27 September 2016   1 comment

For about a year, Saudi Arabia has been waging a relentless economic war against Iran by refusing to cut its oil production and thereby forcing oil prices to fall significantly.  The economic war is simply Saudi Arabia’s response to the growing influence of Iran in Middle Eastern affairs.  But the war also imposes heavy costs on Saudi Arabia.  Long known for its generosity toward those who work for the Saudi Government, Saudi Arabia has been forced to do an about face and has reduced government salaries by 20%.  The Saudi game may be becoming too risky to pursue.

Nigeria has been wracked by the terror activities of Boko Haram in the northeastern corner of the country, as the group tries to impose its own version of Islam on the population.  Nigeria has also experienced a sharp upswing in violent acts by the population in the southern delta region, as that population has become more demanding for a fairer share of the country’s oil revenues.  A third zone of conflict has recently developed as a nomadic people known as the Fulani have been forced out of their traditional habitats by the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram.  Nigeria does not seem to be able to stabilize its diverse and dynamic populations.

A highly simplified ethnic map of Nigeria

Image result for map ethnic groups in Nigeria

The International Monetary Fund under the leadership of Christine Lagarde has gone through a very interesting transformation.  Ordinarily, the IMF has always been viewed as an unabashed supporter of neoliberal economic policies.  But the IMF has begun to publish studies which seem highly critical of the support of harsh economic policies.  The most recent publication of the IMF on trade suggests that some of the staff at the IMF have a very critical view of the benefits of free trade.

Posted September 28, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

One response to “27 September 2016

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  1. Hi,Vinnie. Please get the spelling right – Yoruba, Abuja – maybe the map was in a different language? You also gave the Igbo people lots of territory; others may not appreciate that!



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