Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
What Paris Means
The terrorist attack in Paris means more than most are willing to concede. Europe’s borders have been seething for some time since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria. Now they are explosive. Incidents that appear to be one-offs or only indirectly related are indicative of a larger, expanding disaster.
We cautioned clients privately when the Eastern Europe and the Balkans found themselves embroiled in a seemingly innocuous border tussle regarding refugee movements just a couple of months ago. This, we said, was indicative of a growing problem—that Western Europe is not secure.
When Croatia, Serbia and Hungary engage in tit-for-tat border closures to stem the flow of refugees all desperately trying to make their way into the European Union, it is easy to sit back and watch calmly; sure, that the dispute will be resolved more or less. These border spats, though, were harbingers of insecurity. And now that it has been revealed that terrorists are slipping across borders with refugees, the story becomes much more poignant.
For investors continent-wide, we recommend very close monitoring of the situation, but with this in mind: It is all connected and it all reverberates. Assets across the Middle East and throughout Europe will be affected in some way over the course of the coming months. Newton’s laws apply, and this conflict will continue to be spilled far beyond the borders…