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Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, has a note out musing on the events that could end the surprisingly robust market rally, and gas prices are not one of them.Geopolitical events — think the bombing of Pearl Harbor, September 11, the Cuban Missile Crisis — account for a substantive number of market sell offs that can last for months.
She notes that the fallout following Lehman Brother’s collapse was particularly long lasting, and half of the Dow’s worst days occurred during the recent financial crisis.
Sonders gave investors a list of the seven biggest black swan-type threats to the economy now, which centre largely around unrest in the Middle East.
From her note:
- Iran’s nuclear/missile programs, support for terrorist groups, and involvement in Lebanon, [Syria], Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East revolts
- North Korea’s nuclear/missile programs, nuclear proliferation, ongoing leadership transition and acts of provocation
- Overall terrorist threats including Al Qaeda core, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and homegrown terror and plots
- Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, nuclear aspirations, ties with Iran and ties with FARC
- Pakistan and Afghanistan: Al Qaeda, Taliban and Haqqani networks, security of nuclear arsenal and Pakistani tensions with India
- Russia’s grand ambitions, energy prowess and Arctic military modernization
- China’s rising power, economic prowess, political clout and military buildup