Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • The purpose of ISIS’ execution videos was to provoke the US and it worked.
  • Al Qaeda tries to appeal to all Muslims while ISIS is distinctly sectarian and anti-Shiite and hostile to Kurds, Christians and many others in the Middle East – if they all fight in a coordinated fashion, ISIS would lose ground.
  • Large parts of supposed territories shown on TV that ISIS controls are vacant desert.
  • This means that it has large numbers of foes in the region who will fight against it not because the United States wants them to but in their own interests.
  • ISIS is a direct outgrowth of America’s invasion of Iraq and the ruinous political decisions to disband the Iraqi Army and de-Baathify its democracy.
  • It is impossible to battle ISIS without strengthening Assad.
  • Sanctions have a poor track record – one study found that sanctions only succeeded a third of the time between 1945 and 2005.
  • Unlike Iran, sanctions against Russia are not coupled with the threat of force and is far less isolated from the global economy. Russia supplies a third of the EU’s gas supply, which is why EU sanctions have been largely toothless.
  • Cutting Russia off from Swift, the network used by more than 10,500 banks, would have far-reaching consequences – it was profoundly damaging to the Iranian economy in 2012.
  • Without a solution to the Ukrainian crisis, Europe’s outlook looks grim; mired in recession, facing a secessionist vote from Scotland with anti-European populists rising in every column.

Henry Kissinger at Kissinger Associates said:

  • In 5 wars since 1945, the US has only achieved its objectives in the first Iraq war and, in a limited way, the Korean War.
  • The West provoked Russia in Ukraine, which can never be just another country.
  • Putin believes he is head of a potentially weak country with a 3,000 mile frontier with China, a strategic nightmare, and thousands of miles with Islam, an ideological nightmare.
  • We are in for an extremely difficult period.

Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures said:

  • Solar and wind solutions are naive and simplistic because they only produce power when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.
  • Like black swans, our solution is some unknown improbable path.
  • It is impossible to innovate without screwing up – innovation means risk, and risk means failure.

Watch the video at or read the full transcript