Raoul Pal @RaoulGMI Founder/CEO - Global Macro Investor and Real Vision Group, Business Cycle Economist, Investment Strategist, Economic Historian, Traveller and Rum Drinker.. Jun. 16, 2018 5 min read

1/ All any of us knows is the Rules Based Global Order system (I don’t use Rules Based Liberal Order as the terminology as it suggests only liberal countries are part of this structure, which is patently untrue, it is in fact all encompassing and even effects so-called "rogue…

2/ …states").

What made this system so pervasive is that appealed to all major powers equally, giving them a systemic structure from which to operate, be it as a collaborator to the RBGO, or an agitator.

3/ The understandability of the structure was its strength, and it dominated via the power of the the US military and economy.

4/

The other key feature that allowed it to prevail so strongly, and for so long, was the fact that ordinary citizens played almost no part in it and had relatively little say in it (or more usually none at all).

5/ This was a hangover of WWII and the Cold War, and civilians tended to allow others to make collective decisions for ‘the “greater good”.

But this feature is proving to be its greatest weakness.

6/ When the leading agent of the RBGO (the USA) decides to pullback, then it weakens the entire system as there is no coercion to hold the structure together.

7/ The Brexit referendum let the genie out of the bottle as people realised that they could be allowed a say, whether they understood the ramification of their actions or not.

Trump has accelerated this and may be the source of its eventual demise, but the kindling that…

8/ …ignited the fire was a mix of the rise of China and Russia along with the financial crisis, which was born out of the abuse of the system in place and left ordinary people reeling and looking for blame.

9/ The EU was the crowning glory of the RBGO and soon after 2008, it too began to weaken.

As with the global structure, the EU is only held together by its strongest state, Germany.

10/ The UK opted to leave and the structure shook and suggested the impossible is in fact possible. It is now possible that Italy eventually topples it, but the death knell has to come from Germany. Even the odds of that are rising.

11/

The global order is starting to fragment quickly as supranational organisations begin to lose power; be it the G7, the IMF, the WTO, the Climate Accord or even OPEC - leaving behind a massive power vacuum and huge uncertainty.

12/

Underlying all of this is a technology arms race entirely free of global control, liberated by the decentralisation of the internet and Moores Law; whether it is biotech, AI, super computing or cyber warfare.

13/ There is no RBGO to control it anyhow, as the old structure was not built for these times, or the times we are entering in to.

14/ Even the system of money and value is under relentless attack from crypto and blockchain in this new rapidly decentralising world, rejecting the previous order.

15/ Tribalism is rising as the new dominant global system, free of borders or controls - consisting of larger tribes (China, and her sphere of influence, Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, Saudi, EU, US, UK, LATAM etc) or smaller tribes (I’ll call them the internet-based tribes of…

16/ …shared interests be they ISIS or Golden Retriever lovers, whatever). Tribalism holds no global societal values, by definition, only tribal values.

17/

It is still possible that the old order can be held together, but there appears to be limited interested from China in doing so, the only country now capable of RBGO survival.

18/ She is more interested in building new structures around her own needs, ones that are China-centric and not globalist.

19/ We don’t need to agree with the system, want it or even care less about it. Im not interested in that. I am interested in how we manage this change, if it is indeed taking place. Im more mulling and observing than anything else.

20/ And I am not making a statement of defence or rejection of the system. It is what it is.

What does this mean? Its is almost impossible to say.

21/ But all I do know is that things that we held as truisms in world trade, global pricing, the movement of people, a defined shared valued system of human rights or shared responsibility etc may well not survive.

22/

That also is likely to mean that the things that define our modern financial system will change too - especially capital flows, currency systems, globalised interest-rate or risk tethering and global pricing structures..

23/

In a fractured, multilateral world, unrestricted by the RBGO, systemic volatility in society and markets will be unable to be suppressed (or possibly some maybe be brutally suppressed as there are limited repercussions).

24/ A system defined by suppressed volatility, usually eventually leads to hyper-volatility.

It is possible that a Machine Based Global Order emerges, as AI and algorithms define the financial world we live in and spreads into other aspects of life. Who knows?

25/ All I do know, is that change is accelerating and everything we thought we knew, may no longer hold valid in 10 years time and we should observe it as a possible, if not probable, outcome.

26/

Some will cheer the decline of the old system, some will fear it but no one yet fully understands the ramifications. Neil Howe and his Fourth Turning appears to have been prophetic but maybe the changes to come may even exceed his predictions.

27/

This new narrative is gaining speed almost daily. It will ebb and flow but Im not convinced that it is not our collective destiny whether we like it or not.

As ever, great change leads to great opportunity for those that see it early. Let's keep our eyes wide open.


You can follow @RaoulGMI.



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