As we search for "the" driver of financial markets, we look at all kinds of things. We pore over government statistics, company financial statements, and analyst research, trying to find that one nugget that will give us a glimpse of the future. Today, though, we're going to turn to literature. Because it's in Solzhenitsyn's vision of Mother Russia that we find an almost chillingly accurate roadmap of how Russia is likely to reemerge onto the global stage. When President Bush famously looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul, what he saw - whether he knew it or not - was Solzhenitsyn's depiction of a true Russian leader.
Read this obituary essay from my friend George Friedman over at Stratfor. George puts Solzhenitsyn in historical context, using his life and writings to illustrate not just the evolution of the Russian/Soviet/Russian system but also the Western perception of Russia and what it says about future relations. It's uncannily ironic that Solzhenitsyn died just days before Russia forcefully punctuated its geopolitical prominence in going to war with Georgia. You can almost imagine Solzhenitsyn shrugging and asking, "What did you expect?" Over the Labor Day weekend, Russian President Medvedev used a press interview to lay out five points that will define Russian foreign policy going forward. Allow me to translate (loosely) from the Russian: "We're back."
You need to know where the West's relationship with Russia is heading. It's going to hit everything from energy prices to commodity markets to trade patterns. And nobody will do a better job of telling you where we're headed than Stratfor. When the war broke out, George's team was hours ahead of all the US media with situational awareness and analysis of what it meant. I strongly encourage you to click here for a special offer they make available to my readers. Included in this special offer is the latest in George's series of geopolitical monographs, on the Geopolitics of Russia. George is putting the final touches on it now, and I can assure you, this is something you simply don't want to miss.