“The PetroDollar Matrix”

At the forefront of the media’s attention today is Russia. We’re not really sure why, (well, of course we are) but it seems that Russia has become the new boogeyman. Everything is Russia’s fault. I’ve even heard rumors that the National Weather Service has plans to blame Russia for all the confounded rain in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic this summer. We know – right away you’re thinking this is going to be about Russia but it’s really not. It’s about what the media isn’t telling you. It’s why (we believe), Trump’s Tweets, Ivanka’s Sweets, Russiagate, the left’s hate, the right’s hate (aka, establishment theatre) are all taking the headlines while a very disturbing trend is left in plain sight. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room during any discussion involving economics and geopolitics, but nobody wants to talk about it.

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Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Plan Is Too Big to Fail — Or Succeed

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights
  • Since 2016, Saudi Arabia has been urgent in pursuing its aggressive economic reform efforts, but since oil prices have risen, these efforts have shifted and slowed.
  • Riyadh hopes to grow its foreign investment and private sector activity, but it will struggle as its regulatory environment is continually shifting.
  • Everything in the kingdom, from social practices to regulations, is still tightly controlled by the state, which will continue to invite wariness from investors and Saudi citizens.
  • Though Riyadh may be tapping the breaks on some of its initiatives, this is not a sign that the troubles Vision 2030 is facing are fatal — or even entirely unexpected; rather, they are part of a familiar cycle.
A display promotes Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 economic reform campaign at the 2017 GITEX technology exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
(GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

US Set to Become World’s Top Oil Producer

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The U.S. government sees oil production further climbing next year even amid transportation logjams in the country’s most prolific shale play.

The Energy Information Administration sees U.S. crude output averaging 11.8 million barrels a day in 2019, up from its 11.76 million barrel a day estimate in the June outlook.

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2018 Third-Quarter Forecast

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Table of Contents

(ALY SONG-POL/JOHANNES EISELE/HULTON ARCHIVE/MLADEN ANTONOV/TIMOTHY A. CLARY/ABID KATIB/KATJA BUCHHOLZ/DAVID MCNEW/ATTA KENARE/FOverview

China Remains in the U.S. Crosshairs. The United States will impose tariffs, sanctions and blocks on investment and research in a bid to frustrate China’s development of strategic technologies. China not only has the tools to manage the economic blow, but will also accelerate efforts to lessen its reliance on foreign-sourced technological components.

Trade Battles Fall Short of a Full-Fledged War. Trade frictions will remain high this quarter as the White House continues on an economic warpath in the name of national security. U.S. tariffs will invite countermeasures from trading partners targeting U.S. agricultural and industrial goods. As Congress attempts to reclaim trade authority, the White House will refrain from escalating these trade battles into an all-out trade war.

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Ramadan in 2018, a Threat Lens Perspective

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Key Takeaways

  • Stratfor Threat Lens anticipates an increase in the tempo and intensity of attacks during Ramadan this year, similar to that seen in 2016 and 2017.
  • A confluence of events — including but not limited to Ramadan — will exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The United States opened its new embassy in Jerusalem May 14, coinciding with the day Palestinians commemorate their 1948 displacement from Israel.

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Tiny Bahrain’s Big Oil Discovery Will Boost the Country’s Fortunes – Eventually

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • Bahrain’s discovery of the Khaleej Al Bahrain oil and gas field has the potential to make a material change in the country’s financial crisis, but there are roadblocks.
  • It will be five to 10 years before production begins in substantial volumes, it will be expensive, and it’s not clear how much of the oil and gas can be recovered.
  • In the meantime, Bahrain will use the long-term potential of increased oil and gas production — and the state revenue that comes with it — to attract new investment.
  • An increase in oil revenue will allow the country to boost some of the social services that it provides to its restive population and reduce the need for painful economic adjustments.

A map shows the location of Bahrain in the Middle East.

(200MM/iStock)

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What Trends We’re Tracking on International Women’s Day

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The shift from a premodern farming society to a modern industrialized society, for example, hinged on the increased participation of women in the workforce. Many nations today, such as Japan, face demographic decline or economic stagnation. And in order to maintain growth, these countries are being forced to combat the legal and social barriers that have kept women out of the workforce. Even in regions such as the Middle East and North Africa, where women have explicitly been prevented from participating in public life, governments are hoping to encourage growth by embracing reform efforts that incorporate women into their economies.

A woman with the female gender pictogram made up on her face attends a demonstration as part of the 40th International Women's Day on March 8, 2017 in Marseille.

(ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

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