Events in the Middle East since November 2017 have taken some dramatic steps even for this politically volatile region.
Wars in Syria and Iraq grind on against now a much reduced ISIS threat however the Syrian Defence Force/Kurdish (YPG led and US supported) coalition are now vying for land and political control in regained territories. Libya’s civil strife continues with little notice given by the rest of the world until something dramatic happens.
North Korea resembles something between news footage from the Cold War days and “hyper-normalised” life imitating art or comedy like that portrayed by the hilarious 2005 Team America World Police which is well worth a watch if you enjoy biting satire (You Tube, 2017). Read more
This is the message I give to Davos man or woman for the 2017 January meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, unless you want to go skiing of course. Picking a theme like inequality or climate change is all well and good. Read more
I’m looking forward to seeing the back of 2016.
However it’s not particularly as an investor that I’ll be glad to see the start of 2017 but as a voter. I have voted 5 times since 2014 in elections for EU, UK and Scottish parliaments, 1 Scottish referendum and in June 2016 the Brexit referendum. It has been the latter that has seemed to matter the most and it has caused all the political upset although markets have been benign about the result so far except with currency markets against Sterling. Unfortunately that does matter as prices are rising and inflation will creep back in to the UK RPI figures as 2017 progresses.
Before the UK’s referendum on leaving the EU in June 2016 plenty of world politicians advised the British to remain most prominently was the current US President Barack Obama warning the UK would be, “at the back of the queue,” in any future trade negotiations with the US if it choose to leave.
Republican Presidential Nominee apparent for the 2016 election (unless the Republicans can depose him at their convention) Billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump as part of his electioneering bravado has promised to construct a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigrants from entering the US.
US Republican nominee frontrunner Donald Trump appears at the moment to be the billionaire who has both the magic and the pong touch. He appeals to a section of disaffected voters across America, yet causes dismay and bemusement elsewhere. However, with his comments on whether women should be punished for abortion or not he has, bluntly put, handed Democratic front runner Senator Hilary Clinton a big club to beat him with.
There may have been a brief stock market rally late in 2015 and any expressed wishes for its continuance have been dashed as 2016 so far has been a tough one for many people and not just investors. Here in the UK floods have battered the country especially in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland.
During the spring of 2015 major equity market indices such as the S&P500 and the FTSE100 made record highs and most equity investors had a reasonable start to the year. However over the course of the summer, especially since August, these same indices along with share valuations have tumbled sharply. Widely discussed by politicians, economists and pundits is how it will effect or portray the true state of the economy now and in the coming months.
Part 2: Iran’s Nuclear Deal: Road to Peace or Road to War?
The long protracted Iranian deal over nuclear development restrictions coupled with sanction lifting between Iran and the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the US, China, France, the UK, Russia plus Germany (G5+1), has been reached. It was announced on the 14th July 2015 to the world by both the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US President Barack Obama to jubilation in Tehran and sharp criticism in the US and unsurprisingly Israel. Read more