Eps. 7, 10/22/21: The news dash covers China real estate, energy and missile tests and the deteriorating situation in Haiti. Then we have a general discussion about global risks, from the risk of war in the Pacific and a potential cyberattack. We finish with the GDB Quiz, amusing as always.
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Why globalization is more critical than ever
The world is becoming more difficult and more dangerous because...
Unprecedented levels of debt, created by unsustainable economic policies, is the main problem. The impact includes slower global growth, political turmoil at home, and limits to what can be invested in defense and national security.
With a population 4.5 times the US, China’s potential impact is enormous. Its path—economically integrated but adversarial from a defense and national security perspective—is unprecedented. There are some advantages, along with some enormous challenges.
Only 15% of the world’s population lives in an advanced country. 40% live on less than $2 per day and another 30% live on $10 per day. The fact is, with the exception of the reemergence of the WWII powers (Japan and EU), the world has had little success rising from poverty. Furthermore, democracy has actually been in decline for more than a decade. From sectarian violence in the Middle East to astronomically high crime and murder rates in Latin America, most of the world isn’t getting safer.
We keep inventing technologies that make the world smaller. Telecomm. Social Media. Transportation. Regardless the challenges the world faces, technology keeps rolling, making the world smaller, bringing all the world’s risks and challenges closer to home for everyone.
As a result...
These trends create tensions which lead to the reemergence and intensification of old challenges like trade wars, migrant crises, nuclear proliferation, territorial disputes, and regional conflicts.
At the same time, we are experiencing the creation of new challenges like cyber espionage, cyber crime, election interference, pandemics, etc. As an example, consider that when Japan was rising after WWII, we worried about trade deficits, cars, and real estate purchases, but we didn’t have to worry about Japan trying to build our internet backbone or building apps that collect personal data or hacking in search of intellectual property.
Unless America stops inventing the technology that makes the world smaller, simply isolating America isn’t really an option. It wouldn’t be cheap, either. Trade (imports and exports together) constitute about 20% of the US economy, which isn’t small, particularly for a large country like the US. Forty-four percent of the revenue of the S&P 500 comes from overseas. That is a huge proportion. Foreigners own about 25% of US stocks, and between 40-50% of US government debt. Foreigners own roughly $35 Trillion in assets in the US, 175% of US GDP, and Americans own $21 Trillion of foreign assets, or 135% of GDP. The point is simple. The global economy is highly interconnected, probably for a reason. We have to be careful when we think of messing with that, particularly in light of the fragile state of the US economy.
The bottom-line is that globalization, managing our global relations in general, is more important than ever. We have to get it right. This website is dedicated to providing content to help people better understand the challenges we face and how to manage them.