Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 02-21-16

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said that in the next few years, 1 billion Indians will get access to the Internet, most for the first time.

Tom Friedman at the New York Times said:

A EU fracture would be a negative strategic trend for the US.

Putin looks for sugar highs to distract from the radically shrinking Russian economy.

When the price of oil is low, freedom eventually flourishes.

James Fallows at the Atlantic said:

America is basically a big forest in the east, a big farm in the middle, and a big desert and mountain range in the west.

The seeds of a second reform age are being sown around the US, just as the first Gilded Age led to reforms.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1602/21/fzgps.01.html

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 01-10-16

Fareed Zakaria said:

The most significant trend in the Middle East is Sunnis versus Shiites, which will continue to limit the ability of any outside power to stabilize the region.

Saudi Arabia faces challenges from ISIS to domestic extremists. Plunging oil prices have collapsed government revenues so its generous subsidies to its people will be hard to sustain.

10% to 15% of Saudis are Shiite and live atop the kingdom’s oil fields.

The single greatest threat to America from the Middle East remains radical Sunni jihadists, many of whom draw support from Saudi Arabia.

Americans should root for China to succeed, else feel the pain at home.

The State of the Global Islamic Economy expects Muslims to spend $327 billion on clothing by 2020, versus $230 billion in 2014, ranked third after the US and China. Muslims spent $54 billion on cosmetics in 2014 and that will grow to $80 billion by 2020.

The Violence Policy Center says Alaska had the highest rate of deaths caused by guns in 2014, followed by Louisiana and Mississippi. Gunpolicy.org says Alaska had a higher rate of gun deaths than Mexico. Hawaii and Rhode Island had the lowest gun death rates.

Martin Indyk at Brookings said:

The US went along with the headstrong young leadership in Saudi Arabia into getting stuck in a war in Yemen. 50% of the Gulf states military capability is embroiled in war that is causing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, to the advantage of Iran.

Pulling out of Afghanistan all together is not a good idea because we at least have a leadership there that we can work with.

The US leverage lies in making clear to the Chinese that if they don’t pressure North Kora then we will have no choice but to boost our presence in their region to protect our allies, South Korea and Japan.

Vali Nasr at Johns Hopkins said:

The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the tipping point.

The whole geostrategy of the region changed once the US started talking to Iran and decided that it is not as committed to containing Iran as Saudi Arabia expected.

The problem is not containing Iran but the too many Shiites in the region who have to accept to live under a Sunni political order that existed before 2003 Iraq invasion. A Sunni order in which Iran will have absolutely no influence and the Shiites will have absolutely no ability to rely on Iran.

Afghanistan is going sideways and downwards.

Nawaf Obaid at Harvard said:

Saudi Arabia is taking on a much more assertive and aggressive foreign policy to defend themselves from Iran and loss of US presence and leadership in the region. The Saudis will increasingly battle Iranian presence and influence in the Arab world in the next several years.

You cannot have an agreement with a country, Iran, which supports a Syrian dictator who has killed 400,000 people, funds a Shia militia in Iraq guilty of the most atrocious things, and not expect the new deputy crowned prince of Saudi Arabia for irrational decisions. He did not have the luxury to stand still and await guidance from the US which was not coming in the first place.

Robin Wright at The New Yorker, US Institute of Peace and Woodrow Wilson Center said:

The Sunni-Shia schism is turning into one of the biggest divides in Islam in 14 centuries and playing out politically, ideology, strategically, ethnically, and virtually every range.

The crisis has begun to derail Iran’s desire to end its pariah status and restore its stature.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are in transition, which limits the influence of the outside world.

Without Chinese help, the prospect of any moderation in North Korea is unlikely. Their leader is 33 years old and very insecure.

Ruchir Sharma at Morgan Stanley said:

A global recession is due. Since the early 1970s, global downturns have struck every 7.5 years on average.

Every country will be affected by China’s policies in 2016. China is now the world’s biggest driver of economic growth. China’s debt levels have risen to 300% of GDP: no developing country in history has ever taken on debt faster than China in recent years. Furiously rising debt levels are the single most reliable predictor of financial crisis.

China’s leadership is so worried about angering its people with slowing growth and rising unemployment that it has been unwilling to stop goosing its economy.

Niall Ferguson at Harvard said the younger Henry Kissinger was not Machiavellian at all, but inept in his attempts for self-advancement and politically slightly naive.

Gary Kasparov said:

Russia is at a very dangerous stage because of Putin and things will get worse before they get better because of collapsing oil prices and the Russian budget. There is no visible positive scenario, only choices for lesser evil.

Putin will continue his aggressive foreign policy because his white knight propaganda needs these victories. Putin is a very capable KGB officer and excellent negotiator and poker player. If not for NATO membership, Putin’s tanks would be in Estonia and Latvia. Putin looks for the weak spot on the map and grabs it if he can.

The fundamental problem of the West is complacency after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ , listen at http://podcast.cnn.com/fareed-zakaria-gps/episode/all/TkwD3eujmTzNlz/fzgps-2016-01-10.html or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1601/10/fzgps.01.html

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 11-08-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

Sending 50 special troops into Syria will fail and the US will face backing down or doubling down in a few months.

Leslie Gelb and Richard Betts said Kennedy and Johnson never believed that incremental interventions in Vietnam would work but escalated involvement there anyway just to be seen to be doing something.

Obama will keep American intervention in Syria small and limited but leave his successor a terrible dilemma; like Kennedy did to Johnson.

Robert Papa at University of Chicago says ISIS only attacks foreign enemies when they interfere in the region: like with France, Canada, Russia.

The Legatum Institute’s 2015 prosperity index found that 94% of Canadians are satisfied with their personal freedom, versus 87% of Americans – the US ranked 15th.

Puerto Rico’s employment rate is 35%, poverty rate 45%, and 5%+ of its people have left in the last 10 years. Puerto Rico does not have the right to declare bankruptcy like US cities.

Larry Summers says:

Puerto Rico’s debt is too large to be paid off by further tax increases and spending cuts.

If powerful creditors succeed in thwarting Obama’s move to allow PR to file bankruptcy it would be a disaster for all Puerto Ricans.

Michael Hayden at the Chertoff Group said:

Al Qaeda has been working on undetectable bombs for a long time.

While Al Qaeda was strategic, thoughtful, hierarchical, and operated from the top down, ISIS is populist, tactical, opportunistic and works from the bottom up.

Al Qaeda attacked its far enemy in order to undermine its near enemies, while ISIS wants to wage war on its near enemies.

Fawaz Gerges at London School of Economics. said:

What changed in the last year was the marriage between a local insurgency in Sinai and ISIS, particularly ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

There is more than one insurgency in Egypt, and the danger is how many young Egyptians would migrate to ISIS. ISIS’s powerful narrative of ending civility, defying the West and Russia, resonates with young Sunni Muslims in the Middle East and the world.

Ian Bremmer at Eurasia Group said:

The game changer was Russia’s decision to go into Syria, not the Egypt air crash. Russia does not wage war for the public good but only when they get something in return. In Syria, Russia first wants to shore up Assad.

Most all of the political spectrum, including Russia and Egypt, gets support only from taking the hardest possible line domestically: expect no national dialogue with the opposition.

Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic cited Patrick Sharkey at NYU, who found that African-American families making $100k a year tend to live in the same sort of neighborhoods as white families making $30k.

Martin Wolf at The Financial Times said:

Immigration benefits migrants and the world as a whole but not necessarily a country – it depends very much on who are the immigrants. Britain is not good at building the infrastructure needed to accommodate new immigrants.

The fiscal effect of immigrants can be positive or negative depending on a country’s welfare state. In many countries, immigrants tend not to be very successful in being employed.

Donald Trump is wrong about everything, and some of his propositions are mad.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1511/08/fzgps.01.html

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 10-11-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • We cannot solve Afghanistan without recognizing Pakistani army support for the Taliban. No counter-insurgency has ever succeeded where the rebels have a safe haven, so until this is dealt with, the Taliban will never be defeated. Pakistan pretends to help the US while supporting its most deadly foes.
  • Pakistan is a time bomb. It has one of the world’s largest armies, the fastest growing nuclear arsenal, and the most opaque. 5.5 million Pakistani children do not attend school. The US faces a strategic collapse as it withdraws forces from the region unless Pakistan’s military and its mindset are reformed.
  • Any US involvement in Syria has to be aimed at dislodging Assad from power, which would produce total chaos; viz. Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
  • Italy, France et al is the world’s greatest paradise: beautiful countries, amazingly rich, incredibly nice work rules, long vacations, ability to early retire. So why reform?
  • The Economist ranked the UK 1st out of 80 countries in the 2015 quality of death index, Taiwan 6th, the US 9th. Mongolia ranked 1st out of the low-income countries.
  • The US should abandon the outdated 9:00 to 5:00 work-week.
    • Henry Ford pioneered cutting back employees’ hours to make his workers happier and more productive.
    • One study found that people working 40 hours or less each week outperform on certain tasks those who work more than 55 hours per week.
    • A Stanford study found that the number of hours somebody works is not directly proportional to his output, while at 48 working hours, productivity falls.
    • Tony Schwartz says people work better in short bursts than long ones.
    • A 2014 Gallup survey found that American full-time workers averaged 47 hours per week, while almost 20% of Americans work 60 hours per week or more.
    • The OECD found that US workers worked more hours on average in 2014 than workers in many other countries, including the UK, Germany and Japan.
    • Alternet says white-collar knowledge workers have 6, not 8, hours of productive work in them each day.

Julia Ioffe at the Wall Street Journal said:

  • Putin is a tactician, not a strategist, but his economy is cratering and his military much weaker than the US military. Putin is moving into areas that the US has traditionally dominated; Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan.
  • Russian Muslims are all Sunni whereas Putin is aligning himself with an exclusively Shiite coalition and his Syrian move will inevitably blow up on him.
  • The US should take in many more refugees.

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal said:

  • Putin is investing in Syria the way that Trump invests in real estate – with a very small investment for a potentially large payoff. His move into Syria helps distract the Russian people from its sinking economy.
  • Putin is a frog who jumps from lily pad to lily pad when he feels them sinking under his weight – from KGB agent to Leningrad technocrat to reformist president to patron of the Oligarchs.
  • Syria is a metastasizing cancer so the US has both a humanitarian and geopolitical interest. US no fly zones over northern Iraq in 1971 saved many Kurds and effectively helped create the Kurdish Autonomous Region – the single biggest American achievement in the Muslim world in the last 25 years.
  • Syria is many countries and just because we cannot solve it does not mean we cannot help its Kurdish areas become sustainable opposition.
  • The problem in Israel is the failure of leadership by Mahmoud Abbas, by Abu Mazen, in both tamping down and stoking violence.

Ian Bremmer at the Eurasia Group said:

  • Putin is in Syria to shore up Assad and not destroy ISIS. Taking casualties would be very unpopular in Russia.
  • Europe believes Syria is more important than Ukraine and that the only way to fix Syria is through Moscow, which could then ask Europe to back off sanctions. The cease-fire in Ukraine is working because Putin has got the paramilitaries there to back off their election. Europe and the US are moving farther apart every day.
  • Russia’s economy will contract by 4% to 4.5%, but its central bank has stabilized the rubble and during Putin’s tenure, per capita income has risen much.
  • 90% of Russians get their media primarily from state controlled TV with is pretty effective.
  • The problem with Syria is not Obama’s policy but that his rhetoric bears no reflection to his policy.
  • The Trans-Pacific pact is 40% of the world economy and a real pivot to Asia, the most important part of the world for the US – it is Obama’s most important successful foreign policy legacy. That TPP’s former architect Hillary Clinton is now opposed to it is astonishing.

Peter Beinart at the Atlantic said:

  • Putin’s move in Syria will increase terrorism against Russia by positioning it opposite the entire Sunni world and so cannot end well.
  • Obama is right not to get involved in Syria, and should not have done so in Yemen.
  • The rise in terrorism in Israel is a product of the fact that the two-state vision is weakening on both sides.

George Soros said the euro crisis has converted the EU from a voluntary association of free and legal nations, devoted to principles of democracy and human rights and willing to sacrifice some sovereignty for the common good, into an unequal relationship between creditors and debtors, who have difficulty meeting their obligations.

President Bill Clinton said:

  • The immigration/refugee problem in Europe can be turned into an opportunity: e.g. Syrians are overwhelmingly literate, productive, and historically secular, not super religious, and particularly not politically violent.
  • Ireland is the only European country that is younger than America and was growing like crazy, before its banking bubble, because it had many immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, which made it even younger.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1510/11/fzgps.01.html

Macquarie: Emerging Markets Are Not Facing a 1997-Style Crisis—They’re Facing Something Worse – Bloomberg Business 09-16-15

Salient to Investors:

Viktor Shvets and Chetan Seth at Macquarie said:

  • Emerging markets and economies are in a worse situation than in the 1997 Asian financial crisis because they now face far longer, more painful and insidious disease with limited or no cures or exits, punctuated by occasional significant flare-ups.
  • The effect of the 1997 crisis were mitigated by excessively loose monetary policies and China’s integration into global trade, which helped all markets recover quickly. However, this is not the environment facing economies in the next 5 to 10 years: long-term structural shifts, driven by the deflationary progress of the Third Industrial Revolution, is aggravated by overleveraging and overcapacity.
  • Turkey, South Africa, and Malaysia are at most risk, while China, the Philippines, and South Korea are at least risk. Brazil and Russia are at lessor risk but their low exposure to external debt could be undermined by slumping commodities and slowing trade.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-16/macquarie-emerging-markets-are-not-facing-a-1997-style-crisis-they-re-facing-something-worse

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 09-13-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • China’s economy is nearly 2.5 times that of Japan so even if growth slows substantially, China will continue to have seismic effects on the global economy.
  • Henry Kissinger said Republican candidate China-bashing is dangerous and could create an atmosphere a la Europe before WW I – a war no one wanted but no one knew how to prevent.
  • China’s renminbi has appreciated substantially against the dollar and yen over the past few years so devaluing it due to market forces is wise, which is why the move was praised by the IMF. China’s inconsistent and ineffective policies in the currency and equity markets does not make it evil.
  • Germany has tried as hard as any nation in history to repent for its past, and is now an exemplary liberal democracy and model global citizen. Reuters said West Germany accepted 13 million people from Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe after After WW II.
  • The countries in the Middle East that have taken in refugees are often not the richest: Jordan has taken in over a million, Lebanon a huge number, Turkey 1.5 million, but Saudi Arabia and Egypt have barely taken any.
  • If you put fruits and salads at the start of a buffet, people are more likely to eat good things. If you want people to save money, make the saving the default option.
  • An Australian study found that the longer humanitarian migrants stay in a country, the more likely they are to start businesses than other migrants. Historical refugees include Chopin, Freud, Einstein and Madeleine Albright.

John Sawers at Macro Advisory Partners said:

  • The world is chaotic and dangerous due to the rise of ISIS, change in terrorist tactics to killing in shopping malls – much harder to stop – and cyber attacks, where we have no ability to deal with in a conventional way.
  • The great bulk of migrant refugees are people genuinely fleeing conflict. The bigger problem is our citizens visiting Syria and returning radicalized and terrorist.
  • The intelligence communities in America, Britain, France and elsewhere have been successful in combating terrorism, but one cannot have a 100% record.
  • Iran is transitioning from a revolutionary to a more normal state. Rouhani et al have a different vision for Iran’s security and future than the hard-liners in the Revolutionary Guard and Quds Force. Iranians, especially the young, have little respect for the concept of a revolutionary state, and just want a normal life.
  • Putin understands that any prospect of sanctions being lifted requires him to cooperate with the Ukrainian government, while the West has to understand that Ukraine holds a special place for Russians.
  • China is trying to change to a more market-led economy. The US relationship with China is key for global stability for the rest of this century. A failed China is a much more dangerous China.
  • Obama inherited the entrée from hell, but has been calm, steady and reliable. His initiatives on Iran and Cuba are important in normalizing those countries.

Naguib Sawiris said:

  • The war in Syria will not end in months or even years.
  • The whole world is united in identifying the enemy as ISIS, who are killers and gangsters.

David Halpern at Behavioral Insights Team said:

  • Peer pressure is effective in encouraging people to pay their taxes, especially if you tell them that most people in their area pay on time, and even more effective when you tell them they are one of the few who have yet to pay.
  • Most things that governments do actually concerns behavior.
  • People are much more likely to do something if they plan ahead, think more precisely and concretely, when, where and how they are going to do something. Asking questions in a different way makes people much more effective in their job search.
  • If you want people to save money, make saving the default option – as a result, more than 5 million Brits now save. 
  • Most healthy years lost are due to behavioral factors.
  • Economies bounce up and down because of what we think others are doing, and we are often wrong in those perceptions.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/

or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1509/13/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 08-23-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • The last time oil fell more than 50% in less than a year, in the 1980s, the Soviet Union collapsed.
  • Saudi Arabia wants to put American shale and tight oil producers out of business, but they have survived using technology and smart business practices.
  • Major oil-producing countries everywhere face a fiscal reckoning.
    • Oil is 96% of Venezuela’s exports, so its economy is expected to shrink by 7% in 2015.
    • Russia’s economy is expected to shrink by 3.4% in 2015 as oil and gas revenues are 50% of its budget.
    • Oil is 90% of Iraq’s budget. With limited resources, Iraq’s Shiite government is hard-pressed to pay the Sunnis.
    • The IMF estimates that Iran needs almost $100 oil to balance its budget.
  • Cato Institute says Chile, Canada, Sweden and Germany are all freer than the US, which was 20th versus 17th in 2008.
  • The NOAA says half1, 2015 was the warmest period on record. NASA says July was the hottest ever recorded.
  • In 2015, Gallup found that only 8% of American full-time workers work less than 40 hours a week, 42% work 40 hours, and 50% work more than 40 hours a week.

Nick Butler at Kings College says we are in for a longer and more sustained period of low oil prices than occurred in the late 1980s; because of the perfect storm of substantially increased supplies. Revenues of Gazprom, which finances Putin’s clique, is estimated to fall by almost 30% in 2015.

Leonardo Maugeri at Harvard says there is no way to stop falling oil prices to possibly $35 in 2016, largely because Saudi Arabia will keep pumping in the hope it hurts everyone else more than itself.

General Wesley Clark said:

  • Putin wants less US pressure on Ukraine in exchange for cooperation on Iran.
  • The territorial integrity of Ukraine is non-negotiable.
  • NATO bases should be in the east. The US created NATO and has always been its leader.

Radek Sikorski said:

  • Putin has largely misspent the oil boom’s money, but has invested heavily in his armed forces.
  • Putin should be told that the NATO area is out-of-bounds for Russian military adventurism.
  • NATO bases should be where they are needed, in the east.

Larry Cohler-Esses at The Forward said:

  • Iranian hard-liners rigidly compartmentalize Jews who they consider people of the book under Islam from Zionists.
  • Iran has between 9,000 and 20,000 Jews versus 80,000 to 100,000 before the revolution in 1979.

Derek Thompson at the Atlantic said:

  • The grand narrative of technological change in economics is creative destruction. 200 years ago we were an agrarian economy, 60 years ago a manufacturing economy, and now a services economy. Youngstown, Ohio experienced something very much like the end of work when an enormous steel mill shut down in September 1977. People are still leaving.
  • Many jobs can be replaced by technologies right on the horizon.
    • Driving is the most common occupation among American men, so self-driving automobiles are a serious threat to employment in the US.
    • The four most common occupations in the US economy are retail salesperson, cashier, food and beverage worker, and office clerk, all of which, according to Oxford university, are extremely automatable.
  • Government today could not enact universe basic income – a government check for everybody – which is absolutely essential for people to use technological change and technological unemployment to push toward a better future.

Zeynep Ton at MIT said:

  • Corporate America should not be cutting staff, salaries and benefits to improve the balance sheet, just the opposite. The trade-off between low prices and good jobs is actually forced trade-offs.
  • Most retail companies see labor as a cost so try to have as few people as possible on the selling floor. Under-staffing creates lots of problems: long checkout lines, products are in the wrong place, inaccurate prices, all of which increase costs and lower service. By investing in people, Toyota lowered costs and increased quality at the same time.
  • Investing in workers and making smart decisions drive great value for companies and their investors.
  • A good jobs strategy requires a long-term view, and people are wired to emphasize the short-term at the expense of the long-term; like smoking and not exercising.
  • Many companies do not see the whole picture and are stuck in silos and therefore mediocrity; they can still make money that way.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript at http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1508/23/fzgps.01.html

 

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 08-16-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • The Iran nuclear agreement is flawed, but has the toughest terms ever negotiated and sets back Iran’s nuclear program more than any serious military campaign would. Automatic re-imposition of sanctions can be triggered unilaterally by the US. Iran gets sanctions relief regardless because allies will not extend sanctions as they see Iran as having produced an acceptable agreement. Rejection of the agreement would see Iran ramp up its nuclear program without inspections or constraints, sanctions unraveling, and America isolated.
  • The Chinese devaluation means its economy is slowing and the country is moving away from some reform models and towards state control and mercantilism.
  • Pew reports a median of 30% of non-Russians view the country favorably,  a median of 24% have confidence that Putin is doing the right thing in world affairs.
  • Defeating ISIS is a priority for the all the world.
  • Singapore beats the US in life expectancy, unemployment, freedom from corruption, education. The US beats Singapore in press freedom, overall freedom.
  • The US generate more than 30% of global nuclear power. Nuclear provides 19% of US electricity, 75% of French electricity.
  • Russia and Putin have very serious problems.

Jon Huntsman said:

  • China is no longer an average player in the global economy as the world’s second largest economy, so a devaluation of 2 percent will have a major impact on the region. The Chinese people have very little belief in the long-term strength and well-being of their economy – all indicators suggest it is not a very smart thing for them to invest more in the future of their country.
  • Americans have been very angry at the political class for 2 or 3 election cycles now, so Trump represents the brash, big protest vote.

Nick Butler at the Financial Times wrote:

  • Russia’s GDP will drop 3.5% in 2015 because of its dependence on oil. Trading Economics says energy provides 20% to 25% of Russia’s GDP, 30% of budget revenues, and 65% of total exports. IEA reports global oil supplies are growing at a breakneck pace.
  • The book “Restless Empire” says Russia is weaker than at almost any time in the last 300 years.

Lawrence Lessig at Harvard Law School said:

  • The problem is our government can no longer govern.
  • Climate change legislation will not pass in the US until we end corrupt campaign funding – the most unequal and corrupt system in the world and the leading issue among voters.
  • The NY Times reports that 400 families have contributed 50% of the presidential election funding so far. Wall Street is the largest contributor to congressional campaigns.

Dexter Filkins at The New Yorker said:

  • The Iraqi state is broken in 3 pieces – Shiite, Kurd, and Sunni, which has irreparably broken away. The national feeling is gone.
  • The Iraqi army, built using billions of US dollars, fell apart the moment that ISIS swept in from Syria – one push and it fell apart.

Michele Flournoy at The Center for a New American Security said Iraq’s Shia leaders must re-include the Sunnis by devolving more authority and resources down to the provinces or risk losing Iraq as a single state.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1508/16/fzgps.01.html

at

Iran looks to energy reserves for post-sanctions influence – BBC News 06-05-15

Salient to Investors:

Iran would be a superpower in global energy markets if reserves in the ground were the measuring stick – only Russia has more oil and gas reserves. The CIA reports proven natural gas reserves in 2014 (in cubic metres) in Russia were 47,800,000,000,000, in Iran 33,800,000,000,000, in Qatar 25,070,000,000,000, in the US 8,734,000,000,000, in Saudi Arabia 8,235,000,000,000.

Jamie Ingram at IHS said a nuclear deal with Iran has to happen this year because there is so much political will on both sides. Ingram said Iran is keen to compete with Russia, so Europe is a potential market.

Iran wants its power industry to use more gas and less oil so has ambitious plans to increase significantly gas production in the coming years.

The surplus of LNG in the world is pushing prices lower, and the US and Australia are set to increase exports massively in the coming years.

Valerie Marcel at Chatham House said the main hurdle in Iran’s gas export ambitions has always been price, so without a firm commitment from buyers, no pipeline infrastructure will be built.

Europe is looking to wean itself off Russian gas, while Iran is looking for diplomatic leverage that would make the re-imposition of sanctions far harder to countenance.

Read the full article at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32899264

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 04-05-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Continued sanctions are highly unlikely to halt Iran’s nuclear program, which has expanded under for two decades under sanctions – from below 200 centrifuges in 2003 to 19,000 today.
  • The US would effectively have to go to war with Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities, thereby triggering a strengthened Iranian government with a clear rationale to acquire a nuclear deterrent, and helping the Islamic republic gain domestic support. Iran’s oil revenues are more than enough to rebuild its facilities.
  • The Intl Center for Prison Studies said the US imprisons the most people by far – nearly 1 in 4 of the world’s inmates – despite only 1/20th of the world’s population. Norway and Denmark’s overall incarceration rate is 10 times lower than the US,

James A. Baker at Rice University said:

  • There may be upside to a dialogue with Iran provided that we can trust them: but I am very leery of trusting the current leadership. We would alienate all of our allies in the region.
  • The US should not put boots on the ground to destroy ISIS. The GCC countries love to free ride off America. We cannot be the policeman for the world.
  • The West has to find a way to bring Russia back into the community of nations. Putin’s actions are reminiscent of Hitler: slice here, slice there, talk but don’t do anything about it.
  • The prospects of a two-state Palestine solution are bleak but it is critical to Israel’s future, otherwise it will be hard for it to maintain both its Jewish and democratic characters because of the overwhelming demographics.

Dean Ornish at Preventive Medicine Research Institute said:

  • We are not a victim of our genes. Simple lifestyle changes like a whole foods plant-based diet, modern exercise, stress management techniques like yoga and meditation, and getting the love and support we need can even reverse heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Animal protein is bad for you.
  • Chronic emotional stress can increase the risk of almost any illness, and even shorten the ends of our chromosomes that can tell how long we live.
  • Obamacare is a game-changer because it incentivizes doctors to do more prevention and health care and lifestyle intervention. – doctors/hospitals get to keep what is left over. So the fewer procedures and hospitalizations you have, the better.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1504/05/fzgps.01.html