Can Geo-Political Knowledge Help You Profit?

Posted on August 29th, 2009 by admin in Geo-Politics

Here is George Friedman’s concise summary of what geo-politics really means:

Geo-politics assumes two things: first, that human beings organise themselves into units larger than families and that they have a natural loyalty to the things they were born into, the people and the places; second, that the character of a nation is determined to a great extent by geography, as is the relationship between nations. We use the term “geography” broadly. It includes the physical characteristics of a location, but it goes beyond that to look at the effects of a place on individuals and communities. These are the foundation of geopolitical forecasting.

Opinion and reputation have little to do with national power. Whether the US president is loathed or admired is of some minor immediate import, but the fundamentals of power are overarching. Nor do passing events have much to do with national power, no matter how significant they appear at that moment. The recent financial crisis mattered, but it did not change the basic geometry of international power. The concept of American decline is casually tossed about, but for America to decline, some other power must surpass it. There are no candidates.

Friedman is CEO of Stratfor, Inc., a commercial intelligence operation based in Austin, TX. His article in the New Statesman on 27 AUG 09 is fascinating and  illuminating. It briefly describes how geo-political constraints can bring about a strong partnership between Poland and USA.

We also read his book, “The Next 100 Years” which gives more details and intellectual backup for his ideas. One of the more interesting claims Friedman makes is that Turkey will become a real economic powerhouse. Now, Turkey has the #17 ranked GDP, while Poland has #18. Interesting, yes? The ETF for trading Turkey’s economy is TUR. Note how it has risen over this summer….

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