Investors Beware: The Geopolitical Hotspots of 2010

by: Prieur du Plessis

2009 has been characterized by turbulence in three Islamic states - Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence, these theaters will also be the focus of intense conflicts in 2010.

Source: Stratfor Global Intelligence (via YouTube), December 28, 2009.

As far as social unrest is concerned, Economist.com said:

If the world appears to have escaped relatively unscathed by social unrest in 2009, despite suffering the worst recession since the 1930s, it might just prove the lull before the storm. Despite a tentative global recovery, for many people around the world economic and social conditions will continue to deteriorate in 2010. An estimated 60 million people worldwide will lose their jobs. Poverty rates will continue to rise, with 200 million people at risk of joining the ranks of those living on less than $2 a day. But poverty alone does not spark unrest - exaggerated income inequalities, poor governance, lack of social provision and ethnic tensions are all elements of the brew that foments unrest.

The graphic below shows the risk of social unrest in 2010, as compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

2010-geopolitical

Source: Economist.com, December 28, 2009.

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