Advisors must learn to live with unsettling world problems, many of which the United States won’t be able to solve.

They should learn to adjust to a continuing period of “creative destruction,” especially in the Middle East. The latter is a region of numerous “failed states,” including Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. And Saudi Arabia is perhaps the next state to face more dramatic challenges as large numbers of their young men have little future and could become restless as in many other countries in the region. Still, the United States will be able to survive it all, although a Pax Americana is not going to happen.

Those were some of the themes of a talk by Dr. Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group. He addressed IMCA’s 2016 Investment Consultants Conference on Monday in Manhattan. He also said that, while globalization will continue in the world’s economy, Americanization will be a less powerful force. Bremmer and his firm analyze how political developments and national security dynamics move markets and shape investments around the world.  

The broad geo-political risks in the Middle East and Europe are not going away in the short term, Bremmer warned. He argued that profound changes in the world order are taking place. China is taking a strong world leadership and “Americanization is not.”


In part, he said, the relationship between America and her traditional allies -- what had been the most important relationships in the Post World War II world order -- are deteriorating.

The Transatlantic relationship, the basis of a world order since 1945, is in flux. This is happening as Europe faces a refugee crisis. The relationship between Europe and the United States “is weaker than at any point since World War II,” according to Bremmer.

Germany, he noted, is so unsettled that Chancellor Merkel’s approval ratings have dropped some 30 points since the crisis of the refugees coming to Germany from Syria.  Many European countries are unsure how they want to react to the crisis, according to Bremmer. That is fracturing the continent.

“Does the Europe Union know what it stands for? They do not,” Bremmer said. “When I look at China, I know what they stand for.”

He said China is moving toward becoming the biggest economy on the planet. “But I am not suggesting that we are going to have war. I’m just suggesting that we are going to more geopolitical volatility.”

For instance, Britain’s special relationship with the United States is now called into question. “The Brits say the we want to become the best friends of the Chinese in the world,” Bremmer noted. That is alienating the United States, which doesn’t want closer economic relations between Britain and China, he said. Bremmer said China is gradually co-opting Hong Kong’s power, but he also said that despite tensions between Japan and China, the two nations are likely to get along.

There are also differences on national security issues between the United States and Europe, he said. For instance, France is looking for help from Russia, a problem country for the United States.

As to the United States, Bremmer said he is yet to decide who he will vote for in this year’s presidential election. He praised Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, but he argued that she is “a terrible campaigner.”

Still, he is not worried. No matter who is elected president, he added, the United States has so many checks and balances that the nation will get along.