What is the price of years of chaos and violence? Apparently it's $800 billion.
The Arab Spring uprisings will end up costing Middle Eastern economies about $800 billion in lost output by the end of next year as countries struggle to restore stability, banking giant HSBC estimated on Wednesday.
In a research report, HSBC predicted that at the end of 2014, gross domestic product in the seven hardest-hit countries - Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Bahrain - would be 35 percent lower than it would have been if the 2011 uprisings had not happened.
Ironically it was economic discontent that really fueled the Arab Spring protests and now everyone's economy is even worse than it was before which means there's less money for fuel and food subsidies... but governments have no choice but to spend money they don't have on social welfare.While that 800 billion is not coming directly out of our pockets, a number of the countries on this list do get by on our foreign aid, which means some of the 800 billion cost will be kicked back to us anyway.
HSBC forecast GDP growth in the Middle East and North Africa would slow to 4.0 percent this year, reviving only slightly to 4.2 percent next year, from 4.5 percent last year and 4.9 percent in 2011.
Meanwhile our GDP growth rate under Obama is below 3 percent. But we're still footing the bill.