Geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer discusses the forces driving the debate between populists and globalists around the world and gives his insights on the political risks shaping markets and the geopolitical landscape.
On the future of populism in Europe: “I think the big problem with Europe is not the near term potential for more Brexits. The real problem is that in a global environment that’s entering what I call a geopolitical recession, that the Europeans are much more vulnerable. We’re producing the food. We’re producing the energy. We’ve gotten an environment that’s actually quite geopolitically stable. The Europeans have all of these refugees coming in that are going to be made much worse by extreme climate conditions. They are the ones that are going to be neighbouring the Russians getting angrier and more unstable. They’re the ones that get fractured by the Chinese being able to come in and invest and pick off the East Europeans, the Greeks, the Italians, the Portuguese who desperately need the money…. So I think that the Europeans are in a fundamentally more vulnerable place geopolitically as we play this out 5 and 10 years. And Brexit is only a piece of that.”
On the current US policy towards China: “I think that unlike North Korea, where [President] Trump personally took the reins and said I’m going to get it done with Kim Jong-Un, in an environment where he didn’t have an awful lot of leverage. I thought that that was very unproductive. I thought the way that the Trump administration has handled China has been actually much more constructive. So if you think about just how much direct bilateral engagement there’s been…. They moved the Chinese further on this issue than I think anyone else was prepared to do and the timing was good for reasons I suggested that, you know, actually, we are in an environment where we want a lot of companies, if there were a recession tomorrow, a lot of companies would want to reduce their footprint in China because these are expensive people that they don’t need and the environment is getting harder for them to invest. They’re more aligned with the Americans.”