Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Netanyahu’s alternative to the Iran nuclear deal is divorced from reality – his predictions about Iran’s nuclear threat have been wrong for 25 years.
  • Without a nuclear deal, Iran in 10 years will have 50,000 centrifuges, massive stocks of highly enriched uranium, new facilities, thousands of scientists and technicians, and a heavy water reactor that can produce plutonium.
  • Graham Allison at Harvard said the West’s maximal demands and rejection of potential agreements in negotiations with Iran in 2003 to 2005 led to Iran going from being 10 years away from producing a bomb to only months away today.
  • Expect more trouble in oil-rich countries, like crackdowns, repression and chaos, a la Venezuela.
  • Barclays says Venezuela’s debt is even riskier than Greek debt due to the nationalization of private industries and its inefficient exchange rate policy. IMF predicts that Venezuela’s economy will drop 7% in 2015.
  • In the most developed continent in the world, Europe, nationalism, conflict and even preparations for war are back in play.

Moises Naim at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says:

  • Venezuela’s elections are rigged, its judiciary run by the government, and its national assembly operates with no checks or balances.
  • Parliamentary elections won’t happen in 2015 unless the ruling party knows it will win, so expect potential riots over food shortages.

Mark Falcoff at American Enterprise Institute predicts a civil war in Venezuela because the government is polarizing and is not embarrassed to use violence.

Anne-Marie Slaughter at New America said:

  • No Iran nuclear deal would be the worst outcome because it will be seen as having been blocked by the US at the behest of Israel and the coalition to keep sanctions on Iran will fall apart as other nations will lift their sanctions, the US will be stuck with its, and Iran will progress towards a nuclear weapon.
  • The Nemtsov demonstration shows that Putin is again facing significant demonstrations at home.

Joseph Nye at Harvard said:

  • The Middle East is going through the equivalent of Europe’s 30-year war, with religious divisions, state divisions, and non-state groups all battling: it takes 2 or 3 decades for these things to work themselves out. We cannot manage this situation any more than we could have managed the French Revolution after 1789.
  • Russia is in serious decline. It is a one-crop economy, with the terrible demographic problem of fewer and fewer Russians – the average Russian male dies at age 64. Russia has rampant corruption so any attempt to reform it is blocked.
  • Declining societies are often more dangerous than rising ones – Russia is more dangerous than China. Austria and Hungary were the only major powers that really wanted WW1 because they were both in decline.

Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal said:

  • There is no zero hour in diplomacy, so if the current Iran nuclear deal falls through, people will regroup and rethink and with oil at half of what it was when negotiations began, more economic pressure on Iran will make them rethink.
  • The Sunset provision telling the Iranians that in 10 years they are free and clear to build a nuclear weapon is a tremendous defect and shows that the West continues to move towards the Iranian position.
  • The nuclearization side of Iran’s program only stopped in 2003 because it found itself having to choose between a nuclear program and keeping its regime.
  • Iran is economically vulnerable but is winning everywhere it looks, throughout the Middle East, helped by an absence of American will to defend US interests in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.
  • Many of Putin’s political opponents have met untimely deaths. When Russians start paying attention they will realize that their enemy is not in the West but in the Kremlin.

Peter Beinart at City University of New York said:

  • Whether oil prices stay low or stay strong, it would be impossible to return to the current sanctions’ coalition, build a much stronger one, or retard the progress Iran will make in the interim.
  • Iran has a very nasty, brutal, malevolent regime but it is not ISIS and is a country with the capacity to become a stable democracy – 20,000 Jews now live in Iran with 11 functioning synagogues. Most Americans believe that Iran and ISIS are dissimilar threats to the US.
  • Russia is a brutal regime.

Hans Rosling at Karolinska Institute said:

  • In the last 20 years, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty in the US and Sweden halved.
  • 80% of the world’s 1-yr-old kids have got measles vaccines.
  • The most important change in the world is the size of families, and follows child survival, education for girls, getting out of poverty.
  • Europe’s family size has gone from 6 in 1800 to below replacement level today and its population is now decreasing even despite immigration. Asia and America’s family sizes have fallen to 2, and half of India has 2 children or less. Africa is down to 4.5.
  • The UN predicts that by 2050, Europe’s population we be the same, America’s almost the same, and both Asia and Africa will increase 1 billion.
  • By 2100, the populations in America and Europe will be the same, there will no more increase in Asia, and two more in Africa. There will be twice as many people in Africa as in the Americas and Europe combined, and 80 percent of the world population will live in Asia and Africa.

Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler said:

  • 1,000 years ago you had to be the king or the queen to affect a country or region, 100 years ago you had to be the industrialist or rubber baron, and today anyone can.
  • The 1.8 billion people online in 2010 will increase to potentially 7 billion in the next 5 years.
  • Twitter and apps democratize the power for anybody to make a living
  • $15 billion in 2015 in crowd funding will increase to $100 billion.
  • What matters in successful entrepreneurship is how big is the idea, because everything else is basically the same.
  • To become a billionaire, help a billion people.

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