Although most international risk managers have become accustomed to operating in the “new normal” that has prevailed over the past 4 years, 2013 is likely to prove a real challenge for a number of reasons. With the fiscal cliff looming, the latest round of Greek debt talks having collapsed, and the Middle East in tatters, we are entering the New Year with every bit as much angst and fear as prevailed in late 2008—just in a different package. While the perfect storm may not, in the end, occur in January, because U.S. law makers are likely to pull a rabbit out of a hat at the last minute, saving us from the “cliff,” there remains the lingering $16 trillion debt ceiling. The Euro debt crisis and Middle East are longer-term concerns, which may peak in the coming months.

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