Looming Mideast Recession Could Ignite Social Unrest. The economies of the Middle East and North Africa will collectively shrink 5.7 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast.
In April, the IMF had forecast a regional contraction of 3.3 percent.
The Arab Gulf oil-exporting nations will lose 7.1 percent of their GDP in 2020 due to low oil prices in addition to the costs of caring for COVID patients and the effects of an economic shutdown, the fund forecasts.
Oil importers, such as Egypt and Morocco, will suffer from the loss of tourists and diminishing remittance payments from nationals working in other countries.
“Lasting labor market scars, together with worsening poverty and inequality, could create stability challenges for governments in the region, particularly considering the high level of unemployment in some countries,” the IMF warned. “In addition, social unrest could be rekindled as lockdown measures are lifted.”
The region’s governments can use the crisis to make crucial reforms, such as improving education and vocational training, redesigning subsidy systems to target those most in need, and selling or streamlining unproductive government-owned businesses.
“Fail to achieve that and the region will remain at risk,” said Jihad Azour, the IMF’s regional director, who urged that reforms focus especially on women and youth.
TREND FORECAST: This is old news to Trends Journal subscribers, as we had forecast this trend when the virus lockdowns began some four months ago. As Gerald Celente says, “When people lose everything, and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”
Major cities across the United States saw violent crime soar in the past month: Milwaukee homicides are up 37 percent this year; murder rates in New York, 23 percent; homicides in Los Angeles, 11 percent respectively.
Across the globe, crime waves are going to skyrocket and economies will plummet. Civil wars will erupt, spreading toward regional wars as they intensify.
We are doing our best to help subscribers prepare for a frightful future. Thus, we are now featuring renowned martial arts master and personal safety expert Brad Steiner with practical advice on what to do to stay safe along with our trends forecasts on how to prosper.
Nigeria Devalues Its Currency. Nigeria’s central bank has devalued the naira, Nigeria’s currency, from 307 to about 380 to the U.S. dollar.
The devaluation is part of the country’s attempt to unify exchange rates to make itself more attractive to foreign investors.
Nigeria has long maintained several different exchange rates – one for interbank loans; another for citizens paying school tuition or medical costs in other countries; and yet another for Muslims making pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, among other countries.
Oil brings Nigeria half of its government revenue and more than 90 percent of its hard currency. Setting a single exchange rate could help stabilize an economy sliding into recession and fulfills a pledge made in April, when the IMF granted Nigeria $3.4 billion in aid.
The naira was trading at 450 to the dollar on Nigeria’s black market last week, and the country’s central bank has targeted 500 to the dollar as a likely official rate by year-end.
From Dirty Cash to Digital Trash. Spurred by the assumption that cash is germ-ridden, people have been forsaking conventional money during the pandemic and using plastic credit/debit cards much more frequently.
Visa has reported the use of its cards in the U.S. doubling during the pandemic. The credit card issuer is working with governments in Greece, Ireland, Malta, Poland, and Turkey to raise the limits that can be charged to its cards in a single purchase.
Tappit, a British company that provides cashless purchase apps and gadgets, is promoting its products with the slogan, “No more dirty cash.” The use of plastic payment cards has surged in Britain over the last four months, and Tappit signed £20 million worth of new deals in May and June.
There is no medical evidence that cash carries the COVID virus, but because it passes among many hands, people can be wary of touching it.
Shoppers in Sweden have been forsaking cash at such a pace that the government has asked banks to keep bills and coins circulating while officials try to figure out how a cashless economy will work. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Riksbank is testing an e-currency that would be backed by the national government; other countries are planning or launching similar tests.
TREND FORECAST: Cash transactions will continue to decline. Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age and die. The “Dirty Cash to Digital Trash” trend is newly born.
As nations go deeper into debt and sink into fiscal crisis, we forecast they will dissolve current currencies and replace them with newly named digital currency… thus artificially diminishing their debt loads and deficits.



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