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  • The Election, the Presidency, and Foreign Policy

    The closer we get to the presidential election, the more we are bombarded with facts, opinions, predictions, and the like from both ends of the political spectrum.

    One thing I like about this analysis from my friend and geopolitical expert George Friedman is that he starts off with an obvious yet understated fact: you can't believe what presidential candidates say. Not because they are pathological liars, but because they must make promises that, once elected, they cannot keep, given the reality of the office.

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  • Obama’s Dilemma: U.S. Foreign Policy and Electoral Realities

    Folks, this piece from STRATFOR has compelled me to focus on the US for one more day before I head off to Europe. You've seen the articles and other insights I send on occasion from George Friedman, my friend and prophetic author of The Next 100 Years and The Next Decade, both bestsellers. Well, this article takes the cake. George is the founder of a geopolitical intelligence company called STRATFOR, whose focus is international affairs. But on the rare occasion when domestic politics and international affairs intersect, it's always a treat to get George's insight.

    I don't even want to give away any spoilers here. It's better to let you follow first-hand, as George builds his argument and arrives at a profound final conclusion. Let me just say: In Endgame, as you know, I predict that we will deal with the deficit in a controlled manner, or face disastrous consequences. Here, we learn how the realities of the next 14 months before the presidential election present some potential global consequences of their own.

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  • The Year Ahead for Russia

    To continue with a week of global forecasts, today I’m sending you STRATFOR’s assessment of the year ahead for Russia. As I said earlier, we need to think of the world at large and how global events will affect us. Russia represents a huge piece of that puzzle....
  • Iranian Elections, Israel and the United States

    In the midst of an economic crisis, we are inundated with data - information that often, a few years down the line, turns out to be wrong. Forecasts are made based on a single month's set of data or previous trends, and the public often doesn't know how to read the fine print about margins of error.

    The problem is faulty methodology. Most media and even government intelligence agencies assume the information they get from leadership figures is 100% correct, no questions asked - leading to defective analyses. Instead, underlying assumptions should be constantly vetted in the face of new facts. I'd encourage you to consider the intelligence produced by my friend George Friedman at STRATFOR - a trusted source in forecasting future geopolitical trends....
  • Fourth Quarter Forecast 2008

    Really hear what I'm about to tell you. The center of gravity of the world economic system has moved from New York to Washington. Let me illustrate what I mean so you understand just how profound this is. Banks used to compete against banks. US carmakers competed against each other and the Japanese. And the New York financial markets told you how they're doing against each other. Understand what's happening now. The US Treasury has become the only "customer" that matters. The Treasury is now the customer—and investor -- with the $750+ billion checkbook. The Treasury is now the "investment banker" of last resort, arranging and financing mergers. Banks are competing against insurance companies for their slice of the bailout pie. Chrysler and GM (and the Michigan Congressional delegation) are looking to Washington, not Goldman or Merrill, to facilitate a merger. This is a seismic shift....
  • The New President and the Global Landscape

    In times of crisis, those with psychological fortitude discover opportunities that most people miss. A friend of mine in Houston tells me of unending piles of tree limbs broken down by the hurricane. The homeowner laments his disaster; the tree trimmer and the roofer order a new Mercedes. Most of the world sees a Wall St. meltdown. Buffett takes the opening to deploy billions from his cash hoard. They're all seeing the same thing, but they're reacting differently based on different visions of the future. I've included a piece today from my friend George Friedman over at Stratfor about the landscape the next US President will face. This article is a perfect example of why I rely on Stratfor for my geopolitical intelligence. The newspapers and other media do better or lesser jobs of telling me about what's happening right now. But that's not what an investor needs. What I need - and I recommend for you - is an analysis of what we're going to be facing. That's where George and his team absolutely excel. For at least the next month, the public conversation is going to be completely dominated by the November election and the political maneuvering to address the financial crisis. There will be tremendous drama. There will be dizzying swings back and forth in emotions, expectations, and more than likely the markets. And if you focus on it, you'll miss the real opportunities to position yourself for the emergence....
  • The Geopolitics Of Israel

    This week we step outside the box of conventional geopolitical analysis to hear the thinking of George Friedman, founder and chief executive officer of Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), on the geopolitics of Israel. George makes the key point that...
  • Geopolitics and the U.S. Spoiling Attack

    Introduction This week's special edition Outside the Box is what I would call one of the more "philosophical" pieces by Stratfor President George Friedman...let me explain. In his article "Geopolitics and the U.S. Spoiling Attack,"...
  • Rhetoric and Reality: The View from Iran

    Introduction Today's Special Edition of "Outside the Box" by my friends at Stratfor gives us a very insightful analysis of the difference between the rhetoric of Iran and the reality of the world they face. George Friedman, President of...
  • Back to Iraq

    Introduction The past couple of days have been filled with anticipation over the outcome of which party will emerge victorious during this year's elections. Adding to the flurry of activity, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield unexpectedly announced...