May 17, 2015

How Islamists' March on Baghdad Will Impact Your Wallet and Portfolio

The low, ominous rumble people hear is probably a shockwave from the devastating political earthquake in the Middle East.

There may not be a level on the Richter scale that expresses the punishing effect of the rapidly escalating recent events in the Middle East. But right now Iraq is the epicenter of a seismic shift in political and military relationships that will send shockwaves around the world.

For instance, in the USA, just because the nation is "protected by two oceans", doesn’t mean Americans won’t feel the jolt. Consider the following potential possibilities:
  • Iraq was expected to provide 60 percent of OPEC’s output growth for the rest of the decade. What will happen if insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seize oilfields or refineries or both?
  • Just the damage from fighting could take Iraq oil off the market for years. With gas prices at an all-time high, will Obama be pressured to approve the Keystone pipeline?
  • Will the United States finally get serious about energy independence and open federal land to fracking and increased production?
  • How will the combination of $5/gallon gas and Middle East chaos affect November’s election and Democrat control of the Senate?
  • Oil prices are only one area where ISIS may have an effect. Right now, large caches of U.S. weapons have already fallen into ISIS hands. What are the chances of ISIS downing an airliner? Will airline and travel industry stocks, and the economy in general take a nosedive?
  • The Obama administration may reach out to Iran in a joint effort to stop ISIS. How will this affect Israel’s thinking with regard to Iranian nuclear weapons? Will Israel be ready to go it alone, possibly sparking a new conflagration?
The repercussions from just one of these scenarios have the potential for far-reaching global, political and financial impacts. –Source: Contributed by Ralph/Author Unknown

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