Thursday, January 27, 2011

Egypt and the Giant Problem

We'll see if slamming Egypt back into the Stone Age will be enough to quell the democracy movement in that oldest of all civilizations. Or will they have to resort to the mass murder of their citizens - bringing peace through bloodshed.

Iran demonstrated that it is possible to put a lid of popular protests if you are (a) brutal enough, (b) you have a closed society with little outside contact, and (c) your economy is not dependent on international goodwill. Countries will by Iranian oil no matter what they do.

Egypt's monarchy is not so lucky. Two of their three largest companies (combined over $7 billion in market cap) are in telecommunications. At this moment it appears that both companies may no longer exist. Then there is Egypt's tourism industry. With the exception of battle-hardened war correspondents Egypt's hotels will be empty as long as the government is oppressing its citizens.

Did You Say Egypt's Monarchy?
Why, yes I did. Hosni Mubarak has been president for over 30 years and intends his son Gamal to be his successor. Blood succession is one of the hallmarks of a monarchy. If the rumors the Gamal Mubarak has fled the country are true then he will probably get one of those old timey king nicknames - Gamal the Chicken.

No comments: