sábado, 27 de abril de 2013

Fighting the drug lords: then and now

An excellent piece of reporting on the evolution of US-Mexico cooperation in Mexico's war against drugs is to be found in the Washington Post. Well worth reading.


viernes, 26 de abril de 2013

Mexico's trade account in the first quarter...

What's striking about the first quarter trade account statistics is that automotive exports are the only major export category that grew. Oil export revenues were 10.6% less than in the first quarter of 2012; agricultural export revenues were 4.0% less; extractive, 15.7% less: and non-automotive manufactured exports, 2.0% less. In contrast, automotive export revenues were 6.9% higher - even though export sales in units were down 3.8%.

Imagine for a moment that automotive export revenues remained at the same level as in the first quarter of 2012. This year's US$1.11 billion trade account deficit in the first quarter would have more than doubled, to US$2.53 billion.

jueves, 25 de abril de 2013

A few facts about Mexicans living in the US...

As Congress considers reforming US immigration laws, here are a few facts to bear in mind.

In 2011, there were 12.0 million Mexicans living in the US. Of those, 6.1 million (51%) were unauthorized. That means that 1 of every 2 Mexicans living in the US is legal.

Between 2007 and 2009, there were 12.6 million Mexicans living in the US. The largest number of Mexicans living in the US without documentation was nearly 7.0 million in 2007. Four years later, the number had fallen 12.9% .

Between 1995 and 2000, net migration to the US was 2.3 million, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Between 2005 and 2010, net migration was flat. The number of Mexicans going to the US fell by more than half while the number of Mexicans returning to Mexico from the US more than doubled.

There are about 11.1 unauthorized immigrants in the US. Mexicans are the largest national group, constituting 58% of unauthorized immigrants. In the history of the US, no nation has ever seen as many of its people migrate to the US in absolute numbers. As a percentage of the immigrant population, however, the German and Irish immigration waves in the late 19th century were comparable.

Seven out of ten Mexican migrants live in five states: California (36.0% of the total), Texas (20.7%), Illinois (5.9%), Arizona (4.4%) and Georgia (2.4%).

jueves, 18 de abril de 2013

Not too small to fail...

The Troika's agreement with Cyprus ended up respecting the 100% government guarantee on deposits of up to €100,000. Larger depositors and bondholders weren't so lucky: their losses will depend on the bank in which they have their money. Estimates put the losses at 60% if they were in Cyprus's second largest bank, Laiki.

The cost of the bailout to the Cypriot Government keep rising. When the terms of the deal to access €10 billion was agreed with the Troika, Cyprus's contribution was estimated at about €7 billion. Now, it's up to €13 billion. The cost of the rescue today (estimated at €23 billion) is larger than the Cypriot economy.

There are banks that are too big too fail, but they're not in Cyprus. Laiki Bank was a big player in Cyprus but not in the international financial system. Cyprus is a small country. Thus, for the first time in the history of the rescue packages cobbled together in the ongoing European crisis, "large" depositors and bondholders will share the cost of the bailout with taxpayers.