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Diary of a Hedgehog: Biggs' Final Words on the Markets by Barton Biggs

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No Bull

In January, I travelled to Dubai to speak at a conference sponsored by a Saudi firm, The Family Office. They have a very systematic and rational approach to managing the affairs of wealthy Middle Eastern families and I was very impressed. The audience was mostly Arabs and it was sophisticated and responsive. It was my first visit to Dubai in seven years and I loved it.

They have done a beautiful job with the city, the roads, and the airport. The presentations at the conference were excellent. Gazing at night at a skyline in which a third of the elegant buildings are totally unoccupied is an enlightening experience.

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January 26, 2012

No bull? Maybe a lot of bull! Anyway I was just in the Middle East and heard mucho from “reliable sources” (including two former area heads of MI 6 and the CIA) that was contrary to the conventional wisdom. Not completely sure what it all means but anyway here goes.

I was told that in Syria the insurrection is being underwritten, supported in a big way by the Gulf States and the Saudi Sunni establishment because they view Iran as their mortal enemy and the Assad regime as the creature of Iran. The regime in Syria is Alawite (an offshoot of Shi’a Islam) and is a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

On the other hand, they say the backers of Assad are Israel and the far right Sunni Wahabi Arabs, an unholy alliance if there ever was one. Israel ...

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