Middle East in Crisis: a Worst-Case Scenario

David Murrin is not the most optimistic person I have ever met.

An international oil tanker passes through the Suez canal in Ismailia, Egypt.
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An international oil tanker passes through the Suez canal in Ismailia, Egypt.

In his recently published book "Breaking the Code of History" the hedge fund manager who runs Emergent Asset Management writes that he believes by 2025 there will be a major conflict over the fight for commodities and resources.

Murrin is very bearish on the prospects for the Middle East and the knock-on effects for oil prices, stocks and the economy.

"The current unrest is far from benign and is set to deepen into 'regional civil war'" Murrin said.

"As well as civil war between Sunnis and Shias, there will be a conflict within a conflict to determine Sunni leadership," he added. "There will increasingly be two systems competing for control…In the Middle East the two systems are already clear, the Shias and the Sunni."

The conflict between these two ethnic groups is in its final stages and the winner will eventually control the entire region, according to Murrin.

Impact for the Economy

Recently we have heard Nomura predict oil could hit $220if oil supplies from Algeria where to go off line while Boone Pickens told CNBC that $120 a barrel was possible.

Murrin, unsurprisingly given his views on a regional conflict, sees oil hitting $200 a barrel.

"Middle Eastern crisis will lead to an 'energy shock' for the West, increasing stagflation," he predicted. "China to become closer trade ally with oil-rich Sunni regions as well as Iran."

"The crisis will burst the QE2 (second round of quantitative easing) bubble and shatter illusion of recovery that the US is trying to portray, sending equity markets into a destructive bear decline of some 30 percent," according to Murrin.

"The crisis will have serious implications for Western foreign policy since the leadership that will come to reign in the region will not be pro-Western," Murrin concluded.

His Emergent Asset Management is heavily invested in Sub-Saharan Africa but does not invest in Northern Africa.