Geopolitically safest country in the world: Uruguay

By Christian Takushi, Macro Economist – Sat 11 Nov 2023. (Truncated release on Tue 14 Nov 2023  to serve the general public, without sensitive information)
Dear reader

The process of assessing the 10 safest nations geopolitically is a daunting and complex task. Ultimately it is a dynamic and moving target involving economics, financial markets, military trends and geopolitics. It is daunting, because we look forward not backwards. Before Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Switzerland and Iceland  topped our Geopolitical Safety Country List.  While all Top 10 used to be safe on a similar scale, this is no longer the case.

Before I start kindly allow me to say it is the 11th of November, a day in which many of us around the world remember all those who gave their lives in the battlefields of WW1 and more recent conflicts.

The world seems to have entered a strange and painful period in human history. Those of you who follow my geopolitical macro research for several years may recall that we see the strong convergence of global geopolitical and macroeconomic trends during this decade.

This is one of those moments in our lives when we can clearly sense the result of the OVERLAP of so many unaddressed crises, imbalances and conflicts of the past 45 years. We can clearly perceive the deterioration across the Northern hemisphere.

The current war waged in the Middle East is not just another war.  This war is different, it is an accelerator – revealing the positions of nations regarding the Middle East and Israel. And as more nations decide to project their geopolitical influence over the Middle East, it is likely to accelerate the convergence of more simmering conflicts.

I personally think Uruguay, and especially Punta del Este, is one of those few safe places where many people will try to flock to in the coming years. In some ways, this nation is far from perfect, but looking at civilised & stable places .. it is the furthest away from a possible world war you can get on earth for the time being.

A special and unusual day 

WW2 is so far away – for many people in the West war is no longer in their “collective memory”. They only know what media conveys or how war should be.  As I listen to people from all walks of life I realise many people expect our modern wars to be “managed” and to be fought by the book.

Why do we expect our wars to be managed affairs? I think it is, because most of our world today has become used to our governments controlling and managing ever more things: house prices, stock prices, interest rates, inflation rates, the rate of growth of the economy, what we can read, watch, buy etc. .. and by default I guess also how wars are waged. Wars ought therefore to be a civilised affair and “who gets killed in a war” should follow our rulebooks.

But truth is, real wars are brutally unpredictable and in the battlefield soldiers on all sides are under combat stress. Few things go as planned in war.

Unfortunately most decision makers and business leaders think our managed conflicts by the book are real wars. They aren’t, real wars are total wars. And we are headed for them again. The number of casualties will overshadow WW2. 

As wars increase .. your location will matter

As I have been warning since 2010 of coming wars, may I ask you: Where are you? Do you have second bases? Are they strategically chosen?
Where we are based will soon matter more than we can currently ascertain and appreciate. Unfortunately over 90% of those who care about their domicile do so mainly out of tax considerations. This is the great trap of our age .. as the tax focus and income maximisation will lead and expose millions to great danger. 
Location is all that mattered in 1939 – and the taxes became irrelevant over night. Actually some of the very few that had the foresight to leave Europe before WW2, left for countries they chose in order to optimise their taxes and cash flow again. It was a dire mistake. They should have chosen the new location focusing primarily on Geopolitical Safety – i.e. being safe from the terrible war that was coming.
Thanks to their geopolitical foresight my grandparents left Okinawa, Japan, before WW2. Almost half of the civilians on their native island would be killed during the invasion of Okinawa by US forces in 1945, the bloodiest and final battle of the Pacific War.

Never take it personal .. stay flexible 

My grandparents’ decision to leave their beloved homeland saved them and their children. While wars are hard to predict, terrible wars have many foreshadows and harbingers. You need to read them and take them seriously. I guess my own family history has made me more sensitive to taking early warnings seriously.
Imagine what my family was spared: The invasion of Okinawa killed almost half of the entire civilian population. The ferocity of the battle resulted in an estimated 241’686 deadA total of 179’611 Okinawan’s lost their lives, of which 30’000 had been conscripted and forced to fight along the Imperial Japanese Army. Schoolboys were among the conscripted. 
If you were stuck in Europe during WW2 or you were in neutral Uruguay or Brazil, it made a big difference, potentially 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.

Our Outlook remains unchanged

The current war in the Middle East where Israel is de facto fighting on three fronts (Lebanon, Syria and Gaza) is something we have been expecting since 2018.
Since this war hasn’t taken us by surprise, we can afford to keep our eyes on issues of strategic relevance.
Allow me to recap some of our key predictions for this decade ..
Since 2015 we foresee (we keep these forecasts unchanged!)
  1. Financial demise of the West under a mountain of debt and inflated asset bubbles. Extreme vulnerability of USA, Europe and Japan will invite aggressions
  2. Fast aging across the Northern hemisphere drives Old-Dependency-Ratios higher and leads to a massive Squeeze in Real Disposable Incomes in all key economies (USA, EU, Russia, China, Japan etc) and to let in immigrants, except Japan
  3. Political Instability to spread across the Northern hemisphere (from USA to China)
  4. Conflicts and over 4 Large Scale Wars in the Northern hemisphere
  5. Exodus of capital and persons to the Southern hemisphere, but top safe havens will close their borders quicklySadly most of our steadfast predictions from 2015 have come to pass or are unfolding

Flawed beliefs keep millions inactive and potentially stuck 

Many people across the West are angry, worried and growing tired of bad news, but they think none of what is coming will ever affect them.
So they have not prepared yet contingency plans for their assets, businesses or families. Thus, they assume all these crises will come and go, leaving Europe and North America unscathed as the safest places to live and work. I humbly think this is highly unlikely and somewhat wishful thinking. It is almost a repetition of millions of Europeans living in denial during the 1930’s. Very few moved in time – and even then sadly many set wrong priorities or relied on flawed analysis, chosing the wrong country.
I hear a lot of people in Europe and North America saying things like this:
  • “The whole world is a mess – there is no place to go”
  • “If there is WW3 nothing will be left behind, what is the point in taking any measures?”
These two statements are flawed and wrong. Truth is there are places in the world that are better off than Europe or North America. Some of them are likely to overcome the next 5-10 years much better than Western Europe and North America. 
People like to believe WW3 will kill everyone, so there is no point in doing anything about the catastrophic decline in our Security that still lies ahead. 
My objection: Modern tactical weapons have changed the Mutually Assured Destruction scenario and there could be a WW3 and even a WW4, each killing roughly 1/3 of mankind in our main scenarios.
I even hear highly educated people say
  • We have lost our Economic Stability, but it is the same everywhere. Most nations are indebted and have over-printed their money.”
That is another widespread but flawed belief. Truth is, it is mainly the developed nations of the West that have embarked on irresponsible fiscal and monetary excesses for 45 years now. Many countries in the Global South and East are in a much healthier shape than the West (see table). It is the so-called rich nations and poorest nations that are in deep trouble and debt. To them we have to add some basket cases of extreme Socialism impoverishing once wealthy economies: Venezuela, Argentina etc.
Before Covid the Peruvian Central Bank’s foreign reserves were so robust, they were higher than their total outstanding USD debt. Most emerging markets are not as frugal as Peru, but they are fiscally more responsible than the USA or Western Europe. Some of the most disciplined economies are found among Emerging Markets.
Furthermore many emerging economies didn’t print money to pay giant Covid handouts, like we did. Their refusal to follow our irresponsible example led to public anger and as a result voters elected radical left-wing populists in some of those emerging countries. Voters there wanted the same big Western handouts they saw in social media.

Why are so many smart and wealthy people being caught unprepared? 

It is quite simple actually. The financial industry likes to sell, so they offer clients what they want. What do high-net-worth individuals want? As a whole these four things
  • Tax Havens
  • Capital Gains
  • Personal Safety
  • Glitzy lifestyle and glamorous shopping opportunities/events
Lacking foresight .. Geopolitical Safety is not amongst these top criteria. Even with two wars near Western Europe, financial executives are using Peace and Safety indices to send their clients to places like Dubai. Safety for them is personal safety – say driving & walking in an inner city. Places like Geneva, Zurich, Singapore and Dubai tick all those four criteria. The problem is that they are all in the Northern hemisphere, not far away from strategic military targets or close to future war zones.
Although I have spent many years warning bank executives and central bankers that they need to put geopolitical safety at the top of their priorities this decade and inform accordingly, they hesitate on that. Not because they don’t get it, but because of the massive regulation post 2008. The new state-driven financial system offers them barely any incentives to take initiative and think out of the box. The state relies on total control and has already mapped out what risks matter. The well-meaning state is even controlling prices and interest rates. Thus, the massive takeover of the financial industry by our Western states to reduce (controllable) risks will ultimately ensure that the system will be unprepared for massive external shocks – thus clients are poised to lose a lot of money.

Radioactive air trapped in the Northern hemisphere?

I am aware that the following thoughts could be somewhat frightening to some of you, but it is part of my duty to analyse these risks and to convey the results. To conceal this aspect would be irresponsible. I am here to think the unthinkable and to do it rationally.
Alert 1) Nuclear contamination from tactical weapons deployed to the main conflict zones and hot spots would unfortunately reach much of the Northern hemisphere.
Alert 2) Sadly, the most popular tax havens and private banking centres – Geneva, Zurich, Singapore, Dubai etc. – could be reached by radiation within a few hours or days and may have to “shut down” for months or years. Who will want to get contaminated and quarantined just for collecting gold bars from the bank?
Alert 3) People in the Northern hemisphere are unlikely to get free access to the Southern hemisphere.
Alert 4) Global trade and travel will be drastically affected – Persons and goods from the North are likely to be contaminated and restricted to cross the Equator.
Europe could be a quarantined continent for a considerable time. The exact duration would depend on the types of weapons used. Geiger counters at all border crossings will check if a person has been exposed to radioactivity – i.e. contaminated air, persons, objects or food.
The radioactive air could spread across the Northern hemisphere contaminating everything along its path. Something very few people know: Contaminated air is very likely to get trapped within the Northern hemisphere. The air masses from the North and South barely mix along the Equator.  Several physical phenomena and the earth’s rotation are thought to contribute to this separation of hemispheric air masses.
Actually, even today, the air in the Southern hemisphere is a lot cleaner than the air in the Northern hemisphere. The difference is amazing.

10% of Cash and Gold in the South

At the very least people should rethink their Asset Diversification – i.e. where is my wealth located? Almost all wealthy families I have met in my 34 years in the global financial industry have over 85% of their assets clustered in the Northern hemisphere. Tragically in the economies that will be most ravaged by war and conflict, or those that have the most to lose from the collapse of security over maritime routes, food and energy supplies. Their strategic diversification has been optimised for the pas 30 years, not the next 20 years.

I think that investors that already hold 10% of their assets in the Southern hemisphere are on the right track. To hold 10%-30% of their gold in the South also makes sense for several powerful reasons we have explained in recent years. 

With Geopolitics dominating the world –  Which is the safest country ?

The geopolitically safest country in the world is in the Southern hemisphere. It is Uruguay. The country is seen by many foreigners as a safe financial hub and an ideal base from which one can do business in Latin America America.  Although dynamic economies such as Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Brazil don’t have the political stability of Uruguay, several South American nations are climbing the rankings since 2016 and have made it into the Top 10 of Geopolitically safest Nations.
In the coming years Geopolitical Safety trumps out Political Stability. Political Stability has disappeared from much of the West anyway.
Uruguay – often deemed the Switzerland of South America – is four times the size of Switzerland and is very likely to avoid and stay away from the coming WORLD WARS and large scale wars. Our analysis looks 5 years ahead  (but should cover 10 years barring big surprises) and needs to be continually reassessed.
Back in 2010 the Top 5 countries on this ranking were all in Europe. In 2015 3  of the Top 5 were still in Europe. By 2020 only 1 out of the Top 5 was still in Europe. In this year 2023 none of the top 5 is in Europe.
The years 2014, 2016, 2021 and 2022 brought a lot of change to these global geopolitical safety ranking.
Actually with the rising tensions between China/Russia and the West, New Zealand is likely to be downgraded further very soon. The new global military alliance of the United States encompasses the UK and Australia (AUKUS). Any war between China and the USA ..

This research report has been truncated here. If you wish to read the full report or subscribe to our newsletter, you can write to

Other sub-titles in this report:

The most peaceful & safe nations preferred by most bankers are not the geopolitically safest nations

Combine safe havens if you can: Switzerland & Uruguay

Investment opportunities in Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Botswana, Ghana and Indonesia. Keep any eye on Argentina next week! 

Fotos: Having this South American nation on the number 1 spot for over a year, we’ve made it our new back up base. I recently took some pictures myself for our readers:

Caution: Every case is individual

The ideal country for a back up location is at the end of the day a very personal and individual choice and every country has its own culture and ethnic mix. No country is perfect and even your country of choice needs to be monitored. Culture and race-mix can matter to many families: Therefore people from Asia may prefer Singapore or Mauritius as a back up location even if they are not top-ranked. We may find that for an Indian family with businesses in Australia the island of Bali is the best option, although it is not on our Top 3.

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

Warning and Disclaimer: No person should make any decisions solely based on our research. Changes to strategic diversification of assets or residence need thorough analysis. Every person and every family is a different case that needs separate attention. The opinion of your spouse, children, a close friend, banker and tax adviser should be weighed.  Finally to move assets or to have a residence permit you need to find reliable local experts, lawyers and a bank. That also needs time.


By Christian Takushi MA UZH, Independent Macro Economist and Geopolitical Strategist. Switzerland – Sat 11 Nov 2023. (Truncated public release on Tue 14 Nov 2023  is to serve the general public, but important sensitive information was deleted)

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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