Eq: Dev ex-US


For the first time in half a century, Sweden is seriously prepping its country for the possibility of war. Growing national anxiety over the threat of Russia has led the government to send out 4.7m information pamphlets to all households informing them of what to do in the event of war. “All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven’t been using words such as total defence or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low”, says the government. The country is also considering whether it should join NATO.

FINSUM: The Baltics and Scandinavia are particularly exposed to possible Russian military aggression, so it makes sense they are nervous.


While it has largely faded from the American consciousness, the fallout over 2016’s Brexit vote has been nothing short of an absolute mess. The negotiations for departure have finally made a little progress, but are plagued by internecine warfare at every level. Now, a push for a second referendum, which could refute the first, is gaining traction. Former PM Tony Blair is urging his liberal party to back a second vote. Blair and Liberals believe that leaving the EU is not the solution that will fix the worries of Leave voters.

FINSUM: We think this situation only has upside for investors. If the UK reversed its positon, it would lead to a rally in the Euro and Pound and be bullish for most asset classes.


The standoff between Madrid and Catalonia took an unclear turn yesterday. Facing the prospect of immediate arrest if he declared independence for Catalonia, the region’s leader, Carlos Puigdemont, did not declare full independence when speaking to the region’s parliament yesterday. Instead, he stopped one step short, saying he fully supported independence, but wanted to pursue dialogue. Madrid reacted by not arresting him, but simultaneously threatening to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and demanding clarity on the region’s position after Puigdemont’s vague speech.

FINSUM: This situation is very tenuous, and it is difficult to predict where it might head. That said, the relationship between Spain and Catalonia seems very inflamed, especially on the Spanish side, which seems different than other recent sovereignty debates (e.g. Scotland and the UK).

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