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2017.01.18 Insights

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17.01.18 Insights


Re-interpreting Charlotte and Its Place in the World  |  Regionally and Globally

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This Friday, January 20th at noon, President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. As evidenced by the discourse online and in the media, there is much anticipation/speculation about his agenda and priorities. While winning the electoral college but not the popular vote, Americans nevertheless voted for change. Significant global changes have already begun this past year, and with the President-elect’s notoriously unpredictable tweets, which he has assured us will continue, it is anybody’s guess what direction that change will take.

So, as we enter a new administration, we know changes are coming but are not confident what those changes will look like. In an effort to provide some guidance to your thinking about our future, we have gleaned several articles that may help you put this in perspective. First up is a discussion of the top global risks for 2017–areas that we ought to be paying particular attention to. No surprise, Trump is at the top of that list! Next, we look at how the post-WWII era has brought about a “new world order” that will change traditional alliances even now being questioned.

Adversity to change is the normal human reaction, but it is instructive to take a look at changes in global living conditions over our history–basically the question of whether everyone around the globe is better or worse off. There are some surprising (and refreshing) findings there! Then we take a look at Germany’s response to Brexit and how they view the future of the European project. Hopefully, these discussions will provide you with valuable insights for better decisions about your future.

Top 10 Global Risks of 2017

The World Enters Geopolitical Recession

In 2017, we enter a period of geopolitical recession.

So sayeth the Eurasia Group’s Top Risks 2017 report, identifying the most challenging political and geopolitical trends and stress points for global investors and market participants in 2017. The Eurasia Group first wrote about the coming of the “G-Zero” world—a world with no global leader—six years ago. Prescient. While it seemed unconventional at that time, it is becoming increasingly evident.

“The underlying shifts in the geopolitical environment have been clear,” according to the report, “a U.S. with less interest in assuming leadership responsibilities; U.S. allies, particularly in Europe, that are weaker and looking to hedge bets on U.S. intentions; and two frenemies, Russia and China, seeking to assert themselves as (limited) alternatives to the U.S.—Russia primarily on the security front in its extended backyard, and China primarily on the economic front regionally, and, increasingly, globally.

“These trends have accelerated with the populist revolt against ‘globalism’—first in the Middle East, then in Europe, and now in the U.S. Through 2016, you could see the G-Zero picking up speed on multiple fronts.

“But with the shock election of Donald Trump as president of the U.S, the G-Zero world is now fully upon us. The triumph of ‘America first’ as the primary driver of foreign policy in the world’s only superpower marks a break with decades of U.S. exceptionalism and belief in the indispensability of U.S. leadership, however flawed and uneven. With it ends a 70-year geopolitical era of Pax Americana, one in which globalization and Americanization were tightly linked, and American hegemony in security, trade, and promotion of values provided guardrails for the global economy.”

Ominously, the report indicates, “This year marks the most volatile political risk environment in the postwar period, at least as important to global markets as the economic recession of 2008.”

At the top of the group’s list is the risk presented by Independent America: “The triumph of ‘America first’ as the primary driver of foreign policy in the world’s only superpower marks a break with decades of U.S. exceptionalism and belief in the indispensability of U.S. leadership. Independent America renounces exceptionalism, the notion that the U.S. actively promotes democracy, civil rights, and rule of law.” Read more…





NEW Perspective on Alliances
Post-WWII New World Order BeginsFormer Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently addressed the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. Secretary Hagel’s global insights and perspective on changing alliances suggest that a post-WWII new world order is emerging.“It is a different kind of dynamic today than what it was in 1946 for many reasons,” Hagel points out, describing the post-WWII building of coalitions of common interests—the United Nations, World Trade Organization, international development banks and institutions, IMF, World Bank, NATO, and dozens of other alliance-painted coalitions.He says the new world order is building partnerships that aren’t necessarily based on a NATO-type alliance, but on mutual security and not just straight military security: “The security of any nation rests upon the most fundamental of all securities and that’s economic security. A nation is only as powerful as its economy.“It’s going to be a balance. New partnerships, stronger enhanced relationships, alliances and trade. Trade is an opportunity. Trade does so much more than just exchange goods and commerce. It opens doors that allow nations to respond to each other, understand each other, communicate with each other, connect with each other, coordinate with each other in ways that nothing else can. You need all the other pieces of government as well—but those are fundamentals. Alliances and trade.” Read more…






Better or Worse Off?
A History of Global Living Conditions

In an incredibly important article, economist and media critic Max Roser, known for his research on global trends of living conditions and his visualizations of these trends, shows us the history of global living conditions—“the history of everyone.”Very few people think that the world is getting better. In a handful of charts, Roser instantly communicates the progress of the human population over the last two centuries in poverty, literacy, health, freedom, fertility and education. If you don’t read anything else this week, make sure you make to time to read this and consider its implications with respect to your current world view.As Roser indicates, “For our history to be a source of encouragement we have to know our history. The story that we tell ourselves about our history and our time matters. Because our hopes and efforts for building a better future are inextricably linked to our perception of the past, it is important to understand and communicate the global development up to now. A positive lookout on the efforts of ourselves and our fellow humans is a vital condition to the fruitfulness of our endeavors.” Read more…






EU Response to Brexit
Brexit and Populism: The Future of the “European Project” from a German Perspective

Dr. Celine-Agathe Caro, Senior Policy Analyst at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, discusses the “European project” from a German perspective following the Brexit vote and the movement toward greater populism.

“The outcome of the British referendum has created increasing pressure on the EU to reform itself to better respond to the expectations of its citizens,” Caro explains. “At the same time, the European member states will only be able to overcome common challenges like the refugee crisis, terrorist threats, or Russia’s aggressive foreign policy if they act together.

“With its economic and political weight, Germany will play a key role in any further decisions regarding the EU’s future, but it needs partners to assume the leadership required to help navigate these crises.”  Read more…






Opens Aren’t Everything
Subject Lines That Generate More Clicks and Leads
You wrote a great email……but WHAT IF NO ONE READS IT??Just write a compelling subject line that gets more opens, right?Well, yes—getting your prospect to open your email is obviously critical to your email marketing success. But the most successful subject lines don’t just entice your prospect to open your email—they pave the way for more clicks and leads.Here’s how…  Read more…






   WACC Speaker Series Panel on the Middle East – January 18, 2017

Challenges and Opportunities in the Middle East for the Incoming Administration

Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Career Ambassador

Dr. Jim Walsh, Research Associate, MIT Security Studies Program

Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Berkey, Professor of International Studies, Davidson College

Ambassador Pickering, a Career Ambassador, and Dr. Jim Walsh, an expert on international security, will offer unique insight on the future of U.S.-Israel bilateral relations and foreign policy concerns between the U.S. and the Middle East as the new administration takes office. They will shed light on the issues relating to the Iran Nuclear Deal, Saudi Arabia, and the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Click here for registration information!

WACC Business Breakfast Series – February 2, 2017

Global Economic Outlook 2017

Dr. Jay Bryson, Managing Director and Global Economist, Wells Fargo

Dr. Bryson will provide analysis on financial markets and macroeconomic developments in the major economies of the world. Dr. Bryson will share an expert presentation on the outlook of the 2017 global economy. His presentation will not only address the impact of U.S. financial markets around the world, but trending economic strategies worldwide, challenges in addressing fiscal policy domestically and abroad, and growth in emerging markets.

Click here for registration information!

WACC CEO Seroes – February 22, 2017

A Conversation with Brian Moynihan

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan will serve as co-chairman of the January 2017 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As the leader of one of the world’s largest financial services firms, Moynihan will share his thoughts on the global economy and the work Bank of America does to drive responsible growth in the U.S. and around the world.

Click here for registration information!






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John Paul Galles
Publisher LLC

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