Well, hello again.
And for those of you who read all my forecasts at the beginning of the year and correctly deduced that if all the resource nations were going to do well and yet there would be problems in key middle east countries, it would therefore be a good idea to buy oil; congratulations.
Given that some areas of the world continue to look "interesting", I thought I would provide another update; to see whether those interesting events will progress into full shows or just fade away.
This is not a full review though, it is just an opportunity to report on the more significant developments of the last month or so.
The first of these is Spain. Ignoring the economic remarks and concentrating on the political, I said
July to September……… there may be some challenges for the leadership ( possibly both literally and metaphorically), ……… October and November are similar. Again there is some difficulty for the leadership, although the people are adapting well to changes and events. It may be a time when independence movements make a bit of a fuss again.
Really? Well fancy that. I’ll just take the extra brownie points then.
Things have got a little bit quieter on the Venezuela and N Korea fronts in the last month. However in both countries we are looking at long term changes.
Venezuela is facing a potential debt meltdown which will further trigger the situation. I expect events within the country to continue much as I originally predicted.
In N Korea I was right to forecast that despite all the sabre rattling there would be no outright confrontation to date. But I still expect the situation to become more tricky by the year end.
The real story, however is right where I expected it to be (though some elements are perhaps 6 weeks later than I suggested).: Saudi Arabia. That doesn’t however mean that my forecast timing is wrong ( it is only a couple of weeks outside my confidence interval), because events of the last week make it clear that things have been brewing for some time. In any case my November December forecast said
November and December see the continuance of the themes, there is some progress re women but this might be obscured by the sense of agitation in the country now. There may be sudden shocks regarding the leadership.
And, not only has it once again become apparent how significantly Saudi is caught up in the Yemen problems, but the resignation of Lebanon’s PM and curious announcement, together with the US visits to Israel and Netanyahu to London, all suggest a questionable direction of travel. The Saudi, Israel, Iran triangle is most definitely highlighted. The apparent sudden arrest of many Saudi elite this weekend just confirms my prediction and my view that the whole area is teetering on the brink of a crisis.
There are only two other areas where I feel there may be an increase in negative focus in the next two months.
The first is Mexico. I have predicted some drama; likely internationally focussed. In all probability this relates to the proposed wall; there are central American farmers protesting on the border already. The situation is likely to deteriorate.
The second is Greece. I expected some disagreements with partners by now, I thought perhaps with EU and/or Turkey. In fact the more recent news is that the country’s position is looking more positive ( although Greece has engaged in a bit of a spat with Spain). Maybe I am wrong ( I am not infallible). However what the forecast makes clear is that the 2017 year end trends are only the beginning of a greater issue in mid 2018. So perhaps this is a case of the real situation not being public.
My forecast for the next two months was:
November and December see a change of mood, with heightened emotions amongst the population. It is another phase of working out the differences between 2 factions, one wanting independence and the other preferring the status quo.
Although as I write there has been a small incident of shots outside the socialist office, there is nothing that seems to confirm my forecast. But as so many times before I won’t change my mind yet, we’ll just wait and see by the year end.