Pulse: Middle East


EconVue Spotlight - Iran Podcast & China's New Long March

As some of my more patient friends know, I have been toiling away at a book on Chinese monetary history during the Interwar period off and on for some years.  Immersing myself in the public and private words of the historic figures of the 1930’s has perhaps sensitized me to the propensity of even well-intentioned leaders to glide into chaos.  That which is unthinkable inexorably becomes inevitable.
 

The Oil Market Rout

The rout in oil markets continued in November, the markets worst month in 10 years. Oil prices West Texas Intermediate (WTI) down by 22%, to their lowest level in 13 months. In the past few months, oil markets have moved from balanced to oversupply, which sent oil prices (Brent) crashing by one-third from a high of $86/bbl at the beginning of October to under $60/bbl at the end of November. 

The Unsustainable Economics of ISIL

ISIL is not a juggernaut, according to a recent article in Politico by UC San Diego economics professor Eli Berman and associate professor Jacob Shapiro at Princeton, "Why ISIL Will Fail on Its Own".  Oil revenues in particular are not sustainable: