Tag Archives: Middle East

Why the Crisis of 2008 is Bound To Happen Again

1. The so-called Volcker Rule has yet to see the light of day.

 

2. The banks’ balance sheets are better than they were five years ago. The banks have raised lots of capital and written off many bad loans. (Their risk-weighted capital ratio is now about 60 percent higher than before the crisis.) …. But they’re back to too many of their old habits.

 

3. Millions of Americans are still suffering the consequences of the Street’s excesses. Yet the Street’s top guns and fat cats are still treating the economy as their own private casino, and raking in even more than before.

 

The fact is, the giant Wall Street banks are ungovernable – too big to fail, too big to jail, too big to curtail. They should be split up, and their size capped. There’s no need to wait for Congress to do it; the nation’s antitrust laws are adequate to the job. There is ample precedent. In 1911 we split up Standard Oil. In 1982 we split up Ma Bell. The Federal Reserve has authority to do it on its own in any event. (Would Larry Summers take such an initiative? Highly doubt it….besides the guy is always asleep)

 

Legislation is needed to resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated commercial banking from casino capitalism….. But don’t hold your breath.

For More: http://ziadabdelnour.net/why-the-crisis-of-2008-is-bound-to-happen-again

 

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Child Soldiers Involved in the War in the Middle East

The primary cry of these people is that children are no threat. That we are admitting babies. Hillary Clinton said, “Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every Syrian refugee—that is just not who we are.”  I ask what is a child? Is she talking about the 18-year-old MS13 gang members that came in with the push that allowed them to cross the Southern border because they were “children.”

 

The total number of child soldiers involved in the war in the Middle East is unknown. Around 200 child soldiers have been confirmed killed in action by human rights groups over the past four years and, they say, the real number is likely far higher. Moreover, younger adolescents (ages of 13 to 17), usually males, may be employed as spies, guards, or smugglers. Human rights groups say that even 14- and 15-year-old combatants are not unknown in rebel-held areas.

 

For More: http://ziadabdelnour.org/what-to-do-with-syrian-and-other-refugees/

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How effective has US foreign policy in the Middle East

My short answer – with the sole exception of the Camp David accords – is somewhere between “completely ineffective” and “making a bad situation worse”.

 

Unfortunately, it seems that all of the US’s current problems in the Middle East are of our own making… and the cynically minded would even say that this is by design.

 

Very possible indeed as it seems all we care about – judging by our actions – is selling the Gulf nations and their neighbors more arms while keeping our access to cheap oil wide open.  Anyone challenging our positions there is either bombed into oblivion or put out of business….No smart way neither to grow influence nor to make friends.

 

It is a fact that since the 1950s we have been very successful at keeping the region unstable, and that has served our geopolitical and economic interests much more than stability would have.

 

Let’s take a close look at our history in the region since the 1950s – after the creation of the State of Israel – along with our track record as Americans there.

 

For More: http://ziadabdelnour.org/how-effective-has-us-foreign-policy-in-the-middle-east-been-over-the-last-50-years/

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Don’t Demonize Arabs – Do Business with them

I am a Lebanese-American, a conservative and a capitalist. I was born in Lebanon, and had one dream and one dream alone – to come to America, and make my fortune as a capitalist. I did just that. I studied at The Wharton School, went to work at the most entrepreneurial firm on Wall Street, Drexel Burnham Lambert, became a global entrepreneur-financier, and made my mark dealing with some of the largest capital pools in the world, orchestrating large scale buyouts and recapitalizations.

 
Today, the Middle East is a very different place than the one I left 25 years ago. “This isn’t your father’s Middle East,” a good friend with whom I do business in the region loves to tell me. And yet he is disappointed that most Americans seem stuck in the 1970s when it comes to how we think and describe the place – as if all Arabs are the same, none worthy of our trust or respect.

 

Read more at: Don’t Demonize Arabs – Do Business with them

Standing with Donald Trump

Israel’s wall along the Palesinian territory has reduced terror assaults dramatically. Tunisia and Israel are building walls to keep ISIS out of their countries. If there was little hope of the walls keeping out an entire army of well armed extremist fighters neither country would waste the resources to build them. Yet the primary excuse in the U.S. for not finishing the wall along the southern border is that it cannot work.

 
The false outrage over Donald Trump’s recent remarks about illegal immigrants were twisted to meet the desires of those crying wolf. Almost immediately three horrible crimes were laid at the feet of illegals sheltered in cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration laws or even court orders to deal with criminals as illegals.

 
There is a malignant will on the part of liberal politicians to keep our borders open to all comers be they murderers, rapists, or ISIS terrorists. Iran supports Mexican gangs along the border with the U.S. and has supplied gangs in the Southwest with weapons and training. Hizbollah and Hamas openly have a presence in Mexico within walking distance of the U.S. border.

 

For More: http://ziadabdelnour.net/standing-with-donald-trump/

 

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Is Water The New Gold?

It is a fact that water use is today rising at double the rate of global population growth owing to urbanization, more water-intensive agricultural products, growing industrialization of emerging markets and the impact of climate change. The supply of fresh water is relatively static; hence, the rapid rate of demand growth is, not surprisingly, causing some stress.

 
An estimated 1/3 of the world’s population currently lives in water-stressed or water-scarce countries. On the current trajectory, it is estimated based on most recent population projections (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Geneva Conference) that by 2025 countries will have water demand in excess of supply and 64% of the world’s population will be under significant pressure.

 
The Middle East (and North Africa) has the greatest absolute and relative water supply problem, in fact classified as ‘high’ stress compared to the rest of the world which is classified as moderate (Asia) and low (all other regions).

 

For More: Is Water The New Gold?

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Women’s Coming to Power

If China and India each represent 1 billion emerging participants in the global marketplace, then this group; which we will call the “power group” is made up of women, in both developing and industrialized nations, whose economic lives have previously been stunted, underleveraged, or suppressed.

 
These women, who have been living or contributing at a subsistence level, are now entering the mainstream for the first time. We estimate that about 870 million of them will do so by 2020, with the number conceivably passing 1 billion during the following decade. Their presence as economic actors will be widely felt, because they have long been overrepresented in the ranks of subsistence agriculture and other resource-based forms of work.

 

As they move into knowledge work, in domains ranging from manufacturing to medicine to education to information technology, their sheer numbers will hasten the integration of the regions where they live into the larger economy.

 

For More: Women’s Coming to Power

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If I were 22.There is no Substitute for Intelligence gathering & Absorption

There are lots of things I know now that I wish I had known when I was 22.

 
I would have loved to have known for example that the Middle East was going to turn the way it did and would have capitalized on the opportunities accordingly – both politically and business wise.

 
In retrospect, I think the “game changer” move that changed the whole Middle East map was triggered under Former President Jimmy Carter and the Shah of Iran. If the Shah had ignored Carter’s advice back in 1977, there wouldn’t be this problem in Afghanistan, nor would there have been the Iran-Iraq war.

 

Iraq would never have dared to even send a plane over Iran. In fact, the Gulf War wouldn’t have happened, nor the clash between East and West nor any of the problems of the past 30 years, including the exporting of religious fanaticism and the eternal problems my homeland Lebanon was and still experiencing over the time period.

 

For More: If I were 22.There is no Substitute for Intelligence gathering & Absorption

This Isn’t Your Father’s Middle East Stupid Wake Up

I am a Lebanese-American, a conservative and a capitalist. I was born in Lebanon, and had one dream and one dream alone – to come to America, and make my fortune as a capitalist. I did just that.

I studied at The Wharton School, went to work at the most entrepreneurial firm on Wall Street, Drexel Burnham Lambert, became a global entrepreneur-financier, and made my mark dealing with some of the largest capital pools in the world, orchestrating large scale buyouts and recapitalizations.

Today, the Middle East is a very different place than the one I left 25 years ago. “This isn’t your father’s Middle East,” a good friend with whom I do business in the region loves to tell me.

And yet he is disappointed that most Americans seem stuck in the 1970s when it comes to how we think and describe the place – as if all Arabs are the same, none worthy of our trust or respect.

Read More: This Isn’t Your Father’s Middle East Stupid Wake Up

Don’t be fooled by what policy makers tell you !!! Read the facts

As part of Blackhawk’s close group of family and friends, we thought we’d share with you some of our most salient views as to the state of the world economy today and what to watch for in case you’re also in the “Wealth Creation” business.

We hope these thoughts will help you better position yourselves in the months and years ahead.

Even if you disagree with our points on the trajectory of where the world is heading, it cannot hurt to understand and prepare for the worst case scenario while still hoping for the best.

So here they are…..

About the markets at large:

Contrary to what the talking heads and pontificating gurus are saying, markets are not out of control, central banks are out of control printing money…and we believe they will never tighten monetary policy again, but merely print, print, and print more as they love to see asset prices go up, and as their policy reflects their desperation to perpetuate the process. As far as we are concerned, we know the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at 0, precisely 0…in real terms.

About the Federal Reserve:

The lifetime achievement of Greenspan and Bernanke is really that they created a bubble in everything, everywhere. In fact, you have to ask what they were smoking during the housing bubble, as prices were increasing by 18% annually when interest rates started to steadily rise in 2004.

It seems that the tremendous economic Sophism of the day is that a nation can print its way into prosperity. By the same token, if debt and money printing equaled prosperity then Zimbabwe would be the richest country in the world. Go figure if Mugabe is not the economic mentor of Ben Bernanke.

Read More: what policy makers tell you

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Ziad K Abdelnour