2017/09/13

How Will Trump Reshape the Federal Reserve?

What You Don’t Know about the Federal Reserve
Stanley Fischer, vice chair of the Federal Reserve, announced he will resign in mid-October, while a question remains over whether Janet Yellen will be reappointed as chair when her term ends in January. Fischer’s departure leaves the seven-member board with as few as three sitting members, creating a vacuum of power and an unprecedented opportunity for President Donald Trump to reshape America’s central bank. Wharton finance professor Krista Schwarz, Wharton legal studies and business ethics professor Peter Conti-Brown, and Sebastian Mallaby, senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, joined the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111 to discuss what lies ahead for the Fed. (Listen to the full podcast using the player at the top of this page.)
The following are four key points from the conversation.
Fischer’s departure can be seen as a watershed moment in American monetary policy.
Fischer, 73, is stepping down from a storied career that blended academic experience with stints at The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Citigroup and as governor of the Bank of Israel. His tenure at the Fed created a sense of continuity, and his resignation undoubtedly will be felt.
“You’ve got normally seven governors on the Washington board of the Fed, and right now we’re down to three once Stanley Fischer steps down. More than half the slots are vacant, and if Janet Yellen does leave when her term is [up], that means there’s only two of seven representing continuity,” Mallaby said. “The President has enormous leeway to put his own stamp on the Fed. The mystery is we have no idea what he wants to do with that power.”
Conti-Brown also expressed concern about stability at the central bank.
“As a Fed watcher and someone who appreciates continuity as opposed to disruption … this is very far from ideal,” he said. “It would have been much better for Stanley Fischer to remain vice chair through his term, which would have allowed him either to work with a reappointed Yellen, which I hope is the outcome of Trump’ decision-making process, or to help guide the Fed with the new fed chair.”
Although the role of the vice chair role is “ambiguously defined,” Conti-Brown said, it’s not simply as a stand-in to the chair. “The vice chair exercises enormous leadership, and to have both of these spots vacant simultaneously or filled with new additions troubles me. I think it could be very disruptive, depending on the identity of the people who fill these slots.”
In the Trump administration, it’s difficult to predict the future.
Whether Yellen stays as chair is anyone’s guess, given the unpredictability of the president’s loyalties. Schwarz pointed out that Trump spoke unfavorably about her during the campaign, yet he has praised her since coming into the White House.
“I think expectations have shifted from little likelihood of her staying to increased possibility,” she said. “The things he had criticized her for during the campaign — keeping interest rates too low — now that he’s in office, that is what he would likely want. I honestly don’t think that this is a priority for him at the moment. I think tax reform is foremost on his mind.”
Yellen also hasn’t said harsh words in public about the president, which could help her keep her job.
“The President has enormous leeway to put his own stamp on the Fed. The mystery is we have no idea what he wants to do with that power.”–Sebastian Mallaby“He’s either black or white about people, either in favor or out of favor, and she hasn’t done anything necessarily yet to be out of favor,” Schwarz said.
Mallaby recalled the “absolute melodrama” surrounding Trump’s appointment of secretary of state, with a parade of candidates being considered and dismissed before his selection of Rex Tillerson.
“I fear that with the Fed we might experience a similar thing with a drip, drip, drip of rumors about who’s in the frame and who’s not in the frame, which at some point is probably going to unsettle the market because all of this uncertainty about the leadership of the Fed coincides with a period when the Fed is about to make some pretty consequential monetary policy choices,” Mallaby noted.
Mallaby referred to a board meeting scheduled in late September and the expectation of an interest rate increase before the end of the year.
“After a period in which rates were basically kept at zero without alteration for seven years, we’re suddenly into a period where monetary policy is complicated by the fact that employment seems to be full, yet inflation is weak,” he said. “You’ve just got a very complicated moment for the central bank, which comes right when their leadership is most up in the air. I think that could be unsettling to markets, so unnecessary melodrama around the Fed chair reappointment is going to be bad news.”
Along with talk about Yellen’s reappointment, there have been rumors swirling that Trump could name his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, to the chair. But Conti-Brown thinks the move is unlikely after Cohn gave an interview in which he criticized the administration’s response to racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying the White House must do more to stop white supremacy.
Filling the other vacancies on the board of governors is equally important to addressing the chair and vice chair positions, Conti-Brown said.
“Are they going to be credible appointments as a somewhat soft norm of reaching across the aisle and maybe even pairing a Republican with a Democrat? Is that going to happen? All of this is on the table,” Conti-Brown said. “… And if it’s not Gary Cohn, who are the alternatives? [Top adviser] Steve Bannon’s out of the White House, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other people who have a multi-decade interest in ending the Fed as a functioning institution.”
“It’s much more normal to resign early. I think that’s regrettable. I think it feeds a dysfunction in Fed governance.”–Peter Conti-Brown
Board members typically do not complete their terms.
Each of the seven members on the board of governors is appointed to a 14-year term. The experts said a majority of the members historically have not sat through their entire term, with a few exceptions. The average tenure is a little less than six years.
“It’s much more normal to resign early. I think that’s regrettable. I think it feeds a dysfunction in Fed governance,” Conti-Brown said. “Let’s keep in mind that when Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency, the Senate confirmed some of his Fed appointments the week before. We are not in that place in terms of constitutional crisis in the Trump administration, yet our ability to put people on the Fed’s board of governors is worse than it was in 1974.”
He thinks the government should consider ways to make the job more enticing, perhaps by shortening the term. “Also, we should just go back to the earlier model. Before the Obama Administration, we’d never even had three vacancies.”
Vacancies are bad for the credibility and legitimacy of the central bank because it concentrates power into fewer hands, which is antithetical to democratic principles.
“It’s already a problem to have concentrated, technocratic power in the hands of these technocrats, and it’s very consequential to the economy what happens to interest rates,” Mallaby said. “If that power appears to be even more narrowly concentrated after these seats are vacant on the board, I just don’t see how that enhances the legitimacy of the central bank.”
On the other hand, Mallaby said, the practical functions of the bank can carry on without incident because of the highly competent staff.
Conti-Brown agreed with Mallaby’s points.
“This becomes a question of democratic credibility, not just in diffusing the decision-making across the committee and moving away from the sort of Fed as emperor approach, but also because this is the primary way, and in some ways the only way, of exercising democratic accountability,” he said. “When we’re deprived of this, we’re not able to go through the process that many people hate but is actually quite transparent, quite useful, of vetting these people.”
“I think the most likely next candidate would be a community banker because that’s something that has been lacking.”–Krista Schwarz
Too many vacancies also leave the Fed without a quorum to exercise some of its emergency authority, such as lending in times of crisis.
“If we get to the point where we only have three governors, for many key decisions we lack quorum, and that just feeds dysfunction at the top,” Conti-Brown said.
Finding the right candidate for the board is a tall order.
Schwarz, Conti-Brown and Mallaby agree that Fischer would have made an excellent choice for chair. He brings a balance of research, knowledge and experience in the public and private sectors to the table. That’s what Trump and congressional leaders should be looking for in a replacement.
“You want to have voices from different types of views and perspectives and experiences that they can draw from,” Schwarz said. “I think the most likely next candidate would be a community banker because that’s something that has been lacking. There has been a lot of push to have someone come on the board who can speak for the banks that have been a bit overwhelmed with the increased scope of regulation and being able to comply with all of that as the big banks can. I think that’s a voice that’s important to have.”
Mallaby said the ideal candidate for chair of the board is someone who has not served as a chief executive officer. He thinks the chair needs to be someone with a mastery of economics and politics.
“I think that’s the great lesson of Alan Greenspan’s tenure, that his success as chairman was as much about Machiavellian power plays as it was about his command of the data.”
Mallaby said he’s not sure if members of the Senate can fully recognize a candidate’s depth of expertise in economics, although the confirmation process does serve to root out “someone wacky” from being appointed.
“If they are not adept politically and experienced in Washington, they’re probably going to have their knees kneecapped by the process because there’s just so many bits of hidden furniture that you can run into if you don’t know your way around that city,” he said.
Conti-Brown added that the ideal candidate also needs to be a good manager.
“The Federal Reserve system is a huge, sprawling organization. An ability to manage other humans and the logistics of it is pretty exceptional,” he said. “I would say leadership is important, but if you aren’t able to direct the flow of information and policy through the system, then I think that can be pretty problematic.”

Leadership Lapses: When Is Firing the Right Response?

091217_firingalternatives
The sequence of events is so familiar now as to be predictable. A CEO or high-profile employee commits a blunder or transgression, a social-media campaign fans the flames of outrage, and employer and employee appear to be left with no other choice but to part ways.
Are there alternatives, or have we firmly settled into a culture that prefers firings and forced resignations? After all, the departure of leadership often means the loss of valuable talent and institutional memory, and changes to a key position can be costly to organizational momentum and mission.
In fact, it is possible for a company to signal to constituencies, internal and external, that it is taking appropriate corrective action without firing the employee. But a lot depends on the transgression — an ethical lapse, or simply a failure? — as well as the transgressor.
“Punishments are bigger for leaders because the audience for them is bigger: The message value of the punishment is more important,” says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, director of the school’s Center for Human Resources. “Transgressions that have to do with ethics and values are more serious and require bigger punishments because the internal audience is bigger — corporate culture is influenced by it.” He does wonder, though, why there are no demotions or other punishments in U.S. companies. “In the military, for instance, officers who are punished often lose rank. Chinese companies routinely punish employees who fail. I suspect a lot of this in U.S. companies is simply a mistake: We blame individuals for failures that are beyond their control.”
But when a company errs, something must be done, and firing someone is often seen as the path of least resistance. “Thinking about what problem they are solving, when you fire someone it’s a very clear signal you are going in a different direction and a clear signal that you are taking the issue seriously,” says Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions Maurice Schweitzer, who has written about the value of penance and apologies with co-author Adam Galinsky in Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both. “If you want to communicate to shareholders that this is a serious issue and we believe change is needed, then firing someone does that in a very powerful way. What else would it take to convince people that you are taking a significant action to effect change? It could be committing money to structural change, and there are alternatives that could send the same message as firing someone. But it has to be expensive; it has to be costly to somebody. Because if it’s just cheap talk, that may not be sufficient.”
“Punishments are bigger for leaders because the audience for them is bigger: The message value of the punishment is more important.”–Peter Cappelli
When Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
A spate of high-profile firings and forced resignations in the past few months suggests that separations have become de rigueur. Three highly experienced CNN journalists stepped down this summer after the network said it could not fully stand by the reporting of a story on Trump acolyte Anthony Scaramucci. A dean at Yale was placed on leave, and then left her position permanently in June, after writing a Yelp review that recommended a restaurant for “white trash” customers and calling movie theater employees “barely educated morons.” Google recently found itself weighing freedom of expression against tolerating the proliferation of gender stereotypes when an internal memo written by a software engineer spread well beyond the company. The memo argued that the low number of women in technical positions was not because of discrimination, but stemmed from biological differences. The engineer was fired.
While such episodes have surely generated outsize publicity, there is some statistical evidence to suggest that one kind of firing is becoming more common. CEO dismissals because of ethical lapses have increased by more than a third in the past five years, according to the 2016 CEO Success Study, by PwC’s Strategy&, which analyzed CEO successions at the world’s 2,500 largest public companies (based on market capitalization). Dismissals for ethical lapses globally increased to 5.3% in 2012-2016, from 3.9% in 2007-2011.
The study’s authors don’t believe ethical lapses like bribery, sexual indiscretions, fraud and insider trading have increased, but that a higher level of public accountability has caught more lapses. More government regulation, the rise of social media, the 24/7 news cycle and a dip in the general public’s confidence in corporate conduct have all contributed to the current environment, meaning CEOs are under much greater scrutiny, and all stakeholders have much smaller margin for error.
“It has to be expensive; it has to be costly to somebody. Because if it’s just cheap talk, that may not be sufficient.”–Maurice Schweitzer

While it may appear that it is public pressure forcing corporations to take action when there is a transgression, this may be something of a mirage, according to Jonathan A. Segal, partner of Duane Morris’ employment group and managing principal of the Duane Morris Institute. “There are times when, due to pressure from various stakeholders, it appears that a company was compelled to terminate, and that’s because the process takes some time,” he says. “It looks as if it was in response to public pressure, and it’s not. I can think of at least a couple of times when, because some things were being done internally, it appeared as if the employer wasn’t doing anything.”
Parting ways often seems like the only acceptable remedy, according to Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed. Keeping the transgressor around is a viable strategy that depends on several factors, he says, including: how egregious the transgression is and how much “goodwill” the company has banked previously; the “brand” of the transgressor — “Is he or she humble or contrite, or a sympathetic character?”; and the immediate impact on sales and the long-term impact on the brand. What companies don’t want to do is to keep the person around and risk being perceived as condoning the behavior. “Usually, it’s safer in the above conditions to just cut bait, and not risk the immoral halo to the brand,” he says. “The other aspect that is tricky is that these CEO types always ‘fall forward’ — they get fired and get tremendous severance package benefits, so sympathy is hard to generate.”
Indeed, if you are an employee who has messed up, how that mess gets cleaned up depends a lot on who you are. “In unionized workplaces where employers expect to have to prove that they had ‘just cause’ to discharge a person, there is a greater likelihood that lower levels of discipline will be meted out, such as short suspensions,” says Janice Bellace, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics. “Also, workers may be ordered to do some sort of course — for example, someone found to be using drugs may have to go to some sort of awareness program. In some ways, we see this with very high-ranking executives, albeit under other names. For instance, consider the case of a person who screams or shouts at work. A lower-level employee may be fired. The top executive may be given a coach or sent to an anger-management course.”
Companies think that it is worth it to try to improve the behavior and performance of the higher paid person, but it seems that often lower-paid persons are deemed not to be worth the expense, she notes. “Yet when one considers the cost of recruiting another person, the loss of institutional knowledge, etc., the financial calculation may be wrong. This company response may also reflect the decline of a human resources training function as companies cut back on all types of training. HR trainers usually are adept at getting employees to be more self-aware.”

“Consider the case of a person who screams or shouts at work. A lower-level employee may be fired. The top executive may be given a coach or sent to an anger-management course.”–Janice Bellace
When Apologies Work — and Why
Sometimes, nothing can substitute for a good, public firing — even for a transgression that is not unethical or illegal. The recent Google episode involving the manifesto on women demonstrates that sometimes a company just has to send a message, says Schweitzer. “[The memo’s author] was not fired when he wrote that manifesto and began circulating it. It was only when it went viral externally and became a hot and well-read manifesto that Google executives chose to fire him, and so they clearly did it not in reaction to the ideas that he was airing, but in reaction to the firestorm created when his ideas went viral. That’s a good example where social media changed the way Google reacted, and I think they wanted to send the message that they care about diversity — that they don’t endorse the idea that women are biologically different when it comes to programming or math, and firing an employee was a way to send that message.”
Would an apology have helped? Maybe not in this case. In Friend and Foe, Schweitzer and Galinsky distinguish between core and non-core violations of trust. Core violations are a breach of trust within the most relevant, reputational domain, and are hard to come back from. Non-core violations are more peripheral, with surprisingly little residual damage. Accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of shredding documents relating to accounting practices at Enron, and never recovered. Martha Stewart, on the other hand, was found guilty of lying to investigators looking into a suspicious stock trade — a crime not related to her compact with lovers of hand-painted wallpaper and one-bowl chocolate cake recipes. “To many people’s surprise, Martha Stewart came roaring back,” they wrote.
Successful apologies must happen with speed, they must come with a promise to change, and must include penance. “We want to see the transgressors suffer in some way. This helps us move forward because it demonstrates remorse,” says Schweitzer. “I think apologies work when they are perceived to be sincere and when there is remorse, and you can do that. But again, you need to signal remorse and sincerity in a way that is costly. So, to say, ‘I really mean it, I’m really going to change,’ people wonder: ‘How do I know that to be true?’ Firing someone is a good way to show proof. Are there other ways to signal change? Absolutely. But they are often more complicated and less visible and can be difficult to understand.”

“Some of it may just be that it’s easier for leaders. You don’t have to run into the person you punished.”–Peter Cappelli

Demotions in lieu of dismissal are one less visible way, and they do happen, says Segal. Another less visible way is a monitoring period of, say, 120 days — a kind of one-last-chance deal. “The idea is that there is going to be some period of time to see whether the person can sustain the necessary improvements,” he says.
Many have come to believe that the question of whether to jettison an employee or key leader requires not only decisiveness, but also individual consideration of the myriad factors in each case. “I would just observe that the issues are often the result of lack of controls or fostering the right culture in an organization, sometimes not the CEO’s behavior him or herself. So, it is deeper,” says Gary L. Neilson, principal with PwC. “Sometimes it isabout the CEO. Either way, companies want to move forward fast and not distract from the business issues. A program of behavior change may not be enough for these types of issues involving a lack of, or not paying attention to, moral compass issues.”
If an organization is able to determine that the person they have in place is a good fit on compass issues, is there anything the firm can do to signal that it takes the transgression seriously and has taken corrective action? Or does life in the modern fishbowl make partings inevitable? In fact, a company often is taking corrective action, but because it’s going on behind the scenes, we never see it reflected in the press, says Neilson. “It might affect a bonus or a promotion [as in no promotion] that is more private. No records exist on this, but that is what I believe happens given my experiences.”
No matter how plentiful and creative the alternatives, though, some companies will always choose the path of least resistance, and fire rather than taking the time to flog and fix. “Some of it may just be that it’s easier for leaders,” says Cappelli. “You don’t have to run into the person you punished.”

2017/09/07

Trump gana tiempo. Acuerda subir el techo de la deuda hasta diciembre

Francisca Guerrero  www.pulso.cl
Aunque los republicanos querían una solución de más largo plazo, el presidente de EEUU estuvo de acuerdo con la oposición para aumentar el límite por sólo tres meses. El pacto aún debe ser sellado por el congreso.
Líderes del bipartidismo llegaron ayer a la Casa Blanca para abordar diversos temas de urgencia con Donald Trump. El presidente, siempre lleno de sorpresas, esta vez se puso del lado de los demócratas en la discusión, apoyando la idea de aumentar el límite del endeudamiento por tres meses hasta el 15 de diciembre, en lugar de un acuerdo de más largo plazo como lo postulaba su propio partido.
Trump señaló que sostuvo una “muy buena reunión” con los demócratas, sin hacer referencia a los republicanos presentes en la Oficina Oval. “Acordamos una prórroga de tres meses del techo de la deuda, que consideran sagrada. Siempre nos pondremos automáticamente de acuerdo sobre el techo de la deuda debido a la importancia de la misma”, subrayó el mandatario.
Los republicanos no tuvieron más opción que acatar, dejando todo listo para un acuerdo que le permita a Estados Unidos evitar un cierre de gobierno y caer en impago.
“Ambas partes tienen toda la intención de evitar el incumplimiento en diciembre y esperamos trabajar juntos en las muchas cuestiones que tenemos ante nosotros”, señalaron en una declaración conjunta Chuck Schumer, líder de la mayoría republicana en el Senado, y Nancy Pelosi, líder de la minoría demócrata en la Cámara de Representantes.
Pero hubo otros militantes del Grand Old Party que hicieron públicas sus discrepancias. “Creo que nuestros miembros (del partido) probablemente querrán ver algo mucho más extenso que eso”, dijo el senador John Thune de Dakota del Sur, el líder número tres del Partido Republicano.
No obstante, si se aseguran votos demócratas la legislación puede prescindir de los sectores más conservadores del partido del presidente.
De hecho, ayer la noticia llenó rápidamente a los mercados de optimismo. El Dow Jones y el S&P 500 terminaron la jornada con un avance de 0,27% y 0,34%, respectivamente, mientras que el Dollar Index logró subir 0,03%.
Difícil agenda legislativa
El sello definitivo del acuerdo lo dará el Congreso, donde hay otros asuntos importantes que abordar durante septiembre, entre los que se incluye el presupuesto fiscal 2018.
Además, después de poner fin al programa Acción diferida para los llegados en la Infancia (DACA), más conocido como “dreamers”, Trump entregó un plazo de seis meses para que los legisladores elaboren una nueva ley en reemplazo.
“Tenemos muchas, muchas cosas que están en el plato. Esperemos que podamos resolverlos de una manera racional”, señaló el Jefe de Estado.
Por otra parte, ayer la Cámara de Representantes dio el visto bueno a un presupuesto inicial de US$8.000 millones en respuesta al desastre dejado por el Huracán Harvey.
Se espera que el proyecto consiga la aprobación del Senado para quedar enviado a la Casa Blanca este fin de semana.

Central de Brasil cumple con expectativas y baja 100 puntos la tasa Selic

Catalina Göpel  www.pulso.cl
Con esto, los tipos de referencia descendieron desde el 9,25% al 8,25%, el menor nivel desde mayo de 2013.
Por unanimidad, el Comité de Política Monetaria (Copom) del Banco Central de Brasil (BCB) decidió reducir en 100 puntos base la tasa de interés Selic, desde el 9,25% al 8,25%, ubicándola en su menor nivel desde mayo de 2013.
Según el organismo, el conjunto de los indicadores dados a conocer desde su último encuentro de julio, “muestran signos compatibles con la recuperación gradual de la economía brasileña”.
Otro de los fundamentos para aplicar el recorte se enmarca en un escenario externo favorable, en la medida que la actividad económica a nivel global se está recuperando sin presionar las condiciones financieras en los mercados más avanzados. Contribuyendo a mantener el interés sobre el riesgo en relación con las economías emergentes.
En octubre de 2016, como parte de un ciclo de relajamiento monetario, la entidad dirigida por Ilan Goldfajn comenzó a bajar la Selic con el objetivo de reactivar la economía brasileña sumida, hasta ese minuto, en una profunda recesión.
Pero datos dados a conocer en los últimos días, como el PIB para el segundo trimestre con un crecimiento de 0,3% y una inflación que tocó el 2,46% (su menor nivel desde 1999), permitieron que el Copom continúe con el ritmo de bajas.
las señales. Sobre la trayectoria del IPC, el BCB señaló a través de un comunicado que “sigue siendo bastante favorable, con diversas medidas de inflación subyacentes a niveles bajos, incluidos los componentes más sensibles al ciclo económico ya la política monetaria”
Con lo anterior, las expectativas de la inflación acotadas en la encuesta Focus subieron alrededor de 3,4% para este año y se mantuvieron en torno al 4,2% para 2018 y 4,25% para 2019.
Entre los principales riesgos que amenazan el actual ciclo, el organismo apuntó a la combinación de posibles efectos secundarios del continuo choque en el precio de los alimentos y de la inflación de bienes industriales. Además, una frustración de las expectativas sobre la implementación de las reformas impulsadas por el actual gobierno de Michel Temer, necesarias para la economía brasileña “pueden afectar los premios de riesgo y elevar la trayectoria de la inflación en el horizonte relevante para una política monetaria.
Sobre los próximos encuentros, el Copom reveló que si el escenario básico evoluciona como se esperaba continuará el ciclo de flexibilización.

Remuneraciones de la actividad relacionada con minería se recuperan tras meses de contracción


KGHM, minería, cobre
Antonia Cancino  07/09/2017
Las remuneraciones de las actividades relacionadas con el sector minero dejaron atrás dos meses de contracción tras crecer 2,6% en julio, consolidándose como una de las principales incidencias en el aumento de 0,6% del Índice de Remuneraciones (IR).
Según informó el Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (INE), durante el séptimo mes del año “la actividad se vio impulsada por el alza de Incentivos y premios, debido al mayor pago de bonos
por producción, además de pagos de Sueldos y salarios por funciones ocasionales relacionados con la mayor realización de turnos ocasionales en empresas dedicadas a la extracción y procesamiento de cobre, y a servicios de apoyo para la explotación de minas y canteras”.
En términos mensuales el IR de la actividad minera subió 2,6%, recuperándose de dos meses de contracción y acumulando una variación de 3,6% en lo que va del año.
Otras actividades que influyeron en el aumento del índice en general, fueron Comercio, que presentó la mayor incidencia al aumentar 1,6% en julio debido a mayores incentivos y premios a empresas dedicadas a las ventas al por menor de prendas de vestir, así como también a la venta al por mayor de productos agropecuarios, maquinaria y equipos especializados.
El aumento se explica además, “por alzas en el pago de sueldo base por decisiones de las empresas y la entrada en vigencia del reajuste del salario mínimo” según consignó el INE.

Stanley Fischer renunció a la vicepresidencia de la Fed

Francisca Guerrero  www.pulso.cl
Además, la Reserva Federal publicó ayer su Libro Beige, donde señala preocupaciones por el mercado automotriz.
De manera inesperada presentó ayer su renuncia a la vicepresidencia de la Reserva Federal Stanley Fischer, diez meses antes de que su mandato llegara a su fin. Su determinación se hará efectiva el 13 de octubre, o en torno a esa fecha, según señaló el propio Fischer en una carta dirigida al presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump.
Con su salida, atribuida a “razones personales”, el puesto de Fischer se transforma en la cuarta vacante del central estadounidense. Además, la presidencia de Janet Yellen expira en febrero del próximo año.
“Durante mi tiempo en la Junta, la economía ha seguido fortaleciéndose, proporcionando millones de empleos adicionales para los trabajadores estadounidenses”, escribió Fischer en su carta. “Hemos construido sobre pasos anteriores para hacer el sistema financiero más fuerte y más resistente”, agregó.
En un comunicado, Yellen dedicó palabras a su número dos en la Reserva Federal. “Las profundas ideas de Stan, fundadas en toda una vida de erudición ejemplar y servicio público, contribuyeron de manera invaluable a nuestras deliberaciones de política monetaria”, dijo la sucesora de Ben Bernanke.
“Estoy personalmente agradecida por su amistad y su servicio, echaremos de menos su sabio consejo, su buen humor y su ingenio”, agregó Yellen.
Chris Rupkey, jefe de economía financiera en el MUFG Union Bank, indicó a PULSO que aunque Fischer “es un académico en su manera de ver la economía, ha tenido mucha experiencia en el mundo real al dirigir el banco central de Israel y como número dos del FMI. Él parecía estar un poco a la derecha de Yellen en términos de hawkish o dovish, y detrás de las escenas puede haber sido presionado para una retirada más rápida del estímulo”. De todas maneras, destacó que la reelección de Fischer “era poco probable”.
Por su parte, Michael Feroli, jefe de Economía de JPMorgan, dijo a Bloomberg que esta renuncia “añade un nuevo elemento de incertidumbre a la política y quienes estarán ejecutando la política a principios del próximo año. Es un factor que se suma a la nubosidad de las perspectivas de la política monetaria”.
Además, ayer The Wall Street Journal aseguró que Gary Cohn, que corría primera en la carrera por la presidencia del central tras el fin del mandato de Yellen, ya no es candidato. Donald Trump estaría considerando otros nombres, debido a la polémica que generó respuesta de Cohn a la violencia racial en el país.
Libro beige. En tanto, ayer la Reserva Federal publicó su libro beige, donde manifestó preocupaciones respecto al mercado de automóviles.
“Las informaciones sobre producción automotriz fueron mixtas, con muchos contactos expresando preocupación acerca de un prolongado frenazo en la industria”, se leía en el documento difundido en Washington.
“Los precios subieron modestamente en general en el país”, agrega el documento basado en encuestas de los distintos bancos federales. “La mayoría de los distritos reportaron limitadas presiones salariales y entre un modesto a moderado crecimiento de los sueldos”, dijo el reporte.

Obras a ejecutar de constructoras bajan 8% por menor impulso inmobiliario

Carla Cabello  www.pulso.cl
El backlog de siete de las mayores empresas del sector alcanzó los US$3.458 millones a junio de este año, lo que evidencia un descenso de las obras a ejecutar en el segmento inmobiliario, versus un aumento en el área de ingeniería y construcción.
La desaceleración de la economía -y en especial la caída en la comercialización de viviendas- sumado a un menor ritmo de los proyectos mineros y energéticos, ha impactado no sólo los resultados financieros de las empresas constructoras, sino también la cartera de contratos de obras a ejecutar. Y es que US$3.458 millones sumó el backlog de las siete empresas constructoras e inmobiliarias -Salfacorp, Socovesa, Paz, Besalco, Ingevec, Moller y Pérez-Cotapos y Echeverría Izquierdo- que reportan sus balances a la Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS) al cierre del primer semestre de este año. Esta cifra es 8% inferior a la informada por el mismo grupo de compañías en igual período del año anterior, cuando el monto llegaba a los US$3.753 millones.
La baja en varias de las compañías analizadas se explica por un descenso de las obras a ejecutar en el segmento inmobiliario, versus un mayor peso del área de ingeniería y construcción en la cartera. En esto, el negocio energético ha tenido un rol clave, señalan desde la industria.
Salfacorp, la mayor constructora del país, informó un backlog total de $760.430 millones, unos US$1.146 millones, un 9% inferior al mismo período del año anterior y 5% menor a diciembre de 2016. Del total, $608.169 millones corresponden a la unidad ingeniería y construcción, mientras que el segmento inmobiliario a través de Aconcagua aportó con $75.147 millones, muy por debajo de los $209.985 millones que sumó al backlog de la firma a junio de 2016.
Una situación similar mostró Ingevec, que en el área inmobiliaria presentó un backlog por UF517.734, unos $13.774 millones, un 48% más bajo que las UF998.007, unos $26.551 millones, que registró a junio de 2016. No obstante, panorama distinto se observó en el área ingeniería y construcción de la firma, que alcanzó un backlog de $254.225 millones a junio de 2017, superior a los $254.696 millones al mismo mes de 2016. En el análisis razonado enviado a la SVS, la firma destacó que las obras a ejecutar en el área ingeniería y construcción “entregan una atractiva base de actividad para los próximos períodos”, al tiempo que se están tomando medidas para que el backlog en el segmento inmobiliario retome niveles de en torno a 1 millón de UF en el mediano plazo. El backlog total de la compañía llegó a US$404 millones a junio de este año, inferior a los US$784 millones que alcanzó a junio del año pasado.
En el caso de inmobiliaria Paz, al 30 de junio de este año, el backlog de la compañía alcanzó las 7,03 millones de UF, unos US$282 millones, inferior en un 15% a los 8,33 millones de UF, unos US$334 millones, que registró al 30 de junio de 2016.
Un panorama diferente a las anteriores compañías mostró Besalco, Socovesa y Moller y Pérez-Cotapos. Las tres firmas informaron un backlog a junio de 2017 superior al que registraban al mismo período del año pasado. En el caso de Besalco, alcanzó los US$667 millones, versus los US$628 millones del año anterior, representando una mejora anual de 6,2% en este indicador. “Esta carga de trabajo nos permite afrontar el ejercicio 2017, y buena parte del 2018, con un nivel adecuado de actividad”, dijo la firma en el análisis razonado. Moller y Pérez-Cotapos, en tanto, aumentó su backlog total de $48.895 millones (US$73 millones) en junio de 2016 a $148.991 millones ($US$224 millones) en junio de 2017. De ese total, $111.681 millones corresponden a proyectos de construcción a terceros y $37.310 millones a obras inmobiliarias.

Fin de guerra por Budweiser: AB InBev decide pagar a CCU US$306 millones por marca

María José Tapia  www.pulso.cl
Grupo Luksic llegó a acuerdo con holding cervecero para terminar anticipadamente contrato de licencia de Budweiser en Argentina. La operación incluye además el traspaso de cinco marcas a la firma local y pagos adicionales por US$94 millones.
Era una pelea entre gigantes. La marca Budweiser en Argentina mantenía desde hace años enfrentados a CCU y Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBeV. Si bien, CCU distribuía la marca en el país vecino desde 2008, ya desde hace varios ejercicios que la multinacional quería sumarla a su portafolio, sobre todo considerando que controlaba a la argentina Quilmes, grupo líder del mercado. Y finalmente se logró. Ayer, el holding ligado al grupo Luksic llegó a un acuerdo con AB InBev, a través del cual se puso término anticipado al contrato de licencias que permitía a CCU operar Budweiser en Argentina. El acuerdo duraba inicialmente hasta diciembre de 2025.
Mediante hecho esencial, la firma local comunicó que si bien la transacción estaba sujeta a la aprobación previa de la Comisión Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia (CNDC) argentina, una vez subsanada esa condición se terminará la licencia, por lo cual AB InBev pagará a CCU US$306 millones. Además, el holding internacional transferirá a la matriz de Cristal y Escudo, la propiedad de las marcas Isenbeck, Diosa, Norte, Iguana y Báltica, las cuales en su conjunto suman similar participación a la que ostenta Budweiser en el país vecino.
La transacción, sin embargo, no incluye la planta de Isenbeck ubicada en Zárate, ni los contratos con sus empleados o distribuidores, ni la transferencia de pasivos.
En esa misma línea, AB InBev se comprometió a efectuar sus mejores y razonables esfuerzos para que se le entregue a CCU la licencias de ciertas marcas premium internacionales en argentina.
Los traspasos de las banderas, sin embargo, no serán inmediatos. CCU producirá todo o parte del volumen de cerveza Budweiser por un período de hasta un año; AB InBev, en tanto, hará lo mismo respecto a Isenbeck. Asimismo, este último grupo producirá y distribuirá el resto de las marcas a traspasar por un máximo de tres años. Todo este período de transición significará para CCU Argentina un pago adicional por US$94 millones en 3 años.
De hecho, según informó la compañía al mercado, dentro de los beneficios que tendrá esta operación para CCU estaría justamente la obtención de dinero en efectivo; la posibilidad de realizar una transición ordenada, lo que generará un resultado anual de US$28 millones, además de un pago único de US$10 millones por los cobros cruzados por producir Budweiser por un año más. Todo ello, sumaría los US$94 millones adicionales.
Según aseguró ayer la compañía, esta operación representa una oportunidad para incrementar el peso de marcas de su propiedad en su portafolio en Argentina, y así mejorar su posición como competidor vigoroso en dicho mercado. Esto -añadió- se traducirá en un mayor dinamismo del mercado y beneficios para los consumidores con un grupo de marcas propias, que actualmente en su conjunto suman volúmenes equivalentes a la marca Budweiser.
Dentro de todo este escenario, las partes acordaron que la primera condición -que la autoridad antimonopolio transandina apruebe la transacción- deberá cumplirse antes del 31 de marzo de 2018, plazo prorrogable hasta el 30 de junio del próximo año. Dado ello, ambas compañías aseguraron que presentarán lo antes posible los antecedentes a a CNDC para obtener la autorización.
Actualmente, CCU es el segundo grupo cervecero en argentino. Es propietaria y productora de las marcas nacionales Schneider, Imperial, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Salta, Palermo y Bieckert. A su vez, elabora y comercializa Heineken, Sol y Amstel y es distribuidor exclusivo de Kunstmann.
De esta manera, opera 6 plantas industriales en esa nación. Además de contar con oficinas en Buenos Aires y centros de distribución en las más importantes ciudades del país.
El último intento 
Los intentos de CCU por continuar manejando Budweiser en Argentina no fueron pocos. De hecho, hace unos meses el holding contrató al reconocido estudio de abogados estadounidense Mc Dermott, Will & Emery LLP con la finalidad de buscar mecanismos para que la compañía pudiese continuar manejando la marca al menos hasta 2025, año en que vencía el contrato de licencia. Si bien, el estudio era reconocido por su éxito en un proceso similar entre Constellation Brands y Modelo -de AB InBev- finalmente el acuerdo se fraguó en instancias extrajudiciales. Es que al parecer la contratación del estudio resulto ser tan disuasiva dado su historial de triunfos que la oferta recibida fue atractiva, haciendo que la vía judicial dejara de ser necesaria.