Tough times in Tehran and New York.
Economic crisis: Iran regime feels the pinch. Strategy Page:
November 16, 2008: Economic problems are getting worse. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where much of Iran's foreign trade is handled, local banks are refusing to do business with the 10,000 Iranian trading firms based there. This has caused delays and cancellations of Iranian imports (over $9 billion worth from the UAE last year) and exports. This is being felt by the rule elite in Iran. There, the large extended families of the clerical leadership live the good life, and the goodies come in via the UAE. The sudden shortages of iPods, flat screen TVs, automobiles and bling in general, has been noticed in Iran, and is not appreciated.
The falling price of oil is producing another problem, national bankruptcy. The government admits that if the price of oil falls below $60 a barrel (which it has) and stays there (which it may, at least until the current recession is over), the nation will not be able to finance foreign trade (which is already having problems with increasingly effective U.S. moves to deny Iran access to the international banking system), or even the Iranian economy itself. The latter problem is largely self-inflicted, as president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad desperately borrows money to placate his few (heavily armed and fanatical) followers (about 20 percent of the population). The rest of the population has been in recession for years, and is getting increasingly angry over Ahmadinejad's mismanagement. Some 80 percent of Iran's exports are oil.
Dead tree. Belmont Club: 'At the core of the newspaper’s problems is a decline in the money stream. Their traditional, revenue-generating print vehicles are dying. And they haven’t figured out a way to make money off of the Internet. It’s not just a newspaper problem, but the big flagships of journalism have enormous fixed costs which combined with declining revenues are dragging them into the depths.'
TSOM: Obama to disappoint those who count on America. The Spirit of Man:
Expect 4 years of humiliation and sadness for the United States around the world. Four years in which even the US allies won't welcome and trust the United States leadership and judgment. Hussein O had told us he'll make the US look better around the world but thus far he's got every one worried especially those whose lives depend on America's global leadership.