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Fear has taken a grip over the markets as images of rioting in Egypt dominate television screens and headlines.
The Proverb quote, “Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't" is applicable because of the many unknown questions surrounding the "what ifs" of Mubarak stepping down, who would take his place and if the Suez Canal will remain open.
I decided to speak with one of my close contacts, who many CEOs coordinate with when working in the Middle East. He is often refered to as the "Mid-East Middleman".
His name is Mac McClelland, CEO of Center House Limited, which provides business development and business advisory services in the Middle East and Asia. McClelland is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Middle East Luxury Marketing Council and the former General Manager of Enron Middle East. I have been calling Mac since the days of "Shock and Awe" and his insight and depth of contacts into the region is why so many C-Suites call on him to help navigate through the volatile region.
Egypt is going to face some serious issues with its growth, David Dorsey, who runs the Middle East business for Alden Global Capital, said Monday.
Dorsey has been on the ground in Egypt since Thursday morning researching and trying to get ahead of the actual news, he said.
"I'm just walking around the city, I think that's the most important thing, to see really what is happening, what are people thinking, what are locals doing," Dorsey said. "If you just look around, no businesses are open, so you have to assume there is no GDP being created. So you have to realize Egypt is going to have some problems with their growth. Everybody expects it to grow 5 to 8 percent, but you have to realize that's probably not going to happen this year."
Food stocks in Egypt are running dangerously low.
You can now walk away from your house in Spain—even if it has negative equity—just like you can in America.
Historically, the so-called jingle mail phenomenon—where borrowers walked away from mortgages when they were underwater—was relatively rare in Spain. The reason was simple: Spanish banks had 'full recourse' to go after the defaulting creditor's futures assets—often for decades.
ExxonMobil beats the street with fourth quarter profits of $1.85 per share—up 45 percent from the same period last year. [CNBC]
Violence and looting are major concerns in Cairo. [Financial Times]
Goldman's Blankfein gets a $3.6 million raise. [CNBC via NY Times]
"Global shares continued to slide on Monday , while Europe's benchmark Brent crude was just short of $100 a barrel on fears political unrest in Egypt could spread among regional oil-producing nations." [Reuters]
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who took power after his father's death,has signaled an openness to greater reform. [Wall Street Journal]
Sanofi and Genzyme have signed a nondisclosure agreement to discuss a possible merger. [DealBook]
In the movie business, never write off Harvey Weinstein. ("Remember the benevolent Bruce Willis character in 'The Sixth Sense' who wandered through the whole movie not knowing he was dead? That was Harvey Weinstein, except for the benevolent part.") [NY Times]
One of the odder things that has come to my attention today is that back in February 2009, Gamal Mubarak \(the son of soon to be former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak\) met with a US Senator and gave his advice on how to address our financial crisis.
"Despite today's nearly double-digit unemployment rate, 4 in 10 unemployed Americans expect to get a job in the next four weeks and one in three underemployed have the same expectations with respect to obtaining a full-time job."
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the jobs report and the current dilemma of long-term unemployment.
CNBC's Patti Domm and Jeff Cox discuss the recent GDP numbers and what factors have been affecting it.
Investors give and investors take away, and nowhere has that been more true lately than in value stocks.
Even after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs, closely followed contrarian Marc Faber keeps sounding the alarm.
Eugene Fama, the University of Chicago investing researcher, once again warned investors against the lure of active management.
Fares Noujaim, an executive vice chairman at Bank of America has left the company abruptly.