As of April 15th, there were over 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, with over 127,000 deaths, though the infection rate has been slowing as we witness a flattening of cases in Europe, while cases in Russia, Indonesia, India, and Japan continue to rise at a quicker pace. The consequence of the economic shutdown could be the loss of some $9 trillion through the end of 2021, with some analysts predicting another 18 months of shutdown, which would make that loss even higher.
Iran’s Hardliners Win, and That Means War
Iran is being decimated by the novel coronavirus, though no one knows for sure how many cases there really are amid allegations of a government cover-up. Its economy is in big trouble due to sanctions and the oil price war, and it’s reached out to the IMF for a $5-billion Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). It’s worth noting, however, that the US is a dominant shareholder in the IMF and is opposing such funding for both Iran and China.
Iran is now exporting 300,000 bpd of oil, down from 2.5 million bpd in the spring of 2018. Now, it’s IPO’ing Shasta, the Social Security Investment Company (SSIC), offering up a 10% stake (8 billion shares) on the Tehran Stock Exchange.
Throughout these consecutive crises, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, has lost power to hardliners, which is perhaps the biggest misstep that the US has made in this game to date. Rouhani has already largely been sidelined,…