Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.RED ALERT: Paris Terror Attacks - What to Expect Next - STRATFOR
2.Paris Terror Attacks, Death Pangs of a Dying Religion, and Impact on BrExit EU Referendum - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Paris Terror Attacks, Islamic State Attempting to Spark Civil War in France - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Three Shocking Charts That Prove Gold Price Rally Is Coming - Sean Brodrick
5.Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - Mike_Shedlock
6.Africa Population Explosion - Why Europe's Migrant Crisis is Going to Get A Lot Worse - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Mining Stocks May Be The Buy Of The Century - Jeff_Berwick
8.Grandmaster Putin Beats Uncle Sam at His Own Game - Mike_Whitney
9.BRICS? No, CRISIS - Raymond_Matison
10.UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Turkey Downs Russian Jet to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire - 28th Nov 15
Stock Market Quiet Week as Primary 5 Continues - 28th Nov 15
Black Friday, Weekend for Europe's Migrants - 28th Nov 15
HUI and Gold - Who's Leading Whom? - 28th Nov 15
Gold And Silver - No Ending Action, But End May Be Near - 28th Nov 15
Social and Cultural Distress Dividing The Nation - Fourth Turning - 28th Nov 15
Sheffield Houses Prices 2015, Best Estate Agents As Rated by Buyers and Sellers - 28th Nov 15
Stock Market Top Valuations, at a Critical Juncture - 27th Nov 15
The Top Shopping Opportunity on Black Friday - 27th Nov 15
Economics Is About Scarcity, Property, and Relationships - 27th Nov 15
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Extreme of 336k Net Migration, up 32% on 2014 - 27th Nov 15
Vauxhall Zafira B Fire Danger Recall - What to Do Video - 26th Nov 15
Triggers In US Dollar Collapse - 26th Nov 15
Apple Stock is a 10-Year Short - Bear Market Environment - 26th Nov 15
U.S. Federal Reserve Rate Hike - 26th Nov 15
George Osborne's War on Buy to Let Sector Trending Towards Doomsday - 26th Nov 15
Will Turkey Drag NATO into War With Russia in Syria? - 25th Nov 15
George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review Full Text - 25th Nov 15
Will Fresh QE From ECB Boost Gold? - 25th Nov 15
Sheffield, Yorkshire and Humberside House Prices Forecast 2016-2018 - 25th Nov 15
Investors Watch Out For The Auto Industry… - 24th Nov 15
BEA Revises 3rd Quarter 2015 US GDP Economic Growth Upward to 2.07% - 24th Nov 15
Stock Market Supports Are Being Broken - 24th Nov 15
Is Gold Price on the Verge of a Breakout? - 24th Nov 15
Fed’s Tarullo: U.S. Interest Rates Liftoff Should Wait for Signs of Inflation - 24th Nov 15
Silver Price, COT, US Dollar Updates and More - 24th Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices Analysis - Video - 23rd Nov 15
Crude Oil Swinging For The Fences - A 20 to 1 Option Play - 23rd Nov 15
US Dollar, CRB, Oil, Gas, Copper and Gold - The Chartology of Deflation - 23rd Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices, Cheapest and Most Expensive Property Markets - 23rd Nov 15
Stock Market Rally Losing Momentum? - 23rd Nov 15
Will Gold Price Drop Below $1000 Soon? - 23rd Nov 15
Gold and Silver Sector Big Green Light and Low Risk Entry Setup... - 23rd Nov 15
Limits to Economic Growth - Challenge and Choices - 22nd Nov 15
Long Dollar Trade and Current Copper Price Below Cost of Production - 22nd Nov 15
UK Housing Market House Prices Affordability Crisis - Video - 21st Nov 15
The Fed Has Set the Stage for a Stock Market Crash - 21st Nov 15
Stock Market Primary V Wave Continues - 21st Nov 15
Gold And Silver - Value Of Knowing The Trend - 21st Nov 15
UK Footsie Bulls Set To Foot The Bill - 21st Nov 15
UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - 21st Nov 15
GDX Gold Miners’ Strong Q3 Results - 20th Nov 15
End of Schengen, Stock Market’s Technical Strength Grows - 20th Nov 15
Justice for All and The Curious Case of Zambia - 20th Nov 15
Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Resurrection of Old Europe - 20th Nov 15
Silver Prices and The Management of Perception - 20th Nov 15
Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - 20th Nov 15
Waiting for Goldot Again - 20th Nov 15
Michael Curran Goes Down-Market Shopping for Gold Stock Winners - 20th Nov 15
Why Isn’t This Incredibly Bearish Bond Market Development Making the News? - 19th Nov 15
SPX Appears to have Stopped its Rally - 19th Nov 15
The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago - 19th Nov 15
Using Elliott Waves: As Simple As A-B-C - 19th Nov 15
Has Deflation Been Ddefeated? - 19th Nov 15
Dow Jones Stock Market Index is Not Going to Crash - 19th Nov 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Reasons to Get Excited About Japanese Stocks

Global Currency War Flash Points in the Middle East 'Age of Rage'

Economics / Middle East Mar 09, 2011 - 04:05 AM GMT

By: Gordon_T_Long


Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe conflict in North Africa was a predictable outcome of the US Monetary Policy of Quantitative Easing. It is not plausible that the US Federal Reserve, as the manager of the world's Reserve Currency, did not fully recognize the global ramifications of such monetary inflation actions well in advance. Quantitative Easing like the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) of the cold war era has had the same devastating pre-emptive impact on Libya.

There can also be little doubt that the bi-monthly meetings of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) board of directors, which specifically meet to discuss coordinated monetary policy outcomes, did not consider this eventuality. The board of directors of this global power center includes all G7 Central Banks chiefs, with the conspicuous absence of a single member of the Arab League not receiving US military financial aid.

Our Process of Abstraction research methodology (shown below) has been signaling looming political conflict and social tensions for eighteen months. Our Tipping Points have proven once again to be surprisingly accurate predictors. Though Tunisia as an initial flash point was somewhat of a surprise, we knew it was going to soon emerge somewhere due to serious inflationary pressures injected into the global macro. As we will discuss, it is a direct result of the US policy of Quantitative Easing (QE) igniting global inflation in food and basic resources of survival. The social unrest this triggers is still in the early stages of what we call the "Age of Rage".

CONFLICT & TENSION - The "Age of Rage"


The map below from the Economist shows the members of the Arab League. Starting with Tunisia's overthrow of the 23 year rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the rage has spread like a wild fire through the Arab world. Egyptian protesters replaced President Hosni Mubarak in just 18 days, after 3 decades under his rule. More recently Algeria, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and Libya have all seen major demonstrations by people fed up with the living standard they face on a daily basis. It appears to get worse and more deeply rooted each day.


Before we look below the headlines and media sound bites, it would be informative to step back and look at global unemployment rates. The chart below is based on the 'official' numbers as consolidated 01/2011 by BMGBullion.

I have drawn a vertical line at 10% unemployment as a reference point. What is quickly evident is that:

1- Countries above 10% unemployment have experienced significant and well documented social unrest, primarily because of poor economic conditions.

2- Countries in the range of 10% are presently reporting sporadic events that show borderline indicators of social unrest.

3- Countries with low unemployment are politically stable with minimal social tensions.

What you will also notice from this chart is that not a single Arab League country is represented. This is most likely because of their smaller GDP levels, but it is an indication that festering problems facing this area often go unreported in the West.

So what is the unemployment situation in the Arab League nations?

Now consider the percentage of the population below the age of 25 years old. This is the generation looking to enter the work force, who are starting or have young families needing income, or are contemplating what their lifelong occupation will be.


Frustrated and angry is the best way to describe the situation the above statistics foster - a situation ripe for a spark to set it off.

Forget the spin that every country wants to put on these protest events:

United States and EU: "This is a pro-democracy movement!!!" Iran: "This is an Islamic revolution!!" China: "These are riots instigated by minorities!!!" Russia: "This is a protest against America!!!"

It is really about being able to exist.

It is about unemployment, rising prices and the ability to make a person's life better for their family.

Call it social inequality, low personal income levels, corruption or whatever. None of this incites the masses until they are hungry, worried about their families' future and have nothing to lose.

As futurist Gerald Celente regularly says: "When people have nothing to lose, they lose it!"


I believe the root of the Arab problem is their relatively small GDP growth in relation to their population growth compounded by food inflation that can no longer be affordably subsidized by the government.

According to the above chart, over a 5 year period since January 2006, food has compounded at over 6.5% annually on average in North Africa and the Middle East. Like a vice grip, every year tightening further and placing increasing pressures on families. 2011 is not reported in the above chart, but the UN announced food prices were up 2.2% in February following 8 consecutive monthly increases.

The hidden issue is the difference between the countries' food price index increases and actual import food price increases. The difference is what the government is absorbing as subsidies to contain rebellion because of unaffordable food costs.

The levels of subsidies as shown below is staggering, with Egypt projecting 26.2% in 2010 alone. What happens when governments can no longer keep up with food price increases? Perfectly predictable massive social unrest. A few well place insurgence and you topple governments.


Western citizens would likely react by saying: 'but this is why we have foreign aid, to help countries in need'. That may very well be the perception, but the facts when it comes to the Arab League nations, does not bear that out.

What the chart below shows is that the aid given is very targeted and the vast amount is spent on military needs. In other words, it is money paid out to be military proxies in the region for US foreign policy. This is why Mubarak was able to stay in power for three decades.

Between 1945 and 1975, the US strategy in the region has been determined by the desire to ensure control over the vast oil reserves, then by the objective of forcing payment for oil in "paper-" dollars, that's to say, a dollar free of any fixed parity with gold. This double objective was achieved in the 1980s.

In 2011, the whole structure is collapsing under the battering of the Arab populations. Because, as regards oil, the real shock emanating from Tahrir Square that has been felt in Riyadh and in the oil monarchies of the region, is the discovery that the United States is not a reliable "bodyguard".

In practical terms, as local reactions show for that matter, the Egyptian crisis and the lack of US support for Mubarak, has initiated a 'behind the scenes' review process of the entire relationship with Washington, including the dependence of these countries' leaders on military trained and equipped by the United States.

The end of cheap oil, or more exactly of the indirect control of oil prices through the protection afforded to the oil monarchies, has apparently arrived.

In my concluding article to the Extend and Pretend series: Stage I Comes to an End! in July 2010, I warned of a US False Flag event specifically coming in the Middle East. As I see pictures of the massive amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge now off the coast of Libya and headlines of a possible US invasion of Libya, I am reminded of what I wrote in July 2010.

"Looking forward, now that all of Europe is gripped in austerity, (and make no mistake - this very same austerity is coming to the US on very short notice with crashing popularity ratings for all political parties), has the political G-8/20 elite focused a little too much on a 'Falkland War'? Is war precisely the diversion that Europe and soon America hope to use in order to deflect anger from policies such as ....

Is there a Gallup or some other polling "unpopularity" threshold that the G-20 is waiting for before letting loose all those aircraft carriers recently parked [1] next to the Persian Gulf, the Israeli jets in Saudi Arabia [2] or the recent US troop buildup [3] on the Iran border? [4]"

Picture Above Right: " Defense Secretary Gates just announced that two amphibious US assault ships were loaded and bound to Libya." - Business Insider

Sign Up for the free 2011 Thesis Paper: Beggar-thy-Neighbor at Tipping Points

Sign Up for the Currency Wars series of articles at: Commentary 

Gordon T Long   Web: Tipping Points Mr. Long is a former executive with IBM & Motorola, a principle in a high tech start-up and founder of a private Venture Capital fund. He is presently involved in Private Equity Placements Internationally in addition to proprietary trading that involves the development & application of Chaos Theory and Mandelbrot Generator algorithms.

Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

© Copyright 2010 Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which Mr. Long believes reliable, but he does not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that Mr. Long may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Mr. Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from him.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History