Five noteworthy trends in the casino sector in the next ten years

  1. The emergence of hospitality REITs such as MGM Growth Properties could conceivably be an impactful nascent trend in the US domestic casino sector.
  2. The opening of Circa in late 2020 and the opening of ResortsWorld in early 2021 could portend the emergence of Downtown and North Strip properties as major industry players. IPOs of Stevens or Fertitta properties appear probable in due course and could supercharge this trend.
  3. The development of high speed rail connections from Los Angeles in the coming decade could ensure that Las Vegas remains a major destination well into the future.
  4. Domestic regional hubs such as…

The Past and Present of Foreign Policy Sausagemaking in Washington

  • Despite proclamations of commitment to good governance made by most elected officials in Washington, the national political dialogue where foreign policy is concerned has been largely driven by the pervasive influence of funders and think tanks for at least half a century. Certain milestones such as the 2010 Citizens United decision and the colloquially-termed forever wars of the 21st century have served to reinforce this reality yet it is far from new and is not limited to one political party or governmental bureaucracy.
  • In practical terms, the revolving door between Massachusetts Avenue and Foggy Bottom as well as between Pentagon…

Four international economic trends to watch in the next five years

  1. While various other sectors hold significant promise, the electric vehicle industry seems to be the one with the largest odds of drawing a sizable return on investment. Despite Tesla drawing the bulk of the market share at present, Asian legacy automakers such as Nissan are performing strongly, GM is putting in strong competition on an international level and Volkswagen could conceivably bounce back from its recent woes through its ambitious EV plans. It is also worth noting that local startups in markets such as China could provide acute long-term vulnerabilities for foreign automakers in due course. …

Fundamental Facts on the World Stage

  1. There are more politically liberal figures in any country who tend to be more idealistic alongside more conservative figures that tend to be more hard-nosed. Being a conservative does not mean being suicidal, and over three decades of abortive engagement with Iran displays the rule of thumb that conservatives drive a harder bargain yet often last longer and deliver better.
  2. There are few truly implacable adversaries save for the extremist elements that are on occasion at the very least tacitly tolerated in any event. …

Realities and Opportunities in the Middle East

  1. The fundamental question in a rational foreign policy in any nation is whether a course of action is in the national interest. As displayed by the marked expansion of Russian and Chinese influence from Syria to Sudan that has been among the sole practical deliverables produced by the expenditure of at least $8 trillion in the Middle East, continuation of the status quo is unlikely to meet the aforementioned core litmus test. The second litmus test is to correctly identify allies and adversaries. …

Possible Global Flashpoints in the Biden Transition Period

  1. The Horn of Africa has emerged in a matter of weeks as the most significant potential wild card where global tensions are concerned. Trump’s atypical remarks during the announcement of the formalization of Sudan-Israel ties portended problems ahead, especially in light of the response by Ethiopian officials. That said, the issue that eventually boiled over was the dispute between the incumbent leader in Addis Ababa and his predecessors, who rule over a semi-autonomous region near the border with Sudan and Eritrea. The decision by the government opponents to fire missiles at the Eritrean capital of Asmara initially threatened to derail…

A Guide to Realistically Resolving International Tensions

  • The situation in Yemen increasingly appears to be the ripest for resolution at the time of writing. Reports are emerging of major drawdowns by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, perhaps to preempt anticipated criticism by Joe Biden. In any event, Sana’a has recently been quite explicit regarding its adoption of a de facto dual track policy of intensifying diplomatic efforts with friend and ostensible foe alike while maintaining the heightened tempo of military operations. It is not impossible that Sana’a could serve as a key that opens more than one door.
  • The passing of Saeb Erakat, who was the Palestinian figure…

Pragmatic Paths Forward on the World Stage

  • International challenges tend to be interrelated and resolving or accentuating one often snowballs onto others. There are few on the world stage, including those who are often vilified, who would be conceptually opposed to sitting at a table that is properly set. The manner in which the table is set determines the feasibility of drawing necessary participants to it.
  • Yemen appears to be the most straightforward international challenge to resolve given various factors such as the bipartisan consensus in Washington, the economic issues in the Gulf states and military and diplomatic advances by the Sana’a-based Houthi-led government. …

Pragmatic Problem Solving on the World Stage

General Foreign Policy

  • As a rule, there is no such thing as a hardliner of the sort DC describes. In every country, there are more liberal actors who are more open to dialogue and more conservative actors who are also open to dialogue but tend to drive a harder bargain. Those conservatives often remain in power longer and tend to be better able to deliver.
  • Dealing with countries like Iran, China and Russia is often akin to dominoes, push one in a certain direction and others follow. Simply put, regime change in those sorts of places is not going to…

Pragmatic Problem Solving in the Middle East

  • At its most fundamental, problem solving in any context often takes on a snowball or domino effect, with efforts in one corner impacting those in the others. This dynamic is especially the case in the Middle East, where most major challenges are largely interconnected. At the core lies the dispute between the US and Iran, which is one of the three marquee situations on the world stage alongside those involving China and Russia.
  • The Israel-Palestinian conflict increasingly appears to be at an inflection point at the time of writing as the sort of militancy that has been common in Gaza…

Shahab

Political sector veteran in the private sector

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