The Geopolitical Hotspots Of 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

Because in a world in which markets no longer are affected by fundamentals, and reflect nothing more than what politicians (and their Wall Street lobbies) believe the "fair value" of risk assets should be, it is likely that any fat-tail events will emerge not out of the markets, but out of politics (and perhaps out of central banks, although it is a safe bet that the world's central planners will merely do much more of the same). The chart below summarizes the geopolitical hotspots of the coming 12 months, which together with everything else are no longer reflected in asset prices courtesy of the central banks completely destroying the market's discounting function.

Source: Deutsche Bank

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Payne's picture

You did not include Saudi Arabia which is an Arab spring events occurs the Petro dollar is dead.  This would be the Goal of China, Russia, and any other group that wants to take the air out of the US sails.

Stackers's picture

It's getting hot in here, so hot, so take off all your clothes

otto skorzeny's picture

House of Saud is buddies w/ Israel and has been stirring up Sunni V Shia bullshit to keep peasants in ME from noticing how disgustingly rich they are. Stuff like trying to destabilize  Syria and Iran is right out of CIA/Mossad playbook.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Quite true that the Sauds are part of the US-Israel 'axis of evil' ...

But also true the Saudis are in danger of being overthrown, as the great Jim Willie says

Have been talking to Muslim businessmen here who spend a lot of time in Saudi Arabia, and I told them about Jim Willie's views about the Saudi monarchy teetering

To my astonishment, they totally agreed, they say that is the word on the street in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) itself - the regime there will not last long

The times they are a changin' ...

For background on how dirty Saudi Arabia was, right from its beginnings with first the British and then the US intelligence agencies, the Saudi Wahhabi extremists with Great Britian, throwing out the more moderate Muslims who had been ruling there for centuries:

« The importance of the House of Saud to the British cannot be understood fully without looking back at the historical role that King Abdulaziz bin Saud (Ibn Saud) played in helping Britain and France to divide up the Ottoman Empire by means of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, and also in bringing the Zionists into Palestine. When the British Empire picked up Ibn Saud, leader of the Wahhabi sect, to become the "Keeper of Two Holy Mosques," it was in a way the fulfillment of Empire's plan. The Hashemite dynasty, which claims the bloodline of the Prophet Muhammad, was the strongest traditional Arab force, but its back was broken when Ibn Saud threw them out of Mecca and Medina. »

The House of Saud:
British-Programmed Killer of Muslims

by Ramtanu Maitra

trav777's picture

you don't want to see "bad" iike 8mbpd off the world market

tango's picture

Evidence contradicts your contention that Israel wants a Syrian change.  She prefers working with authoritarians like Mubarak and Assad or stealthily with regimes like Jordan, Morocco and Turkey.  What she wouldn't want is another Egyptian Islamic disaster in waiting. I've never understood the alleged CIA interest in Syrai - no valuable minerals, no oil, a place with phony national boundaries held together only by the Assads and their religious minority. 

TotalCarp's picture

Hmmm didnt they highlight iraq instead of iran on the map while mentioning iran in the blurb?

Afrispaans's picture

They so did. Must be sharing cartography with Fox News.

TotalCarp's picture

its utterly impossible to take this sht seriously.. Written by some junior vp in the banks basement aka the research floor i bet..

Is this a slow news month? Tyler/zh scrapping the bottom of the news barrel for these stories?

FeralSerf's picture

The bottom of the news barrel is going to the scrap yard?  That's good news!

otto skorzeny's picture

"radical islam pushes into Africa"- I stopped reading- this must have been taken off of CIA website

JR's picture

Agreed. First the US Empire attacks and when the defenders react the propaganda begins.

The US - its central planners at the Fed operating off the debt slavery of the American people - is using its financial power to export revolution around the globe, securing all resources for Global Empire. Civil wars and rebellions are perfect arenas for the western banking powers to ride to the rescue, kill many innocents and secure the resources.

At the same time, these agendas are destabilizing and dismembering the United States of America, threatening the United States as a coherent and sovereign nation, meshing it into global governance.

Here are the “roots of the coup” according to War Is a Crime .org in an April 2012 article entitled, U.S.—[Get Your] Hands Off Mali!:

“What sparked the coup was the central government's inability to deal with the rebellion now under way in northern Mali, a region populated by the Tuareg, an ethnically Berber, nomadic people who eke out a living in the inhospitable desert. Long-standing grievances of neglect by the government have led many Tuaregs to despair of reform.

“The simmering resentment came to a head in January after the U.S.-led bombing of Libya and the overthrow of that country's government. Around 2,000 Tuaregs who had been employed as soldiers by the Libyan government returned to Mali, heavily armed and with uncertain prospects of finding jobs or arable land. A rebellion broke out, one the government was in no position to counter, provoking a mutiny by angry rank-and-file Malian soldiers who chased President Touré into hiding. The Tuareg rebellion sharply escalated March 30, when rebels seized control of three key cities, including the legendary cultural and trading center of Timbuktu. The armed rebels who now control all northern cities have several factions. One wing is demanding independence for the north. Another says its goal is to create an Islamic republic operating under strict Sharia law – which might be all of Mali or simply the northern half, which this faction is calling Azawad..." The rest of the story:

FeralSerf's picture

And in other news, the U.S State Dept and DoD have purchased 10,000 copies of Whack-a-mole for training purposes.

Unintended consequences are a bitch.

tooriskytoinvest's picture

We’re Fast-Approaching A Tipping Point Into A Permanent Financial Decline: The Shrinkage In Wall Street Is Just Getting Started, Bill Gross Boosts Treasury Holdings, More Than Half Of Republicans Prepared To Let US Default, Western Governments May Soon Borrow In Renminbi, Economists See Slower Long-Term Growth In America’s Future

JR's picture

The economy is a crisis now for anybody who wanted to do something, be something, save something, establish something, plan something. They are killing us. I already have heard comments from people – all stunned - who say they now know what it feels like to be a slave.

These are huge risks the Fed/DC combine are taking; they are flirting with Big Disaster economically.

SamAdams's picture

Yes, people are waking up, but the generational gap is causing an unexpected problem.  Kids fresh out of high-school, are taught by Hollywood media that the illuminati is a "cool trend".  Every pop star and magazine is dishing out pyramids and eyes of horus, it's the hot new fad!  This squelches the alarm that the illuminati are real and they plan to implement a one world, dystopian, fascist-socialist (later communist) society.  Of course to do that, the sovereignty of the USA has to be eliminated.  So, if anyone here thinks for a moment that our economy is going to improve, you haven't been paying attention to the big picture.  Yes DC and the FED are going to do exactly what their masters tell them and unless a greater awakening happens before the confiscation of weapons, it is all over.

tango's picture

Wouldn't you think that the Illuminati would get their act together after operating behind the scenes for 10,000 years?  I mean, how smart can a group be when every poster in pajamas on ZH knows the intimate details and exact timeline?  LOL   Clue - there is no global conspiracy, simply a rising tide of folks educated in Keynesian theory who think central planning is the key to happiness.   And now that it's proven a failure they can only flouder, act and react.

CunnyFunt's picture

I suppose then that Bolivia, Guinea and D.R. Congo are "fixed".


Cheap analysis ... could have gotten a better picture from a Yemeni cab driver.

SamAdams's picture

Rand is like the lazy son/grandson who inherited the family business, only to sell out to a corporate suitor.  Why work when your money is for free?  He will make a fine president!

Uncle Zuzu's picture

Saudi Arabia had a budget SURPLUS of $100 billion last year.  Population 28 million. No risk of Arab spring here.  Plenty of $$ to throw around, on my math $3,600 per head.  So call it $10 to $15,000 per household.  Or half that if the royals use the other half to buy gilded Maseratis.

Flakmeister's picture

Could you maybe provide a credible source for that claim?

Jack Burton's picture

Indeed! Many of this Israeli Blog Army appear on the ZH comments section to spread the Israeli propagnada should any ZH poster suggest Israel is a leech on US Taxpayers. As if they can counter the fact that American Tax Payers arm and fund Israel. Pull American tax dollars out of Israel 100%, and the state collapses totally in less than five years.

Flakmeister's picture

Well there you go, maybe you should have included it in your first post...

In case you haven't noticed, a lot of people simply make shit up here...

Mad Mohel's picture

I like how for Mali they write "Risk to gold/uranium" but for Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iran they forget to write, "these assorted red, black, and brown bastards are sitting on our oil."

Flakmeister's picture

In another kind of hotspot...

Imagine a lake so polluted and contaminated that spending just an hour on its shores would result in certain death, and the only way seen fit to deal with it is to fill the entire water body with concrete blocks to keep the toxic soil underneath from moving onshore. That lake is Lake Karachay in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, and it is considered by many to be the most polluted place on the planet.

As bad as Hanford is, the Russian topped it (bottomed it??)....

Dr. Engali's picture

We sure manage to fuck this place up.

Flakmeister's picture

The worst is yet to come...

Manthong's picture



Now we know where to exile the political and financial racketeers and their families after we finally round them up,  give them a fair trial and then convict them.


They can have a spa with natural hot springs.

trav777's picture

wtf the russians couldn't build a pipeline to ukraine or bulgaria or something??!?!

Super Broccoli's picture

what about broken spain, greece, UK, France and the rest of damn EU ?

Seer's picture

Folks there are more responsible, they're WHITE! </sarc> (and, they fund shitty reports like this- can't bite the hand that feeds you)

AgAu_man's picture

Note to Self:  "Stay the course:  Keep cash, job, low profile. Keep passports current.  Buy more Precious, Food, H2O, G+A, Meds, Tools, Firewood, coal.  Avoid paying 'voluntary/idiot surtax' with dumb traffic or parking violations -- not a penny to those bass-turds for their job security!  Maintain key friends, keep networking.  Ignore MSM, DC, Wall St.  Exhale, breathe deeply.  Go for walk/hike.  Plant a tree.  Stay the course."

Seer's picture

Keep a passport current AND plant trees?  And, firewood?  I cut, stack and shuttle the stuff, it's not exactly what I'd be looking to take along with me when I go traveling across borders...

Anyway, it's an otherwise sane post :-)

smacker's picture

US oft stated strategic policy to shift its prime military focus towards Asia (read China) can likely only be realised if it de-focuses on the likes of Iran and the Middle East, given that it hasn't got the military resources necessary to focus intensely on both regions. And what has Netanyahu got to say about this viz-a-viz Iran, given his publicly stated desire to bomb it.

But this may explain the apparent sudden change of plan recently when the US moved two carrier groups away from Iran & the Gulf back to Home Ports, as if the Iran/Middle East multiple crises had suddenly gone away. But they have not. Egypt, Libya, Syria, Qatar and other M/E sand pits remain in chaos.

There's also the small matter of US military forces now being sent to no less than 35 African countries to counter growing Chinese influence, reported over the weekend. But Africa is not Asia.

Is US overstretch ahead? I cannot help but get the impression that under Obama, US imperial foreign policy has descended into a mess.

Flakmeister's picture

Too rich:

Is US overstretch ahead? I cannot help but get the impression that under Obama, US imperial foreign policy has descended into a mess.

So where were you when Disk 'n W took up the crusade of rooting out Al-Queda in Iraq? Afganistan? My fuck, this in no defense of BHO, but you display zero credibility when you spout nonsense like this... 

smacker's picture

Methinks you read more into my comments than I wrote or intended.  Looking at US military deployment policy in recent decades, it has been able to manage its military resources to achieve its objectives, without major problems **whether you or I agreed with the policies or not**.

But of late we see serious problems emerging all over the world. I listed some of them. This looks to me like overstretch is on the horizon IF the US intends to continue being the global imperial master, hence my *?* previous comment. I may be wrong. Perhaps the inside thinking is that a few wars and more spending to match will kick-start the economy?

Flakmeister's picture

I stand by my statement, saying that "US foreign policy has descended into a mess on BHO's watch" is incredulous partisan bullshit...

Pop quiz: When did Egypt become a net imported of oil? Was it contemperaneous with any notable events?

smacker's picture

Flakmeister: Well, be my guest and stand by anything you want.

But let me give you one example of the recent odd situation that may have bypassed you, which looks like some sort of muddled policy in the Obama WH:

The US had one carrier group in the Gulf which was then increased to two in about 3rd Q last year. Then a third group was moved there together with some ~10,000 marines on board. Add to that all the support vessels and LHx vessels etc. God knows how many fighter planes that lot holds. There are few observers who didn't think this was a preparation for an attack on Iran if it failed to comply with demands.

About two weeks ago StratFor posted its latest map showing locations of US carrier groups and what did we find? The Gulf forces have now been reduced back to one carrier plus one LHx. All the rest are back in Home Ports. Result: Iran is now in a position to claim that it faced off the Americans and won. Iran decided to play war games in the Gulf to flex its muscles.

Likewise, as I said earlier, the apparent US strategy of focusing on Asia whilst it is also sending forces to 35 African countries, and the M/E is on fire.

NB: I'm not expressing personal views on the rights/wrongs of US foreign policy, merely that it seems rather muddled under Obama.

smacker's picture

Nope. It didn't go over my head. I spotted that you were trying to divert the debate away from Obama's seemingly muddled global foreign policy, by mentioning Egypt's trivial 2011 oil exports. Why not talk about the price of fish instead? It's just as relevant.{shrug}

Flakmeister's picture

You *really* don't get it...

What the fuck do you think they used for hard currency to keep food cheap for the masses? And what do you think happened when food inflation took over?

Anyone who spouts a avatar like yours is invariably a blowhard...

smacker's picture

Flakmeister: I actually get it a lot better than you and your socialist comrades might think. But at least you've now admitted that diverting our debate away from Obama's seemingly muddled global foreign policy with the risk of overstretch, and on to the price of food in Egypt, is your aim. When will you tell us about the price of fish? I can't wait. No, really.

What are you trying to hide? hhmmm.


Flakmeister's picture

You should note Trav's original comment below...

You are clearly an ideological windbag as you fail to grasp what was at the core of Egypt even when it is spelt out. Unless you think that US should either give them either more money or interfere even more directly....i.e. more overreach...


smacker's picture

yada yada yada.

Noted: Still no response from you about Obama's muddled foreign policy. {shrug}.


Best Regards

Your ideological windbag friend :-)

smacker's picture

WTF? That chart's nearly EIGHT years old!

Whatever, I investigated Peak Oil ~12yrs ago and have been peddling it ever since, yes really. So I hardly need you to educate me regarding US foreign policy in the Middle East.

However, since you are obviously pre-occupied by the subject, why don't you tell us why Obama is, for all intents and purposes, reducing US military presence in the M/E and Gulf/Iran (which btw has A LOT of oil/gas). Or is Obama's muddled foreign policy something you prefer not to talk about?

Do tell :-)