Geopolitical Update : Reporting from a Safe Haven in the Southern hemisphere ..

By Christian Takushi, Macro Economist – Mon 16 Oct 2023. (Public release delayed & truncated 17 Oct 2023)

For the first time since starting our geopolitical research boutique more than eight years ago we are covering a serious geopolitical conflict not from our Swiss safe haven, but from a South American country that has been on our radar screen since 2014. Some of you may have heard me speaking about it at one of our conferences and seminars: It is Uruguay.

No word on the Middle East?

I am purposely not commenting right now on the Middle East, because I feel most people are already overwhelming you with their views and knowledge. I feel I have said enough about it for years. Just this: the situation is so bad and so complex, there is no telling what will be happening in the next few weeks. Anything is possible – a muddling through on one side or a world war on the other. I have been writing and talking about this for years, so now it’s not the time to add to the noise. I rather address something much more practical: Location. Where are you? That is all that mattered in 1939. If you were stuck in Europe or you were in neutral Uruguay or Brazil made a big difference: almost .. of life or death.  We might be getting close to such a time again. As usual, those who overlook the Signs of the Times are overrun by the fury and speed of war. When war erupts “the” safe borders are shut down.

A List of the geopolitically safest nations

Since 2015 we are using our forward-looking global geopolitical macroeconomic research to assess the safest economies from a geopolitical-economic standpoint. A country with bad economic policies would certainly become geopolitically unstable over time, so actually a geopolitical safe haven status already implies a certain economic viability.

Most banks, financial experts and consultants prioritise taxes and lifestyle, which in normal times makes sense. As a result they recommend to European or Swiss investors places like Singapore, Dubai or Panama. Nothing against those amazing destinations, but they don’t dominate the top ranks on to the List of The Top 10 Most Geopolitically Safe Countries for the Next 10 years. Some of those highly favoured locations don’t even make it to our list. In this highly geopolitical period the world has entered, even Switzerland, my home country – the most formidable safe haven worldwide – needs to be smartly complemented.

Yes, even Switzerland doesn’t meet all main criteria – Why not? It is in the Northern hemisphere, heavily attached to the defenceless/troubled European Union and no longer seen as neutral by the West’s enemies. When it comes down to neutrality all that matters is how potential combatant nations see you, not how you see yourself.

On this list of “The 10 most geopolitically safe and economically viable nations over the next ten years”, Uruguay has been quietly climbing the charts. A few people recommend it for is territorial taxation and Punta del Este summer lifestyle, but that is not our angle. The vast majority of investors, economists and strategists are overlooking it, because they don’t expect the kinds of wars that we see on the horizon, most of which will be happening in the Northern hemisphere. If you are new to our newsletter, let me share with you that we have been warning about the dangerous rise in geopolitical risks long before Wall Street paid any attention to it. In fact when I quit my job as a senior banker at a great Swiss bank, most of my friends in the global investment industry (and they are many) were a bit puzzled if not concerned. One of the most common comments I got was … “Christian, I highly appreciate your out-of-the-box-thinking, but you are taking this geopolitics interest of yours too far – we are a serious institution and nobody here sees the geopolitical risks you see, nobody”. For years there were very few people interested in geopolitics, since 2022 there seem to be thousands of geopolitics experts and most seem to compensate depth of expertise with big money, marketing and data-mining. It actually works, it always does. People are predictable. That is why wealthy people tell me “Christian, no bank is recommending me to move part of my assets from ultra-safe Switzerland to Uruguay!”.

Let’s pause briefly to check something of practica relevance: What are your contingency plans? Have you prepared a back up location for your data, wealth, operations and possibly your family?

Why a back up location?

I have been warning since 2010 that 3-4 major wars are coming to the Northern hemisphere. Sadly one or two of these wars  may see the use of nuclear weapons and span the East and West (global conflict). Thus, military and economic centers of strategic significance will be targets. That is why Panama or Singapore or Dubai do not top our list. For military-strategic reasons. You don’t have to be a bellicous nation to be in trouble. My grandparents’ island of Okinawa got invaded, because of its strategic location and ..

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We will continue to monitor all nations on our list and make changes as conditions and risks change.

I personally feel that people should be advancing, testing and even beginning to implement their contingency plans. It is time.

By Christian Takushi MA UZH, Independent Macro Economist and Geopolitical Strategist. Switzerland – Mon 16 Oct 2023. (Public release delayed & truncated 17 Oct 2023)

Research made in Switzerland 

Geopolitical and economic conditions need close monitoring, because they can change suddenly. 

No part of this analysis should be taken or construed as an investment recommendation.

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