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Oil Importing Arab Economies in BIG Trouble: That Means EVERYBODY Will Be, as well

COMMENT: In the For The Record series about the Pig­gy-Back Coup(s), we not­ed that some observers feel that the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood may be hop­ing for the ascent of a sec­u­lar gov­ern­ment, the fail­ure of which would pave the way for their assump­tion of pow­er.

An Asia Times arti­cle fore­casts the col­lapse of the oil-import­ing Arab economies. This might well bring the Broth­er­hood to pow­er and/or pave the way for a more tra­di­tion­al form of fas­cism to man­i­fest itself in those nations–driven by the extreme social dis­lo­ca­tion of eco­nom­ic cat­a­stro­phe.

“Hump­ty Obump­ty and the Arab Spring” by Spen­gler; Asia Times; 6/1/2011.

EXCERPT: I’ve been warn­ing for months that Egypt, Syr­ia, Tunisia and oth­er Arab oil-import­ing coun­tries face a total eco­nom­ic melt­down (see Food and failed Arab states, Feb 2, and The hunger to come in Egypt, May 10). Now the Inter­na­tion­al Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) has con­firmed my warn­ings.

The lead­ers of the indus­tri­al nations wait­ed until last week­end’s Group of Eight (G‑8) sum­mit to respond, and at the ini­tia­tive of Unit­ed States Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma pro­posed what sounds like a mas­sive aid pro­gram but prob­a­bly con­sists main­ly of refur­bish­ing old pro­grams.

The egg has splat­tered, and all of Obump­ty’s hors­es and men can’t mend it. Even the G‑8’s announce­ment was fum­bled; Canada’s Prime Min­is­ter John Harp­er refused to com­mit new mon­ey, a dis­so­nant note that rou­tine diplo­mat­ic prepa­ra­tion would have pre-empt­ed.

The num­bers thrown out by the IMF are stu­pe­fy­ing. “In the cur­rent base­line sce­nario,” wrote the IMF on May 27, “the exter­nal financ­ing needs of the region’s oil importers is pro­ject­ed to exceed $160 bil­lion dur­ing 2011–13.” That’s almost three years’ worth of Egyp­t’s total annu­al imports as of 2010. As of 2010, the com­bined cur­rent account deficit (that is, exter­nal financ­ing needs) of Egypt, Syr­ia, Yemen, Moroc­co and Tunisia was about $15 bil­lion a year.

What the IMF says, in effect, is that the oil-poor Arab economies — espe­cial­ly Egypt — are not only broke, but dys­func­tion­al, inca­pable of earn­ing more than a small frac­tion of their import bill. The dis­ap­pear­ance of tourism is an impor­tant part of the prob­lem, but short­ages of fuel and oth­er essen­tials have had cas­cad­ing effects through­out these economies. . . .


3 comments for “Oil Importing Arab Economies in BIG Trouble: That Means EVERYBODY Will Be, as well”

  1. I was afraid of fas­cism ris­ing over there soon, too. Thanks for post­ing this, Dave. I hon­est­ly feel that not enough peo­ple appre­ci­ate the work that you do.

    Posted by Steven | June 3, 2011, 5:15 pm
  2. Few peo­ple appre­ci­ate just how impor­tant Egypt is to one of the most impor­tant regions on the earth. This could end up being as pow­er­ful as the 1978–1981 coup in Iran. This scares me.

    Posted by brad | June 7, 2011, 3:28 pm
  3. It could be argued that the Weimar govt. was allowed to exist for so long only to build a more thor­ough repug­nance for democ­ra­cy among the Ger­man pop­u­lace. So Pla­to’s argu­ments against democ­ra­cy are once again ‘proven’ in the Mid­dle East, not because democ­ra­cy inevitably leads to dic­ta­tor­ship, as Pla­to said, but because events are being forced into that mould by long-term fas­cist oper­a­tions.
    See­ing that a sec­u­lar govt. is a need­ed stage in the even­tu­al estab­lish­ment of fas­cist theoc­ra­cies is clar­i­fy­ing, con­sid­er­ing the present con­fu­sion of mid­dle-east­ern events. The sim­ple raw sequence of sec­u­lar author­i­tar­i­an to sec­u­lar democ­ra­cy to fas­cism is worth a show, Dave.

    Posted by Dwight | June 12, 2011, 9:11 am

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