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December 2017
One World
I had closed my note of 2016 last December on an optimistic tone after an eventful 2016 hoping that the underlying innate desire of every human being to lift their lives will pilot the world towards a safe landing in 2017. Looking back through the course of 2017 it seems it has played out that way.
We began 2017 with nothing less eventful than the beginning of the Trump Presidency. It was a watershed event in post war modern times and the world was anxiously holding its breath for the times to come. At the same time 2017 was an year to deal with the after effects of another disruptive event of modern economic history – Brexit. There was a fear that the walls shall be built between Mexico and the US on one side and EU and the UK on another. The world was staring at monumental separations. So all it began with twitter rhetoric and hardened positions and the battle lines were drawn. Fortunately though, contrary to expectations the world is more connected today than what it was an year back. While President Trump has been held back by push back from within his own party to the checks and balances of the American democracy, UK’s separation from the EU seems to be gravitating towards a “Soft Brexit”. Defeat of the right wing in France and Germany has brought centrist politicians back in business while denial of support from EU for the Catalonian separation is a pointer to the fact that globalization has overtaken the protectionism narrative. Back home in India as well the outcome of the recent elections in the state of Gujarat point out towards the rejection of separation politics towards the politics of growth despite an anti-incumbency of 22 years demonstrating the contours very similar to the verdict of the Germans earlier this year. The world seems to be back in the 21st century from the little trailer of the dark ages. Outright isolation of President Trump and Israel for recognition of Jerusalem as the latter’s capital is a pointer to this realization. Its back to One World.
So how did the world manage to defy the separatist inward looking forces? Were Trump Presidency and Brexit aberrations of the 21st century? The answer probably lies in going back to the basics - innate desire of every human being to lift their lives. These events were an outcome of that while at the same time defiance of the negative non-progressive approach too was an outcome of that. This defining aspiration of the human life coupled with the irreversible economic dependence of the world would make it impossible for any permanent walls to come. If at all the recent modern history has seen some of the walls being brought down. People on this planet have voted in favor of collaboration over competition, love over hatred, growth over protection and positivity over negativity. After a shocking separation verdict for Brexit Britain has realized that EU is the most attractive market for it to give up and at the same time EU has realized that it would be difficult for transnational companies to move their operations from London to Frankfurt or Paris owing to the cosmopolitan character and language advantage which London enjoys over any other European city. In that context it would be smarter to co-exist as complimentary neighbors. Similarly in the US all the FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google – and the likes of them which sit at the top of the American food chain have come together against closing America’s doors to global talent which drives them. These new age corporations may be born and brought up in the US but they are in a true sense global corporate citizens who draw their employees from all over the world and deliver to their customers all over the world. In the age of border less internet which has made the world one and more connected than ever before man made walls shall only have a limited shelf life and some of them could graduate to the distinction of one of the wonder of the world.
If one has to go by the forecast of economic institutions for 2018 then the World is looking at growth all across including Europe which has gone through turbulent last few years. While the US, China and India shall be the drivers of the growth in the global economy its heartening to note that none of the regions has come on the horizon as a speed breaker. Reversal of the interest rate cycle across most economies is an indicator of the fact that the respective central banks are navigating their economies to stay away from getting into over-heated zone. While financial markets are ripe and ready for a correction purely on account of valuations the World should remain directionally as one towards the path of growth and prosperity. Let there be less hunger and more affluence, let there be less hatred and more love and let there be less negativity and more positivity for our One World in 2018.
So friends on this optimistic note let’s close the turnaround year of 2017 and welcome 2018 with more hope and less fear.
Signing off for 2017 with warmest wishes, love and affection for a wonderful 2018!
Rohit Sarin
December, 2017
 
 
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