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Quarterly ForecastsSep 28, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
2020 Fourth-Quarter Forecast
The last quarter of 2020 will be a waiting game -- waiting for the results of the U.S. election in November, waiting on economic numbers, and waiting to see how the COVID-19 crisis plays out.
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SnapshotsAug 31, 2020 | 19:41 GMT
Pemex’s Losses Deepen Mexico’s Financial Woes
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's failure to strengthen Pemex's finances and shore up domestic oil production will exacerbate Mexico's public finance woes from COVID-19.  On Aug. 24, Mexico's state-owned energy giant Pemex reported its lowest level of monthly crude oil production since 1979, with the company's July output totaling only 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) -- marking a 0.6 percent decline from June and a 4.5 percent decline from July 2019. Pemex was already struggling before the current COVID-19 crisis, seeing record losses during 2019 and the first half of 2020. Lopez Obrador's attempts to strengthen Pemex's bottom line and increase domestic oil production, however, will continue to fail without new private investment to help increase long-term production, as well as a business plan that forces Pemex to focus on the most profitable areas.
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On GeopoliticsAug 31, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A satellite image of the United States at night.
The U.S.'s Eurasia Obsession, Part 1: Setting the Stage
Since its founding, the United States has feared European involvement in North America and the Western Hemisphere. And from this fear arose a continentalist strategic view and an idea of a fortress America secure behind its oceanic moats, loathe to get dragged into internecine European conflicts. Over time, as the United States consolidated its position across North America, a competing concern also arose -- one that began to see Eurasia at the heart of a strategic challenge to U.S. security, and promoted a more internationalist and interventionist policy abroad. These two strands continue to shape U.S. strategic assessments today amid the emerging geography of the 21st century. 
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SnapshotsJul 28, 2020 | 19:10 GMT
Lopez Obrador Unexpectedly Moves to Safeguard Mexico’s Pension System
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s proposed overhaul to Mexico’s pension system will preserve investor confidence by maintaining the country’s current individual account system, while still addressing pressing concerns about the system’s long-term sustainability. On July 22, Lopez Obrador announced his proposed pension reforms, which the Mexican Congress will vote on when it reconvenes in September. The proposed changes to Mexico’s current pension system include doubling employer contributions over an eight-year period; increasing total contributions from 6.5 to 15 percent; limiting the commissions charged by Retirement Funds Administrators (AFOREs); and decreasing the number of years a worker needs to contribute to access a minimum guaranteed pension from 25 to 15 years, while increasing the number of such pensions by about 40 percent.
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AssessmentsJul 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico, after announcing his plan to "rescue" Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Feb. 8, 2019.
Lopez Obrador's Policy Shifts Will Have a Mixed Impact on Mexico’s Energy Projects
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's reversal of certain energy policies will likely continue to have a modest impact on foreign investment and competition in Mexico's oil and gas sector. While intended to make Mexico's overall energy industry more self-reliant and state-centric, Lopez Obrador's policy shifts ultimately risk further crippling the country's state-owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), while delaying its electricity sector's shift to renewable energy sources. 
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AssessmentsMay 18, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican soldiers drive an army truck in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Oct. 12, 2019.
Rising Crime and COVID-19 Leave Mexico Leaning on Its Military
Mexico is relying ever more on its military to manage the country's perennial security problems, as cartel activity continues to rise against the backdrop of COVID-19. On May 11, President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador’s government issued a decree ordering the army to formally support Mexico’s National Guard in all public safety tasks nationwide for a term lasting no more than five years. While the military’s presence in Mexico's fight against organized crime is not new, Lopez Obrador’s orders to expand those duties risk overtaxing a force that is already spread thin, and exposing the country's army -- still highly regarded by society -- to the same reputational loss that has plagued its police forces. By contradicting his long-held stance against Mexico’s "militarization," Lopez Obrador’s over-reliance on the army will also further undermine his credibility among voters and civil rights organizations alike. 
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GuidanceApr 14, 2020 | 17:21 GMT
A horse grazes near oil pumpjacks outside the Russian city of Surgut on March 10, 2020.
OPEC+ Has Agreed to a Historic Production Cut. But Is It Enough?
OPEC+ recently approved the largest-ever coordinated production cut to offset declining global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the agreement is unlikely to thwart further price declines in the coming months, the current alignment of interests among the world’s top oil producers means the deal will probably remain in place through the end of the year. But as the market begins to recover, adherence into 2021 will start to wane. 
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On SecurityFeb 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The Miami skyline, photographed on April 29, 2019.
Signs of a Thwarted Russian Hit in Miami
Since former KGB officer and FSB director Vladimir Putin became Russia's president, the country's intelligence agencies have regained much of their Cold War power. As Putin's power has grown, his intelligence services have grown commensurately bolder. Though the Kremlin invariably will try to deny any role in or knowledge of assassinations and other skulduggery, for the most part, the operations are overt or only very thinly veiled.
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