This Week in Geopolitics, February 2016

The Strategy of the United States

February 22, 2016

What is striking about American strategy is its paradoxical nature: The fact that each solution to a threat poses a new threat. Since its birth, the United States has sought to defend itself. The US approaches each threat with a constant outward movement of attention and resources…and now, it straddles the world. This means that the political, economic, and military postures of the United States have tended to be offensive.

Why the President Isn’t All That Important

February 15, 2016

As an outsider to the investment community, I am constantly struck by its obsession with politics… and particularly with the role of the president. Attention and money flow to candidates in the belief that there is a unique importance to the president in shaping the republic’s future.

The Middle East: The Way It Is and Why

February 10, 2016

Most investors know what an emerging market is. Some might even be able to offer a pretty good definition of what puts the “emerge” into emerging markets. But ask about the Middle East, and no one really knows what it is.

The Lurking Crisis of Bank Deposits

February 1, 2016

The Italian banking crisis has moved to its next inevitable stage. European institutions have started to struggle with the question of whether and how to protect deposits in Italian banks. Italy adopted new EU-mandated policies regarding bail-ins in January. The rules for these bail-ins require a bank’s shareholders and debt holders to absorb losses before taxpayer money can be used to assist a bank. Deposits of more than 100,000 euros ($109,000) could be affected, but those containing less...