The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.
Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.
- Ukraine: There are reports that Ukraine has imposed new sanctions against Russian companies and plans to cut diplomatic ties with Russia. Kiev also broke an agreement with Moscow on the supply of arms and military equipment. Ukraine appears to be escalating tensions at a time when the United States and Russia are negotiating a settlement. We need to compare these moves and any recent fighting to previous actions by these parties.
- Philippines, China: Manila said it scrapped a plan to build a fisherman’s shelter on an occupied reef in the Spratly Islands because of Chinese pressure. This comes a day after Manila said it restarted construction of military-oriented infrastructure on Thitu Island. Meanwhile, the Chinese and Philippine coast guards met in Beijing on Nov. 7, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he plans to ask China to clarify its intentions in disputed waters. The island spat seems inconsistent with the meeting of the coast guards. We need to determine how much pressure Duterte is under at home related to his stance on China. China wants to gain an upper hand in the Philippines. How can it do this?
- Germany: The German Council of Economic Experts, which advises the German chancellor, warned in an annual report that the eurozone’s largest and most powerful economy is in danger of overheating. Germany is still dealing with the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. What does overheating look like for the German economy? Given its membership in the European Union, what are Germany’s options for dealing with this problem?
- Russia: A Russian minister said that more than 375,000 Russian citizens have returned home from abroad and that, in the first nine months of 2017, 90,000 Russians who had been living abroad were resettled. This trend could have short-term implications for local populations in Russia as well as long-term implications for demographics. We need to figure out where these people are coming from, why they are returning to Russia now and how the resettlement project works.