Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Category: Iraq

Worldwide youth unemployment stuck at record levels, outlook for the Middle East is especially poor

Youth Unemployment Global

Click on map for a large image

We reported last year on the terrible outlook for youth unemployment around the world (read the story here).  The map above is an update on this global problem.  The situation is particularly bank for the Middle East and Southern Europe.  The are no indications that this problem will go away any time soon.


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China is hooked on Mideast oil, which helps build a good case for a Petroyaun

China Oil Transit Routes 2013Source: Zerohedge (click on map to view larger size)

Last year China became the world’s largest oil importer, surpassing the U.S. for the first time.  The U.S. reliance on imported oil has been declining ever since shale oil production began to rise in 2008.  We remain skeptical on the long-term viability of U.S. shale production, but that’s a different story.  You can see our posts on the subject here and here.  Going back to China, what does this mean for Middle East exporters?

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The idiots guide to understanding the Middle East

Idiots Guide to ME

Image source: @DismantleFed


For everyone out there who’s confused as to what’s going on in the Middle East, @DismantleFed put together a nice graph summarizing all the players, who they play with and who they don’t play with.  Still confused?  Well, this is the Middle East.  Click on the graph above to get a full-size version.



HSBC mulls Iraq exit as management continues to flip-flop on its strategy

HSBC Bank, which took a hit on its earnings last year to settle allegations of money-laundering in the US, is still trying to stay focused after several poor decisions made over the past decade.  See our earlier posts here and here for details.  Management’s latest strategy move is trying to determine whether or not to stay in Iraq.


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Kurds sell oil in defiance of Baghdad, dispute to escalate

Kurdistan stopped oil exports earlier this year in an attempt to resolve the dispute with the central government.  It was also under pressure from international oil companies to come to a lasting agreement in order to avoid having their contracts declared void by Baghdad.  International oil companies are heavily invested in Kurdistan, which is seen as having a more favorable business environment and less corruption than Baghdad.  Last week, Kurdistan began selling oil on international markets again to return the snub it received from Baghdad regarding the 2013 budget.


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