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Saturday, January 29, 2011


No!  The government of Egypt might fall (photo above from the New York Times), but the military will take over for a while.  This regularly happens in Thailand.  The U.S. last year provided $1.3 billion in military aid, plus $0.25 billion in economic aid last year to President Mubarak, the sum which is actually less than the $2 billion of almost a decade ago.  Thus, the U.S. will generally maintain good relations with the country.  

Israel (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to left), by the way, got $3.2 billion in 2010 ($0.4 economic and $2.8 billion military).  If any country looms to be in greater jeopardy, this is the one, for as tenuous as the current situation might be, it could get worse as extremists gain in control around them.

The Tunisian and Egyptian revolts occurred primarily because of dictatorial rule and people in an economic survival mode just plain couldn't take it anymore.  This is like a viral infection, for the world wide media feeds this exhibition of public anger to any susceptible hosts, making other countries in Africa and the Middle East particularly prone, as this is all happening in their regional backyard.  Thus, it would not be surprising if a few other countries like Sudan, Yemen and Algeria go through the motions of revolt.

Saudi Arabia should survive, but all their leaders are old.  King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Azia is 86, while designated successor, Crown Prince Sultan is 82, and in bad health.  #3 could be Prince Nayef bin Abdul Azis, but even he is 76.

If, perchance, the revolution bug infects Saudi Arabia, though the world will be in trouble.  And, if Peak Oil is attained during this period, a real economic depression could hit.

There is, though, a kind of check and balance regarding oil prices, as an economic collapse would mean that less oil will be used, dropping the price.  In short, all these contradictions and mixed signals serve to neutralize extreme shifts, so, while the stock market over the next few weeks will become metastable, gold will increase in value and spikes will occur in the petroleum market, the World will, in time, recover and there won't be any kind of ultimate doomsday, at least not in the Mayan sense or The Venus Syndrome.

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