Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• Oil prices remained stable on the news that Donald Trump won the presidential vote in the U.S. So, now is the time to reflect on the geopolitical implications—and they may not be what you expect. For the purposes of this report, it’s not important what Trump is; rather, what he is not. While domestically it is extremely unsettling to know that he is venerated by Nazi groups, fascist groups, the Ku Klux Klan—all of whom have twittered celebratory messages or left their stamps of approval in the form of graffiti—let’s set this domestic danger aside for a moment and look at the geopolitical side of things. What Trump—with his lack of experience entirely in geopolitics—is not is a warmonger, that was the purview of Hillary Clinton. Things are probably about to get friendlier with Russia. This part, at least, was clear. The Kremlin hates Clinton, and vice versa. Cold War 2.0 is possibly going to be cancelled. The containment of China may be redesigned as more cooperative and less confrontational. The Middle East may temporarily cease to be a playground for empire-building. In short, the US may become more like Canada for a short time—minding its own business, which is something that George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton (of the same ilk) would never have condescended to in their elite empire-building (by any means) mentality. So, let’s see what a buffoon can do. It might surprise us.
• Tensions between Egypt and its biggest benefactor since the Arab Spring revolution, Saudi Arabia, have suddenly spiked. Last month, Riyadh suspended shipments of fuels to Egypt, which were agreed under a five-year, multibillion-dollar deal. Although initially the Egyptian side said the deal was in order and shipments would be resumed, this week it became clear Saudi Arabia has no intention of resuming them. The reason: Egypt has reportedly reached out to Iran for alternative oil and fuel supplies. The information was reported by an Egyptian government official and denied by both the Egyptian Energy Minister and the Iranians but apparently these denials were not enough to convince the Saudi side. If the pressure between these two countries continues to rise, there might be a new hot spot in a region already full of them. Geopolitical alliances are shifting in the Middle East, and this is always dangerously destabilizing.
Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions