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Noel Maurer
I'm a university professor.
Interests: My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.
Recent Activity
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Did Donald Trump just repeal Article 1 of the constitution on Saturday? After looking at the details, I published a hot take on Twitter that seems to be standing up to the test of time. So my short answer: no.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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Manuel Bartlett is the corrupt head of CFE, Mexico’s state electricity company. He hates renewables. So he’s trying to kill it with the support of Mexico’s president. From the man himself: “Wind and photovoltaic (plants) don’t pay the CFE for... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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Argentina is going to get a large haircut on its debt. That was a foregone conclusion. Now, though, Covid-19 has worsened the situation. Yet for some reason Argentina has made a very generous opening offer, about what I would have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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The United States is not joining OPEC. The United States is not leading a cartel to raise oil prices. The United States is, to quote my 5-year-old daughter, “not doing nothing.” The President of the United States is posturing. Right... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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Oil prices are crashing due to Covid-19. So what happens to American output? Market reactions first, then political ones. Well, first the oldest building in Dallas, circa 2019: Yes, my shoes are bright blue. Now market reactions to the Covid... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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OPEC has been trying to negotiate production cuts in order to prop up oil prices. Mexico resisted making any cuts. AMLO then declared that he had asked the United States to make part of the requested cuts on Mexico’s behalf.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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In 2015, Chile reformed its horror of a Senate. (This blog is no fan of senates.) Previously, Chile elected two senators from 19 constituencies. Eight of the constituencies conformed to Chilean regions, regardless of population. The remainder consisted of regions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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The Republic of Chile is set to replace its constitution. After the mass demonstrations, all the political parties signed on to writing a new Magna Carta. Amendments readily passed authorizing a constitutional convention if a national referendum gives the thumbs... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2020 at The Power and the Money
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The excitement around the recent Argentine election felt unprecedented. Everyone was talking about how fired up people were. Both sides thought this was a critical election. Random people on the subway called it, “The end of the world.” News reports... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Joint with Leticia Abad. First things first: Macri won 90% of the Antarctican vote! Sure, that’s only 102 people, but hey, climate change. Just wait until the 2059 election. He also won everything in the Malvinas, getting zero of zero... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Even with the República Argentina on the verge of an historic election, the riots and subsequent demonstrations in Chile have attracted a lot of attention. Below is a much smaller sympathy demonstration getting started in Buenos Aires, organized by the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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The new Brexit deal seemed like a weird animal. The old Brexit deal kept the whole U.K. in a customs union with the E.U. since nobody wanted a customs border running down the Irish Sea. The new Brexit deal seems... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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So, the Trump administration just announced tariffs on a swathe of European imports, and the Europeans announced they would retaliate. More Trumpian trumpety trump? No. The WTO is working as it is supposed to work, regardless of the predilections of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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So, yesterday the President of Peru dissolved Congress and called for new legislative elections. The Congress called that illegal, and deposed the President. What’s going on? Constitutionally, we have a bit of a mess. The reason, however, isn’t really that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Abad and Maurer here, with some thoughts on the next 50 days. President Macri has only one chance at re-election. That is to villify his opponent. The markets tanked when it looked like Fernández might win, he has to say.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Leticia Abad and Noel Maurer here again, reporting on some news that while not unexpected, has arrived unexpectedly prematurely. Imagine you are a banker in the mid-19th century. All of a sudden, you observe more and more people demanding that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Back in September 2016, Ian Bremmer made a very silly post in an attempt to be contrarian. It boiled down to: “The CEOs I talk to say that they are not worried about Trump, therefore he won’t do anything radical.”... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Leticia Arroyo Abad here, our woman in the Southern Cone. Argentines have been battling a recession, several mini-crises, and high inflation for a while now. The result was a resounding defeat for the incumbent administration in the recent primary elections.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Back in 2009, I made the modest proposal that Iceland become an unincorporated territory of the United States. It wasn’t serious. But it looks like the Trump administration is serious about buying Greenland. Or, well, “serious,” because it is the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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In a technical sense, today’s primary elections in Argentina mean nothing. They are, as indicated by the name, primaries in an election where both major candidates are running unopposed for their party’s nomination. But ... voting is obligatory in Argentina... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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I am in Argentina, my favorite country among all countries. Some of you may know that Argentina is in the middle of a presidential election campaign. Background: The two main tickets are Macri-Pichetto and Fernández-Fernández. Mauricio Macri is the current... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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I think I should use that quote from Macri for all my Argentine posts. So what explains the high electricity prices from the new generation tendered in 2017 and 2018? Short version: these were peaker plants intended to provide capacity... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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Given that the name of this blog is “The Power and the Money,” I have to write the following post. I am sympathetic to President Macri, I really am. He got hit with a crisis not of his making. But... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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I am union-bound to say this, I suppose. The Mexican tariffs are stupid. First, they will not achieve their stated goal, which is to get Mexico to stop Central Americans from arriving at the U.S. border. Consider what the Mexican... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at The Power and the Money
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What would I fear if I were an investor in Mexico? (Oh, wait, I am!) It is plausible to say, “Not much.” For all the ups-and-downs of AMLO’s first six months, country risk remains low. In fact, it remains as... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at The Power and the Money