Tomorrow morning, Elisabeth and I will set off on a 6-week trip around the world — both for our own education and, we trust, yours as well.
My primary goal is to explore some of the world’s most important regions (whether troubled or not), meet with everyday citizens in each country, absorb what’s really happening on the ground, explore how and why they’re moving their wealth … and then report my findings back home to you.
Elisabeth’s primary goal is a bit different: She wants us to enjoy ourselves! So, if there’s a work-fun conflict, you can bet Elisabeth will win most of the time.
First stop: Milan, Italy … and then three days with old friends in the Italian Alps.
Italy could be the financial epicenter of the next global debt crisis.
It’s the home of the largest troubled banks in the world today, including UniCredit S.p.A. (meriting a Weiss Safety Rating of D), Intesa Sanpaolo bank S.p.A. (D+), Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena S.p.A. (D-) and others.
Except for Greece, it also has the worst public debt burden in the European Union.
And for reasons I’ll tell you more about next week from Milan, it’s on the brink of a political disaster that could come to a head in October.
Our second stop is Istanbul, Turkey. Right now, all my contacts there tell me it’s calm and safe, even more so than before the recent attempted coup. But the caldron for future explosions and shocks is hotter than ever.
In fact, right now the country is engulfed in a massive purge of the military, the courts, the universities and the media.
Turkey is also the primary gateway for Jihadists on their way from Europe to join ISIS in Syria AND for Jihadists on their way back from Syria to launch terrorist attacks in Europe. Plus, it’s the primary gateway for over a million war refugees and migrants who have fled the Middle East.
I’ll sort through all this with my update from Turkey early next month.
Stop #3 is the Arabian Peninsula, the largest and richest in the world, with 500 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Oman.
While Saudi Arabia is, by far, the biggest among them, it also harbors some of the greatest political and economic risks. I’ll tell you more about these — and the consequences for U.S. investors — when I’m there.
From the Middle East, we go to East Asia to visit our son Anthony, who lives in Tokyo. We haven’t seen him since late last year. So we’re looking forward to some quality time together.
Before we fly back to North America, I also hope to submit another report from there.
And in between each of these reports, I’ll gather your questions or comments, providing the best responses I can.
In the meantime, feel free to comment here.
Good luck and God bless!