tried to bring Argentina to an open market economy...No other Argentine will do so again."
Horst Paulmann, owner of Chilean supermarket company Cencosud, on Argentina President Mauricio Macri, who is expected to lose re-election in October, as quoted by El Mercurio, August 18, 2019.

“You have a president who is basically torpedoing this deal, not only with his environmental policy, but with the way he presents it to the world."
Oliver Stuenkel, international affairs expert at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, on Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's Amazon policies and attacks and insults against Germany and France, which now threaten the newly signed EU-Mercosur trade deal, as quoted by Reuters, August 16, 2019.

“The environmental policy of this government is the intelligent use of the country’s natural resources.”
Brazil Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo, defending the government’s policy on the Amazon, despite a surge in deforestation and weakening of environmental and scientific agencies that led Germany and Norway to stop funding the Amazon Fund, as quoted by Reuters, August 16, 2019.

“Isn’t Norway that country that kills whales up there in the North Pole? Take that money and help Angela Merkel reforest Germany."
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, responding to news that Norway and Germany will cut funding to the Amazon Fund as a result of a deforestation surge under Bolsonaro and his changes to the fund's structure and management, as quoted by Reuters, August 15, 2019.

"The joke about Argentina’s habit of electing populist leaders says: If you go back to that country after a week, everything has changed, but if you go back after 30 years, nothing has changed."
Miami Herald columnist and Argentine native Andres Oppenheimer, August 12, 2019.

“Everyone is paralyzed.”
How the business community is dealing with Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by Bloomberg, August 6, 2019.

“The moment is so good that, even with the president talking rubbish, the impact is zero.”
Renato Nobile, the president of Genial Advisory, which manages around 30 billion reais ($7.8 billion) in Brazil assets, on the impact of President Jair Bolsonaro's controversial comments while the government’s progress on its reform agenda will soon start to have an impact on the real economy, as quoted by Bloomberg, August 2, 2019.

“He will have to understand that the Brazilian government changed and that subservience we had in the past with other governments does not exist anymore."
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, talking about the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian ahead of a meeting that Bolsonaro in the end cancelled to get a hair cut instead, as quoted by Reuters, July 31, 2019.

"We’re doing well economically, and the economic and social situation in our country is getting better and better.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as quoted by Reuters, July 29, 2019. Two days later, data showed second quarter growth of only 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent decline in the first quarter. Three days later, his own finance ministry cut its GDP estimate for the year to only 1.1 percent.

"Markets will be unforgiving if these documents signal further deviations from economic reality."
Editorial in Financial Times, July 10, 2019 on Mexico's planned release of the much-delayed business plan and the 2020 budget, following the protest resignation of Finance Minister Carlos Urzua.

“With this deal we are showing that we believe that trade is a good thing."
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, following the clinching of the EU-Mercosur trade deal in the Belgian capital of Brussels, as quoted by AP, June 28, 2019.

“In the midst of international trade tensions, we are sending today a strong signal with our Mercosur partners that we stand for rules-based trade.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, following the clinching of the EU-Mercosur trade deal in the Belgian capital of Brussels, as quoted by AP, June 28, 2019.

"In a world in which there is arbitrary use of commercial regulation by the United States, no cross-border investment looks to be as safe and useful as it used to."
Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, as quoted by The New York Times, June 19, 2019.

“Everything that was built over the past 30 years is being destroyed by the U.S. president because he’s taking political advantage of this strategy to accuse Mexico of the evils taking place in the U.S.”
Andres Rozental, a deputy foreign minister under Mexican President Carlos Salinas, who negotiated Nafta with the U.S. and Canada, as quoted by Bloomberg, June 18, 2019.

“He said what everyone thought, but he shouldn’t have said it.” 
Unnamed fund manager in Sao Paulo, on Brazil Finance Minister   Paulo Guedes' public cricticism of the watered down pension reform, as quoted by Reuters, June 14, 2019.

“All they’re doing is diverting from one pocket to the other.” 
John Padilla, managing director of IPD Latin America, an energy consultant, on the changes at Mexican state oil company Pemex, as quoted by Bloomberg, June 13, 2019.

"Investors are less interested in seeing Romero root out bad apples at Pemex than they are in his containing the spreading rot on its balance sheet."
Bloomberg article on Octavio Romero, CEO of Mexican state oil Pemex company, June 13, 2019.  

“This really came out of left field. It was something we thought we had settled, and we hadn’t.”
Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer at Dickinson Wright, commenting on Trump’s abrupt move to threaten to tax Mexican goods, as quoted by Associated Press, June 12, 2019.

“It was a good wakeup call for business.”
James Jones, chairman of Monarch Global Strategies and a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, commenting on Trump’s abrupt move to threaten to tax Mexican goods, as quoted by Associated Press, June 12, 2019. .

"We’re just on the edge of our seats here. The threat lingers at the back of our minds."
U.S. watermelon importer Scott Vandervoet on the continued threats of tariffs in imports from Mexico, as quoted by Reuters, June 11, 2019.

"The notion that you put a tariff because there are too many people crossing the border is just miles away from any letter and spirit of the WTO agreement. Which is why I qualify this as hostage-taking."
Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization from 2005 to 2013 and a former European commissioner for trade, as quoted by The Guardian, June 8, 2019.

"We are truly moving from the Art of the Deal into the Fog of War."
Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in a May 31, 2019 commentary on Trump's plans for a 5-25 percent tariff on all Mexican imports.

“The word ‘wall’ is not something any of us want to use when we’re trying to build alliances with one of the most important countries that we have.”
Thomas Barrack, chief executive officer of Colony Capital and friend of President Donald Trump, as he announced a $5 billion investment plan in Latin America, with a special emphasis on Mexico, as quoted by Reuters, May 22, 2019.

“Bolsonaro despises democracy. We have to isolate his anti-democratic attitude and lack of respect for institutions so this does not paralyze the country.”
Marcelo Ramos, chairman of the Brazilian congressional committee on pension reform, to Reuters, May 22, 2019.

“It’s like white collar fuel theft.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, comparing tax forgiveness for the country’s largest companies to the widespread stealing of gasoline from pipelines by organised crime that his government has tried to crack down on, as quoted by Reuters, May 20, 2019.

“If Pemex defaults, it would be Argentina on steroids.”
A senior banker, referring to the chaos the South American nation created by defaulting on its foreign debt in 2001, as quoted by Reuters, May 15, 2019.

“We’ve never had anything like this, that all of a sudden your routes are completely changed.”
Britton Clarke, president of the Border Trade Alliance, an organization focused on North American trade, on the significant dealys at the US-Mexico border because of President Donald Trump's immigration policy, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 14, 2019.

“It will cost us much less than the companies estimate.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announcing that international firms balked at the government's $8 billion price tag and three-year timeline for the planned Dos Bocas oil refinery, as quoted by Reuters, May 9, 2019.

"Over the medium term, Mr López Obrador’s autocratic pursuit of regeneration risks institutional and economic decay."
Editorial in The Financial Times, May 5, 2019, commenting on the first five months of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

"The problem is that many of those fundamentals are basically Chinese for the regular people on the street."
Alejandro Catterberg of Poliarquia Consultores at an event hosted by JPMorgan in Washington DC this month, on the positive budgetary achievements of the Macri government amidst inflation and economic recession, as quoted by the Financial Times, April 25, 2019.

"We're closer to Guillermo Moreno than Adam Smith."
Argentine economist José Luis Espert, as quoted by Radio Cooperativa, April 21, 2019, commenting on President Mauricio's Macri populist price freezes similar to those imposed by former commerce minister Guillermo Moreno during the Kirchner government.

"At this point, I think Bolsonaro is a little bit crazy, but I wouldn’t discard Brazil yet."
Luis Maizel, cofounder and senior managing director of LM Capital Group, a $4 billion wealth management firm in San Diego, California, referring to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, as quoted by Forbes, April 16, 2019.

“Guedes said that he doesn’t really need this job. That’s really got the market spooked.”
Teresa Barger, CEO of Cartica Management, a long-only equity investor, as quoted by Forbes, April 16, 2019.

“In countries like Brazil, what the politicians promise and what they can deliver on takes longer than one would hope."
Andrew Miller, CIO of Mondrian Investment Partners, as quoted by Forbes, April 16, 2019.

“Brazil needs a functioning government ... and the president is playing around with the presidency of Brazil.”
Rodrigo Maia, speaker of Brazil's  lower house, as quoted by Reuters, March 27, 2019.

"But it is the president himself who is running this show, and he has no reassuring words at all."
David Shields, independent energy consultant based in Mexico City, in the Inter-American Dialogue’s weekly Energy Advisor, March 22, 2019, on the difference in statements by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his economic advisors.

"Energy companies are no strangers to political risk, yet Mexico had made strides to mitigate it. Alas, no longer."
Dwight Dyer, independent consultant on political, regulatory and security risk for Mexico’s energy sector, in the Inter-American Dialogue’s weekly Energy Advisor, March 22, 2019.

"There is a significant risk the credit goes below investment grade."
Shamaila Khan, a money manager at AllianceBernstein in New York on Fitch downgrading Pemex, as quoted by Bloomberg, January 29, 2019.

"They are less likely to put money into a country where you have a finance secretary saying that what the president just said makes no sense."
Fabio Knijnik, head of Sao Paulo-based wealth fund K2 Capital, on the contradiction in the new Bolsonaro government, as quoted by Reuters, January 9, 2019.

"This is not the dream team seen in other Mexican cabinets. Instead it's more like a nightmare team."
El Financiero columnist Raymundo Riva Palacio, November 29, 2018, on the cabinet of new Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. 

"Everybody is closing the money spigot."
A consultant tells The Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2018, commenting on incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's actions that have spooked local and foreign investors.

“We now have the University of Chicago running major Brazilian institutions.”
James Gulbrandsen, NcH Capital, as quoted by Bloomberg, November 19, 2018.

“The decision by @lopezobrador on the new airport will be remembered as one of the worst stupidities by a president in contemporary economic history. "
Enrique Cárdenas, a professor at the Iberoamericana University in Puebla, in a Tweet quoted by the Financial Times, October 29, 2018.

"We look like a banana republic to the world."
Former Mexican Labor Minister Javier Lozano, on the flawed referendum held by incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador aimed at killing a $13 billion new airport in Mexico City, as quoted by Televisa and Reuters, October 29, 2018.

"This is a political victory for Trump, who wanted a trophy more than a treaty, and got one."
Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the United States, on the USMCA, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor.

“Everyone had to contribute, otherwise you’d be left out.”
Eduardo Eurnekian, founder of the Corporación América conglomerate in Argentina, on the corruption tradition that has plagued his country, as quoted by the Financial Times, October 16, 2018.

"Most of what Donald Trump wants to do with NAFTA is entirely about his own politics — not really about helping any particular sector or workers."
Fordham University adjunct law professor Matt Gold, as quoted by Knowledge@Wharton, September 6, 2018.

"Money doesn’t rain from heaven — consumers are going to pay for that. This is all for the sake of saving 5,000 jobs or 10,000 jobs — that’s about it."
Wharton management professor Mauro Guillen, on the new US-Mexico trade agreement, as quoted by Knowledge@Wharton, September 6, 2018.

"Essentially the agreement combines castor oil with chocolate cake."
Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, on the US-Mexico agreement to update NAFTA, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor, August 30, 2018.

"López Obrador would likely leave office before the first shovelful of earth was turned for the new refinery."
George Baker, publisher of Mexico Energy Intelligence in Houston, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's weekly Energy Advisor, August 17, 2018.

"The African proverb ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’ applies very clearly here."
José Guilherme Almeida dos Reis, executive director, and André Soares, consultant on China-LAC trade, both at the Office for Brazil and Suriname at the Inter-American Development Bank, on the impact of the US-China trade war on Brazil, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor, July 31, 2018.

"We want NAFTA done. To be torturing Mexico in this way, in my opinion, is dead wrong, and it should be fixed."
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to CNN Money, July 23, 2018.

“These kind of structural problems are like an anvil tied to your leg, holding you back.”
Aldo Ferrini, chief executive officer of AFP Integra, Peru’s biggest pension-fund manager, on the country's weak political and judicial systems, as quoted by Bloomberg, July 23, 2018.

"I'm not going to get on that plane."
Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on his plans to sell the presidential plane, as quoted by AP, July 11, 2018.

"The general outline provided by Carlos Urzua, Lopez Obrador's choice for finance minister, has been very well accepted by market participants [and has] decreased significantly the risk or perception of a radical shift in the management of the Mexican economy."
RBC Capital Markets analyst Tania Escobedo Jacob, on Mexican president-elect
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's message to investors through his finance minister appointee, as quoted by Bloomberg, July 6, 2018.

“If he sweeps Congress, it will be ugly.”
Richard Hall, an emerging market debt and currency analyst at asset manager T. Rowe Price, on the leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador winning both Mexico's presidnecy and congress, as quoted by Reuters, June 19, 2018.

"The anxiety in the business community in Mexico and abroad is warranted." Amanda Mattingly, senior director at The Arkin Group in New York, on a likely victory by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in next month's presidential elections in Mexico, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's daily Latin America Advisor,  June 13, 2018.

“It would be crazy. It would be remembered as the last step for the economic empire to collapse. You cannot isolate yourself.”
Carlos Urzua, Mexico's likely next finance minister if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the July 1 election, on the US killing NAFTA, as quoted by Reuters, June 6, 2018.

“You have Trump promising major wins on trade negotiations, while an inside look at what’s going on shows they were building the airplane while they were flying it.”
Austin Evers, the executive director at American Oversight, as quoted by The New York Times, June 6, 2018.

“I’m just dumbfounded."
US Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas and the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, on the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by Trump on Mexico, Canada and the European Union, as quoted by The New York Times, June 6, 2018.

“It was a bloodbath,”
Helena Carvalho of Ativa Investimentos, a brokerage in São Paulo, on the fallout after Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente resigned, as quoted by the Financial Times, June 5, 2018.

"America Decclares War on Its Friends."
Headline of New York Times editorial, March 31, 2018.

"Arguing that passenger cars are a national security issue doesn't pass the laugh test. We don't have a shortage; our companies are not currently in trouble; and there are plenty of alternative sources from reliable allied suppliers. Pursuing that case would make a mockery of the provision."
William Reinsch, a former Clinton administration trade official, commenting on Trump's plans to slap 25% tariffs on car imports due to national security concerns, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2018.

“NAFTA is very difficult. Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with ... but I will tell you that in the end we win."
U.S. President Donald Trump, quoted by Reuters, May 23, 2018. 

"The NAFTA countries are nowhere near close to a deal."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, as quoted by Reuters, May 17, 2018.

"He can certainly have a weaker fiscal policy, he can certainly slow down energy reform."
Walter Stoeppelwerth, head of research at Balanz Capital, an investment bank in Buenos Aires, pointing out that only 17 years ago, the peso was at par with the dollar, , as quoted by the Financial Times, May 3, 2018.

“There is an inbred paranoia that the currency is going to go haywire at any point in time. Argentines are more sensitive to foreign exchange risk than any other nation on earth except perhaps Venezuela.”
Walter Stoeppelwerth, head of research at Balanz Capital, an investment bank in Buenos Aires, pointing out that only 17 years ago, the peso was at par with the dollar, , as quoted by the Financial Times, May 3, 2018.

“The central bank needs to shock the market and regain their credibility.”
Federico Kaune, head of emerging market debt at UBS Asset Management, on the peso plunge in Argentina, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 3, 2018.

"It makes the Watergate scandal look like a couple of kids playing in a sandbox."
Deltan Dallagnol, lead Car Wash prosecutor in Curitiba, as quoted by the BBC, April 22, 2018.

"The alternative airport location might be considered to be the equivalent of Donald Trump’s wall: the appeal it might have from a populist point of view is more than offset by practical realities."
Michael Fitzgerald, chairman of the Latin America practice at Paul Hastings, on threats by Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to cancel current development of Mexico City's new airport, as quoted by Latinvex, April 18, 2018.

"If the President of the United States is indeed the leader of the free world, that person should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time."
US Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in a statement on April 10, 2018, commenting on President Donald Trump's cancelled attendance at the Summit of the Americas due to the Syrian situation.

“This is a shocking abandonment of U.S. leadership in our own hemisphere.”
Richard Feinberg, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and the principal architect of the 1994 Summit of the Americas in Miami, as quoted by The Miami Herald, April 10, 2018.

"Ecuador Wants Less Julian Assange and More Foreign Investors."
Headline in Bloomberg commentary by Mac Margolis, April 5, 2018.

“I think Lula and Dilma are helping us a lot with the marketing of the series."
José Padilha, creator of Netflix series "The Machanism," about the Lava Jato probe, as quoted by The New York Times, April 2, 2018.

"It remains to be seen if God is Brazilian, and with Neymar’s latest injury, predict a Brazil World Cup victory at your own peril. But what does seem to be humming along is Brazil’s oil sector and Petrobras’ recovery."
Jeremy Martin, vice president for energy and sustainability at the Institute of the Americas, as quoted by the Inter-American Dialogue's weekly Latin America Energy Advisor, March 23, 2018.

"The United States is the new Argentina at the G20. It's the skunk at the garden party that disrupts consensus on core issues, trade and climate change among them."
Benjamin Gedan, former South America director on the White House's National Security Council under President Obama, as quoted by CNN, March 19, 2018.

"Corruption is like tango. You need two to dance."
Delia Ferreira, president of Transparency International, at the World Economic Forum on Latin America, as quoted by EFE, March 16, 2018.

"There's no way they can get anything under control in Venezuela unless they dollarize."
Steve Hanke, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who advised the governments of Ecuador and Montenegro when they ditched their currencies for the dollar, as quoted by CNN, March 13, 2018.

"Today, Panama has made us proud."
Orestes Fintiklis, the owner of the Panama hotel who has been fighting a legal battle to oust the Trump Organization's hotel management team, after a court ruled in his favor, as quoted by Reuters, March 5, 2018.

“I don’t think anybody on earth would want to start a refinery in Mexico."
Robert Campbell, head of oil-products research at Energy Aspects Ltd. in New York, commenting on plans by Mexican presidential frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to build new refineries that could cost $6 billion to $10 billion, as quoted by Bloomberg, February 27, 2018.

"There were many accidents on the road to the pension reform and the bill started to get expensive."
Marcos de Barros Lisboa, president of São Paulo’s Insper business school, on the pension reform delay, as quoted by the Financial Times, February 20, 2018.

"NAFTA has allowed U.S. corporations to remain competitive in a globalized world."
Julio Chiu, CEO of US medical device manufacturer Seisa, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle, February 13, 2018.

“We will revise all these contracts, we will not allow the oil, which is owned by the people and the nation, to go back into the hands of foreigners.”
Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, quoted by Reuters, February 5, 2018.

"He might be starting the race from the back, but his car is much better than the others."
Brazilian political scientist Lucas de Aragão, a partner at Brasilia consultancy Arko Advice, on Geraldo Alckmin's chances ahead of pridential elections in October, as quoted by Reuters, January 31, 2018.

"NAFTA did not happen by accident. In large measure it was the result of the leadership and vision of three great American presidents: Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton."
Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney in comments to the US Senate, as quoted by The Canadian Press, January 30, 2018.

"We're going to put him in his place."
Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador talking about US President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in the Gulf of Mexico port of Veracruz, as quoted by Reuters, January 22, 2018.

"NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA - its uncertainty hangs over Mexico like a bad hangover."
John Price, Managing Director of Americas Market Intelligence, as quoted by Latinvex, January 17, 2018.

“The state is living on debt. It’s a house of cards that could fall down.”
Alberto Acosta, an economist at the Spurrier Group, a local Ecuadorian consultancy, as quoted by the Financial Times, December 28, 2017.

“They are sitting on top of the biggest oil reserves in the world and they can’t even write a cheque for $21.5m dollars.”
Russ Dallen of boutique investment bank Caracas Capital, on the PDVSA payment delay to China's Sinopec, as quoted by the Financial Times, December 12, 2017.

"Gramercy is an institution that plays dirty and continually threatens the country by using people, paying lobbyists and manipulating media to frustrate our entry into the OECD.
Peruvian Prime Minister Mercedes Araoz, on US hedge fund Gramercy, which filed a $1.6 billion arbitration claim in 2016, which has been rejected by Peru's governmentsas quoted by El Comercio, December 5, 2017

"It's Maduro being a clown. This has no credibility." 
Venezuelan opposition lawmaker and economist Angel Alvarado on plans by President Nicolas Maduro to launch a digital currency, as quoted by Reuters, December 3, 2017

"Pemex continues to be run more like a ministry than an oil company. The CEO position is like a stopping point to collect a few new bullet points on your CV before moving on to your next ministry. It continues to be a quasi-political job."
Tim Samples, a law professor and Mexican-energy analyst at the University of Georgia in Athens, on the news that Pemex just named its third CEO in two years, as quoted by Bloomberg, November 27, 2017.

“In terms of the automotive sector, the United States´ proposal is insane. You cannot counter-propose such madness.”
A Mexican auto industry representative with knowledge of the NAFTA talks, as quoted by Reuters, November 20, 2017.

"Venezuela's debt default is the Chronicle of a Death Foretold." 
Venezuelan economist Moises Naim, as quoted by Portafolio, November 14, 2017.

“During the Argentine crisis, if you gave me the keys to the Argentine Finance Ministry, I could have solved the problem in 60 days. If you gave me the keys to Venezuela’s Finance Ministry, I’d hand them back to you.”
Robert Koenigsberger, who oversees $6 billion as chief investment officer at Greenwich, Connecticut-based Gramercy Funds Management, as quoted by Bloomberg, Nov. 6, 2017.

“There’s something disturbing about the U.S. picking a fight with two of its biggest (export) markets."
Canadian trade lawyer John Weekes, about the Trump Administrations efforts to end NAFTA, as quoted by Forbes, November 2, 2017.

"With a bit more consistency and a bit less variation in national politics, we can return to investment grade somewhat soon."
Brazil Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha, as quoted by Reuters, October 26, 2017.

"We expect Argentina to see multiple rating upgrades in the forthcoming years, as the economy normalizes and investment recovers. This is just the beginning." Alberto Bernal, a strategist at XP Securities, on the mid-term election victory of President Mauricio Macri's pro-business government, as quoted by the Financial Times, October 23, 2017.

“Yes we want an agreement, yes we want to find a win-win situation, but this won’t be at the detriment to our national interests.”
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo to reporters after the latest NAFTA talks ended, as quoted by Bloomberg, October 17, 2017.

"We are all much worse off with a bad agreement than with no (NAFTA)."
Guillermo Vogel, vice president at Tenaris and co-chair of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Conference, as quoted by Reuters, October 11, 2017.

"The damage it causes pales in comparison to the ills it cures."
Marcos Troyjo, director of BRICLab at Columbia University, writing in the Financial Times, August 17, 2017 on the impact from the Lava Jato probe into Petrobras corruption.

"In terms of benefiting the quarter, no new destination has had quite the impact of Cuba. Our voyages to Havana have been a home run."
Norwegian Cruise Lines President and CEO Frank Del Rio, quoted by Skift, August 9, 2017.

"To have countries with their own distinct corruption issues laughing at our current issues—it’s embarrassing.”
Jessica Tillipman, an expert on government ethics and an assistant dean at the George Washing­ton University Law School, explaining a recent anti-­corruption training in Washington, DC, to visiting bureaucrats from Latin America, as quoted by Mother Jones, July/August 2017.

"We're delighted to review trade balances provided that we focus on how to improve them by expanding commerce, not by reducing it."
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, on NAFTA renegotiations, according to Reuters, July 18, 2017.

“This is the year of the comeback for IPOs in Brazil.”
Joelson Oliveira Sampaio, a finance professor at Fundacao Getulio Vargas, as quoted by Bloomberg, July 10, 2017.

"Is this president trying to impersonate Hugo Chavez?"
CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources, July 2, 2017, commenting on Donald Trump's Tweet with an edited video showing him beating a wrestler with a CNN logo superimposed onto his face.

"Now it's become even more difficult to vote anything. The government will use all its energy to survive."
Luis Antonio Covatti, a lawmaker from the Progressive Party in Brazil's ruling coalition, on corruption charges against President Michel Temer, as quoted by Bloomberg, June 26, 2017.

“House of Cards on acid."
Steve Jacobs, chief executive of the asset management arm of BTG Pactual, on Brazil's political twists and turns, as quoted by the Financial Times, June 18, 2017.

"The reform agenda belongs to the country, not to a president."
José Berenguer, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co's Brazilian unit, on the outlook for reforms despite uncertainty around President Michel Temer, as quoted by Reuters, May 30, 2017.