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The Arab spring

It is difficult to comment on the remarkable events in the arab world without a political angle and it does seem rather premature to discuss the finance/business aspect at a time when millions are seeking their rights and freedom. Rather as if one was to be preoocupied with the loss of the Formula one bore in Bahrain

But these are interesting times and there are a few thoughts that spring to mind. I will start with just one for now.

Where will the Tunisias and Egypts of this world turn for inspiration? Gleeful commentators have pointed out that 82% of Egyptians have a “negative view of the US” but is it more complicated than that?

Over the weekend there were large protests against the islamist sects in Tunisia and I suspect that those involved in the revolution certainly do not want to swap one form of dictatorship for another (even worse) one

Their inspiration has not been Bin Laden or the Ayatollahs. It has come from the freedom delivered by that most western of innovations, the internet

The alternative powerbases to the US are the EU and China. Without commentating too much on the pros and cons of these two economic units, I wouldnt be at all suprise to see the strong commitments to freedoms, unity of purpose and dynamism of the US trumping the delights of Brussels or Beijing.

And I believe Obama can reach out

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