Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead, May 9 – 14, 2016

Outsider stands to take Philippines presidential election; hedge funds get helping of SALT; Rwanda hosts World Economic Forum on Africa.


The week ahead is looking to be a mixed bag: the Philippines heads to the presidential polls; economists head to Rwanda to discuss development in Africa, hedgies head to Las Vegas for the annual SALT conference and film glitterati head to the French Riviera for the Cannes International Film Festival. But there stands to be nonevents as well, if analysts’ views on the euro zone GDP release on Friday are any indication.

Monday, May 9: The U.S. is not the only nation with outsider candidates surging in the polls. As election day nears in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of Davao City, located on the southern island of Mindanao, has risen to the top with promises to eradicate governmental corruption. More controversially, he has also pledged to execute some 100,000 criminals and dump their bodies in the bay outside capital city Manila. He has tried to appeal to much of the electorate living abroad: the Philippines will be running polling stations in the United Arab Emirates to accommodate the large population of migrant workers there.

Tuesday, May 10: The annual SALT Conference, hosted by alternative investment firm SkyBridge Capital and held in Las Vegas annually since 2009, has become a tradition among hedge fund managers looking to blow off steam. This year there will be plenty of stress to relieve after the $55 billion New York City Employees’ Retirement System announced last month that it would liquidate its alternative investment allocations over concerns about fees and returns.

Wednesday, May 11: More than 30,000 film producers, directors, actors and other film professionals will descend on the French Riviera for the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival. Alongside young filmmakers making their first visit to the festival will be legendary directors such as Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch and Pedro Almodovar screening new projects. The budget for the event comes out to roughly €20 million ($22.8 million), half of which comes from public sources by way of the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image, an agency of the French Ministry of Culture.

Thursday, May 12: The 26th World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, providing global economic thought leaders the opportunity to meet to discuss how to encourage growth on the continent through increased investment. The event marks a proud moment for Rwanda as a host, signifying the nation’s recovery from its 1994 genocidal civil war and emergence as a vibrant regional economy.

Friday, May 13: Eurostat releases preliminary euro zone GDP data. Last week ECB President Mario Draghi defended the bank’s current rate and easing policies in response to heavy criticism from German officials. This past Tuesday, May 3, the European Commission lowered its 2016 growth forecast for the common currency from 1.7 percent to 1.6 percent.

Saturday, May 14: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art celebrate its reopening following a $350 million renovation that has made it the largest contemporary gallery space in the U.S. Gap Clothing co-founders Doris and the late Donald Fisher donated 260 works to the collection, including pieces by U.S. pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Financier and SFMOMA board chair Charles Schwab donated some 27 pieces as well, including works by Jackson Pollock.