This post is about everything else.
I sold my German shares for a very nice profit of 11% today. When I bought them I didn't think that they might rise so fast. The hopes that the media now puts into the coming meeting are impossible to satisfy. The basic problem of the Eurozone is not public debt but economic imbalance. Just like China sells stuff to the US without getting anything in return (except for green paper that will soon be worth less), so does Northern Europe sell stuff to Southern Europe. But Southern Europe doesn't have a reserve currency like the US does. They simply can't pay; and that's a problem for all of Europe; and for the world.
The ECB will not abolish itself. The Euro won't go away. But we are looking forward to a crisis that will last about 10 years. Mrs. Merkel is simply correct: this is a marathon and we just passed the 10th kilometer or so. In the long term (15 years+) I were optimistic about this specific, isolated problem. But there are other problems.
The Russian “guided” democracy is in trouble - just like the Arab autocracies are. But I fear the Russians (as a nation) more than the Arabs. Not only have they a massive amount of nuclear weapons, but more importantly, a significant proportion of the Russian population has a dangerous attitude. They regret the loss of power that followed the fall of the Soviet Union. Free and fair elections in Russia might not bring forward religious fanatics, but it might very well bring forward a nationalistic ensemble of parties which desire global respect and intend to gain it by showing strength. This is potentially worse than a 'balanced' cold war because the only way for the new Russia to show strength is its military; their economy is just not competitive. (I can't help but think about this right now.)
Russia is about to aim nuclear rockets at the US's rocket defense systems which are stationed in Eastern Europe. Russia has just sent a carrier group to Syria. They still supply Iran with weapons.
And Iran is a spark that can spawn a firestorm. Their president repeatedly said that he intends to wipe Israel from the map. Usually that's not a problem because he can't. Well, this is about to change. Israel is small - really small. If any civilization can be eradicated with a few nukes, Israel can. And the Israeli democracy has not exactly grown stronger in recent decades.
After the second world war both Israel and Germany said "never again". But we meant different things. Germany never again wants to be the commiter; Israel never again wants to be the victim. If Israel has learnt one thing from the Holocaust then that inaction is worse than action.
Many Israelis would rather attack than accept a nuclear Iran. And we might well get both. First a conventional airstrike that turns out to be not successful at destroying Iran's nuclear capabilities. Next an Iranian population that stands together against a common enemy and now really wants to have the nuke. Next an Israeli population that now really fears the Iranian bomb. A Israeli nuclear strike that turns out to be successful or not but makes the new democratic Arab states declare war on Israel. A US that supports Israel. Russia that sees a way to show strength.
An resulting oil crisis that makes it impossible to solve the European economic problems. A failing Europe that spawns a world-wide depression; collapsing banks all over the world. Strange presidential candidates in the US that suddenly don't look so funny anymore, but rather dangerous. Social unrest in China which cannot sell goods to the depressed US economy anymore. A Japan hard-hit by the faltering US economy. A Japanese debt crisis that throws whole Asia into turmoil. An Afghanistan with no western economic support makes it impossible for a nuclear Pakistan to catch the ghosts it has once so happily called. Terror attacks on India in the name of Pakistan. And I haven't even mentioned (eratic?) leaders in North Korea with the capability to vaporize Seoul and a constant need for outside help. Dignity and pride are dangerous in their own way.
There are so many hot spots on the planet right now and many of them in possession of nuclear weapons. We have societies that depend so much on the internet which is so easy to disrupt and partly destroy. Perhaps China manages to isolate the US by agreeing to limit their contribution towards a warming atmosphere. Would that be good or bad?
Abstractly speaking, the fall of the last remaining superpower in combination with unprecedented technological advances, unsolved conflicts from the last world war and the aftermath of the strangely forgotten cold war .. It almost seems the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union have been the silence before the storm.
And it seems we will be able to follow most of what will happen in real time. Isn't that interesting! I couldn't have invented a better story myself. There's is no single bad guy; everybody has his reasons; I used to like credible, consistent stories.