Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • ISIS’ strategy is to draw the US into a ground battle in Syria, and hope that a protracted war would sap US strength.
  • David Fromkin wrote that terrorism cannot always be prevented but can always be defeated.
  • India has 97 billionaires – third most in the world.

Fawaz Gerges at the London School of Economics said:

  • ISIS is self-destructive and strangling itself by pitting itself against the Muslim mainstream and public opinion, and Arab public opinion – ISIS should be defeated from within.
  • ISIS represents a fundamental challenge to Arab and Muslim societies, not to American and Western societies. Only Arabs and Muslims can deconstruct  ISIS’ twisted interpretation of the faith – this is a civil war within the Islamic world.

Marwan Muasher at the Carnegie Endowment for Intl Peace said:

  • ISIS have shown their true colors – no sane human being, let alone Muslim, would accept somebody to be burned alive and filmed on TV.
  • The only way to defeat ISIS in addition to the military campaign is for intellectual and religious leaders to openly and proactively talk about a pluralistic society.
  • Building a permanently stable and prosperous Arab society will take a lot more than military strikes.

Rula Jebreal said:

  • A lack of inclusion of moderate Muslims opens them up to being exploited by extremists.
  • Western invasions alone have not worked against terrorism.
  • Europe stripped its 20 million Muslims of a sense of belonging, thereby making them an easy target for radicalization.
  • Saudi Arabia and ISIS share the same ideology, so we need political and economic reform.

The OECD ranks the US 32nd of 39 mostly affluent countries with 38% of 3-yr-olds and 66% of American 4-yr-olds enrolled in preschool. The OECD average for 4-yr-olds is 84% enrolled. Belgium, and France enroll nearly all of their 3-yr-olds.

China claims it educates its children for 3 whole years before primary school, with 68% in pre-school enrollment in 2013 and an expected 75% in 2016.

The Perry Preschool Project study of 123 at-risk African-American children in 1962 found:

  • 77% who went to preschool graduated from high school versus 60% who had no preschool.
  • Preschool graduates had a median annual income of over $5,000 higher than the non-preschoolers.
  • 36% of preschool graduates had been arrested more than 5 times versus 55% of the non-preschoolers.
  • The approximately $15,000 investment per child yielded a total public savings of almost $200,000 not spent on welfare programs, jail, etc.

Stephen Sestanovish at the Council on Foreign Relations said:

  • Putin’s success in Crimea has only benefited him at home, save the diplomatic isolation and economic costs.
  • We are approaching a new Cold War. Ukraine is the most dangerous overall security situation since the end of the previous Cold War.

Stephen Cohen at Brookings said:

  • We are in a new Cold War, potentially much more dangerous than the last one because its center is right on Russia’s border, not in Berlin or in Ukraine.
  • The split in Europe will last.
  • Putin did not initiate the Ukraine crisis, did not want it and wants it ended but not by capitulation.
  • The only people interested in exploring the only way out are Hollande and Merkel and they are not very strong. The war parties in Washington, Kiev and NATO are now running this and we may be heading towards a Cuban missile crisis-like confrontation with Russia.Neither Russians or Americans have an appetite for this.
  • The demonization of Putin is beyond any factual basis and leads to amnesia among people who should know better. Henry Kissinger said this demonization is an alibi for not having a policy.
  • Kleptocracy is not a characteristic of the Russian economy, which was created by Yeltsin and inherited by Putin and which had its biggest grain crop in decades this year. Russia manufactures a lot of stuff.

Chrystia Freeland said:

  • Putin ultimately wants power and money, having established a personal kleptocracy in Russia.
  • Putin does not have a master plan, but can use extreme nationalism as a new source of legitimacy – it is a house of cards.
  • Russia is not the Soviet Union and is not a very strong regime. Its economy is weak, Putin’s oligarchs are unhappy, and the Russian bourgeoisie is now destroyed.
  • Putin’s Crimea excursion was done impulsively but worked better than he thought.

Bill Browder at Hermitage Capital Mgmt said:The Russian economy is a crook sitting at a world gas station – more than half of all the country’s revenues come from fuel exports.

  • Russia does not make stuff that people want to buy and anything they consume has to come from the West.
  • Everybody in Russia is trying to get their money out as fast as they can.
  • The Ukraine war was created as a distraction from the kleptocracy and economic problems, and Putin has to keep it going and invade other countries to keep the distraction.
  • Putin is entirely rational, just operating with a different set of motives and constraints than we are – throw all morality out the window when it comes to his decision making. Putin will kill people, start wars, destroy the Russian population, if it enhances his position, makes him wealthier or saves him from being arrested.
  • Putin started out as a kleptocrat who wanted to accumulate as much money as he could.
  • When the Russian people started to get mad at him Putin feared the same fate as Yanukovych and so started the war in Crimea which earned him an 88% approval rating.
  • Going into eastern Ukraine is not the same as going into Crimea and Russia is taking casualties, which Russians don’t want.
  • The Russian economy is crashing because of sanctions.

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