Tags: ashish | advani | Global | Ripple | Effects | Egypt | revolution

The Global Ripple Effects of Egypt’s Revolution

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 08:18 AM

Today I want to speak to you about the events in the Arab world and what lessons U.S. lawmakers should draw from it.

The scent of freedom. The audacity of hope. I am talking about Egypt and what is unfolding everywhere in the Arab world and North Africa.

Back on Feb. 2, I had forecast that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will have to go and will end up in Saudi Arabia. Well, he is gone and is in Sharm El Sheik, a mere 815 miles from Saudi. So far so good. Next step: Riyadh.

What is exciting, although inevitable, is how this is emboldening the masses in Yemen, Algeria, Iran, Syria and other places where freedom has been throttled and free spirit crushed for decades. The youth have awakened and a renaissance of sorts is under way. Finally we have the masses take charge, show pride in their work and get rid of old fossil like leaders who only protected their right to riches and did not care for the citizen. This movement has only begun.

This spreading movement is being dubbed as the Revolution of the Youth. It is also a war being fought with modern day weapons – Internet and smartphones.

We have all seen one of the faces of the movement in Egypt. The name of Wael Ghonim, the Google marketing executive, is synonymous with the protests. It is now documented that the sparks that led to this revolt were initiated by Wael when he set up the first website where people could lodge their protests and speak freely against the state media and let the world know about their sufferings and feelings.

This movement was as much of a victory for mankind as it was for technology. The junta in Egypt did what they know best. Shut down the Internet and cell-phone coverage across the nation at the first signs of trouble. This time it didn’t work. The masses were stumped for a few hours and then figured out ways around the blackout. They used the mediums like Twitter and Facebook with workarounds to continue to garner support from the world.

Without the outcry of the world at the stifling of the common man’s voice, we wouldn’t have seen the outcome we now have. The remaining heavy handed leaders are now quaking in their boots from Riyadh and Tehran all the way to Myanmar and Beijing. This world isn’t going to tolerate the strangulation of the common man’s voice in dire times next time around.

So they better improve or else…

While it is fair to talk about the winners, it is also time to talk about the losers in this revolution. Al-Qaida and its henchmen better take note of the new dawn in this world. Whether direct or through proxies such as Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida was adept at gaining public sympathy in times of crisis while corrupt and selfish despots turned their face away. In Egypt, for the past decade, each time the masses suffered, the Muslim Brotherhood offered food and money in support. In exchange they wanted to rule and convert the state to a Muslim fundamentalist state.

The masses have spoken and take the baton in their hands. Instead of removing one despot for another, they took matters in their own hands and decided to rule the country themselves.

On the economic front, we saw some moves that were obvious and some that aren’t so obvious. We saw oil and gold prices decline steeply as the world breath a collective sigh of relief. So the risk premium was withdrawn.

We would have seen a lot more of this risk premium being withdrawn had our own leaders shown more courage in their ability to control the deficit.

Just from the events in the Arab world, I would call for a stronger U.S. dollar in the near future. Not in the short term, but in the long run. Fair trade, less corruption, growth of the middle classes are all good for trade and business. And this would lead to calm in the Middle East which would bring oil back into the mid $60 range.

But we have to trust our leaders to pour cold water on this momentum for the U.S. dollar. With no serious intent to reduce the deficit (I am talking about the White House plan for the next budget) I am afraid the shadow over the dollar continues to darken. The cost of interest alone will rise from 1.3 percent of GDP to over 3.2 percent of GDP by 2016.

So we should all take a lesson from the Egyptians, do the right thing and cut deficits immediately, not kick the can down the road for our debt-ridden children to face disaster which wasn’t their doing.

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Advani
Today I want to speak to you about the events in the Arab world and what lessons U.S. lawmakers should draw from it. The scent of freedom. The audacity of hope. I am talking about Egypt and what is unfolding everywhere in the Arab world and North Africa. Back on Feb. 2,...
ashish,advani,Global,Ripple,Effects,Egypt,revolution,freedom,us,economy,deficit
794
2011-18-16
Wednesday, 16 Feb 2011 08:18 AM
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