Two decades of geopolitical analysis

Updated January 2019 I’ve been employed to analyze geopolitics and the world economy for about twenty years now, which means, alarmingly, I’ve got a track record. (Most of my publicly-available articles are now posted on this blog.) What did I get wrong, and what did...

Is a wave of sovereign defaults on the way?

The sovereign debtor that would win hands down a nomination as “most likely to fail” is surely Greece, which has just threatened to default on its next payment to the IMF. But Greece could be a distraction – history suggests sovereign default risk is rising elsewhere,...

Can Russia change direction?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and I go way back. In the late 1990s, as a young political risk analyst, I traveled down to Houston to talk to one of the oil majors about a large investment they were planning to make in Venezuela. “Venezuela is risky,” I confidently...

Venezuela, oil prices and political risk

Following the extraordinary people power uprising that toppled the government of Ukraine, and after weeks of protests in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, many are asking, “will Venezuela be the next Ukraine”? There are asking the wrong question. The question is, will...

A new wave of expropriations?

With oil prices near $60/barrel, it seems like the best of times for oil companies. But it easily could be the worst of times. Recall the tumultuous sequence of events that followed the last global surge in commodity prices, during the 1960s and 70s. In the mid-1960s,...