Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What to expect during Trump time

I have not been paying much attention to Trump since there is too much news and analyses all over the place about him. Here is an assessment by a risk analyst Ian Bremer. The interview starts with:

Ledbetter: In your 2015 book, Superpower, you describe three paths for America: Moneyball America, Independent America, and Indispensable America. Where do you see Trump taking us?

Bremmer: Very clearly, Independent. Obama's big problem was that he kept talking like this Indispensable America guy: "We can do it; Assad must go; Russia must leave Ukraine; we're going to drive the global-trade order withTPP and the TTIP," and all this. And he just did not have the ability to follow through and execute on any of this. The worst thing you can do is create high expectations and consistently fail. Vastly better to say, "We're really going to focus a lot more on the domestic environment. We still have global interests, but they're narrower." "
Along the way:

Is there a risk in the U.S. pulling back expectations and erasing ideas of exceptionalism on the global stage?

Will the American brand be damaged abroad? Here's where Trump could become a big problem. You want the Chinese to be so convinced that the American market model is the one that works that they have to buy our Treasuries, be educated at our universities, buy New York City real estate--it would be inane for them to do anything else. And that will in turn give us an awful lot of branding power. In 1991, you went to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and you met people who truly believed that the American rule of law, independent judiciary, free market economy, and political system were to be admired. They don't believe that anymore. And Trump's view is "Yup, you're right--completely hypocritical. We shouldn't be trying to promote our values, because they're no different from anybody else's." That absolutely damages the American brand."
Final paragraphs:

"Do you factor in some really wacky but plausible scenario tied to Trump?

The one that's more exotic is Trump's conflict of interest issues, with this multibillion-dollar organization that will only be worth a lot more once he's president. That implies we need to think about the United States a little more like South Korea. It's not going to become Russia or China. But if you want to understand how other governments are going to react to [us], you need to look at two sets of policy mechanisms: the official, formal channel; and then the unofficial and informal channels, one of which will be a kind of industrial-policy, state-capitalist system and the other the family. And that's really wild. You look around in 2017 and you realize that the major driver of political risk in the world is this new U.S. government--not doing things that historically were done, and doing things that historically were not done. We may not want to have the leadership role that we once had, but we're still the world's only superpower. The outsize impact of all this stuff on the global economy will. and businesses is extra­ordinary."

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