BlackSummit Financial Group, Inc. proudly introduces The Monthly Barometer.

The Barometer is written by Thierry Malleret, a professional with whom we collaborate with. Thierry brings a uniquely insightful perspective to global economics and geo-politics. We have found his writings to be mind-stimulating, full of wisdom, perception, and characterized by intellectual honesty.

Thierry is a former top executive for the World Economic Forum (WEF) that organizes the Davos Conference. He has also served as Chief Economist and Strategist for Alfa Bank managing a team of experts for capital markets in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Thierry has also served with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), was a resident fellow with the Institute of East-West Security Studies, and was assigned to the Office of the Prime Minister of France between 1988-’90. Thierry has a doctoral degree in economics from Oxford University.

We will be sharing his publication with you for the next few months free of charge. If you wish to continue receiving The Monthly Barometer after that, we ask that you subscribe directly at the following link:

We hope that you enjoy his publication over the next few months.

5 insightful op-eds or articles to help make sense of today’s world

Ricardo Hausmann, “Why Are Rich Countries Democratic?”
(Project Syndicate, March 26, 2014)
A subtle and powerful argument in favor of democracies put forward by the Venezuelan economist who teaches at Harvard. Essentially he argues that only proper democracies have a system capable of decentralizing power “to identify problems, propose solutions, and monitor performance, such that decisions are made with much more information”. This is what he calls the “alternative invisible hand”.

John Cassidy, “The Forces of Divergence”
(The New Yorker, 2014)
A longish but great review of the most talked-about economic book of the year: “Capital in the 21st century” by Thomas Piketty. In it, the French economist states that the rise in inequality can’t be understood independently of politics and that surging inequality is endemic to capitalism.

Richard Schiffman, “Big Trouble in Farmville”
(Foreign Policy, March 26, 2014)
The journalist / poet explains talks about a story that has not received a lot of attention in the West despite having a dramatic impact: how climate change is affecting food production in East Africa. Public attention is focusing on rising sea levels and extreme weather events, but more subtle and less noticeable effects of climate change – such as rain patterns – are reshuffling the cards of global agriculture.

Mohamed El-Erian, “Tranquil Markets Underprice Geopolitical Risks”
(Financial Times, March 24, 2014 – metered paywall)
We are happy to see the financial pundit postulate something that we’ve been saying for quite some time! El-Erian argues that the global geopolitical trend is not the investors’ friend this time. He makes the critical argument that, “while each geopolitical shock has been small on a standalone basis, in aggregate they are starting to affect a more meaningful part of the global economy”.

Wayne Curtis, “Human Habitrail”
(The Smartest Set, March 2014)
Curtis, who is writing a book on the history of walking in the US, ponders which landscape best fulfills human needs. There is some evidence that we are drawn to a mixed environment — forest and savannah, more than dense jungle or exposed buttes — because we all share the same basic genome, established when our ancestors were still living in the plains of central Africa.