A Dozen ‘Black Swan’ Events That Could Occur In 2018 – OpEd


Many now talk about “black swan” events, occurrences that are of low probability but that could happen and radically change the situation. Now, a group of Russian analysts has come up with 12 such events for the coming year, a list worthy of attention less because these things will happen than because some in Moscow consider them possibilities.

They appear in the latest issue of Profile (storage5.static.itmages.ru/i/17/1227/h_1514367367_4768426_660dc5d31c.jpg) and include:

1. The adoption of a new RF constitution giving the leader lifetime incumbency and absolute power

2. The resignation of Donald Trump under threat of impeachment

3. A worldwide financial crisis because of insufficient liquidity given the tight money policies of most central banks

4. The implementation of harsh new US sanctions on Russia leading to a collapse of the ruble, massive capital flight, and economic collapse

5. The imposition of draconian social policies after the presidential election, including raising the retirement age and cutting other social benefits

6. The outbreak of a war between the US and North Korea

7. The failure of Russian athletes to be among the top ten teams at the South Korean Olympiad

8. A move by FIFA to pull the World Cup out of Russia and transfer it to England

9. A decision by Moscow to launch another small victorious war against another neighbor

10. The overthrow of the Maduro regime in Venezuela with Russia thus losing its investment there

11. The continued rapid absorption of private companies and banks by state corporations

12. The rise in the value of the bitcoin to 200,000 US dollars

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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