Don’t call them Arabs

Monthly Geopolitical Wrap – June 2016

Oil and Famine

Two power outages in a day is all the confirmation a Libyan needs that summer has arrived. [Hmm … smells like Caracas.] And for a series of months now, bank withdrawals have been heavily limited. [Sure smells like Caracas.]

Benghazi or Caracas?

Take your pick. [Just don’t call them Arabs.]

The ethnic groups of Libya [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Admittedly, the root cause of the despair-approaching-famine in each of these two countries differs. Libya is hostage to civil war, albeit with heavy external influence, and Venezuela is hostage to poor governance, albeit with some external influence. Both economies are hostage to oil. But the talk of a heavy ‘salve’ makes my head spin.

Private, non-oil, exports for Venezuela, 1997 to 2015 [Wikimedia Commons]
Like Venezuela, the economy of Libya depends heavily upon revenues from the petroleum industry [Wikimedia Commons]

Speaking of famine food, for those who have been living under a rock [myself included], the seed-king, Monsanto, has received a takeover offer from industrial-chemical behemoth*, Bayer. More than one pundit has speculated that a name change for Monsanto is on the cards, especially with a takeover in the air.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Not to be outdone, and with a ballot set for next year, the Russians now have their own set of election primaries. But, judging from this article, perhaps the Russians should be watching more closely. No doubt the Americans will be watching those assertive Russians watching (more closely) the Americans.

The map of Russia, federal subdivisions shown, giving its best impersonation of a skinned lamb. [Wikimedia Commons]
A skinned lamb [Alibaba]

Still in Russia, the leadership has sent an uncharacteristically public message to its military commanders that any level of corruption that hampers combat readiness will not be tolerated. The time for partying is over. And Russia knows it.


Turks don’t tolerate being called Arabs either. At the Presidential Palace — we’re in the Ataturk Forest in Ankara now — not a month goes by without uber-man making the headlines. Upset [yet again] over use of that “g” word with respect to Armenia — this time from Germany — el presidente has threatened to abandon Europe, much as he has seemingly threatened also to abandon any semblance of humility.

The West

At uber-uber-headquarters, global “Ground Zero”, more than one vote may grudgingly go the way of Mrs Clinton, who could snatch a November win by default if she—as is likely—claims the Democratic nomination. But in the U.K., that horse has bolted. Hate crimes have surged in Britain post-Brexit, flummoxed opponents moving to the second stage of grief. What this means, for the EU and the greater West, is anyone’s guess: but in the short to medium term probably not good. And by no means assume that famine will be limited to Libya and Venezuela, North Africa or South America for that matter. Nor hate crimes to Europe.


Is Peter Schiff “the boy who cried wolf”? Many seem to think so. All I know is how that story ends.

But one thing is working against imminent global financial collapse: the Jubilee. There are blessings from the Lord that flow out of the Jubilee. Once the Jubilee ends, however, (Monday, October 3, 2016), all bets are off.

Don’t look now, here comes July. Despite some perturbations, the world is chugging along … and if you believe that then I have some hair-tonic to sell you. Seven years of zero percent rates (and counting) is a sign of badness. Don’t be fooled. Batten down the hatches. And don’t forget: many Libyans are not Arabs; most Persians and Turks are not Arabs; and almost all Venezuelans are not Arabs.

Have a good month.


PS: If you haven’t yet followed the links, look at Caracas Chronicles and Brave New Libya. Sobering stuff.


These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.



20:20 Vision

Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

One thing I’ve noticed is that, when you’re right, no one is listening to you.

The global economic outlook, for the next five years, is bleak. Marc Faber slices the money cake, topped with geopolitical icing.

We are headed for an October crash. Don’t be surprised if we see a short, sharp, spike in the market leading up to it.

For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Global Financial Arrest

Anyone who thinks the Global Financial System is anything but in an agonal state is not of this world. The analogy to a patient in cardiac arrest, unresponsive to repeated cycles of adrenaline and defibrillation, is too tempting. Too appropriate. While the US remains the battered hero overall, the European Union is its heartbeat and money the vital circulation. And the patient has collapsed with no pulse.

Is there still a flicker of hope, or is a ‘flat-line’ imminent?