Mubarak resigned, journalists packed their gear, and CNN went back to talking about obesity statistics – but Egypt's troubles are far from over. After weeks of protests (leading to strikes and, understandably, no tourists), the country's economy took an estimated 1.5 billion-dollar punch to the face.
This appears to be the tip of the iceberg for Egypt's economical woes, however – as you'll read in the piece below from STRATFOR, a global intelligence company I've come to know and love. Mubarak's gone... as are his son's banking reforms. Resurrected is the military's practice of borrowing money from banks with no intention of paying it back – likely leading to a debt level of bailout proportions. The nation's not about to find the extra $16 billion a year it needs in its couch cushions.
While everyone talks about democracy in Egypt, STRATFOR gives you the real scoop on what's going on behind the scenes – and what military rule means for Egypt, its economy, and the rest of the world. I highly recommend that you <<join their free email list here>> to get weekly intelligence reports.
When protests started in Egypt last week, mainstream news outlets cried "democracy!" and compared the situation in Egypt to the Berlin Wall and Tienanmen Square. Meanwhile, STRATFOR (an intelligence company I've followed for years) spoke of a different possibility. At the time it may have been counterintuitive for most institutions to draw parallels to 1979 Iran, but my friend and the company's founder, George Friedman, produced an internal document that raised that possibility. Days later, news outlets began asking questions about groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, and realizing there could be other forces behind the unrest than simple calls for Western-style democracy.
While the jury is still out on the Egypt situation, I have always found STRATFOR's analyses to be thought-provoking, unconventional and, more often than not, spot on in the end. Included here is that first Intelligence Guidance on the budding unrest in Egypt. Originally meant as an internal guideline for their analysts to understand and evaluate events, it was made available to STRATFOR subscribers – and now to you. It's an excellent example of how folks at this intelligence company begin thinking about a new event. I highly recommend <<joining their free mailing list>> to keep up on all things relevant in global affairs.
By the way, congrats to those of you who ordered George's new book The Next Decade. George tells me it will debut at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list next week. Nice forward-thinking on your part!