After class Monday one of my students from the Middle East asked me a question. At the end of every semester, I give an advice lecture. One theme is that all the foreign students should go home after completing their studies. Less competition and better opportunities in the developing world. However, such advice came up in Monday's lecture. The student wanted to know if he should go home to a country with high inflation and the likelihood of a devastating attack from a foreign power.
One technique for responding to tough and unusual business problems is to look for similar situations. I told the student to study Brazil during the period of high inflation and look for industries that were able to maintain profitable growth. How to handle a possible war was a more challenging question. I recommended that he study Lebanon, which has had many conflagrations and look for industries that were able to grow. Industries that appear in the analysis of both countries would be candidates for further exploration.