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Don’t Go to Davos: Time to Be a New Rebel in the Brexit/Trump Era.

This is the message I give to Davos man or woman for the 2017 January meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, unless you want to go skiing of course. Picking a theme like inequality or climate change is all well and good.

However, with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the USA on the 20th January and Theresa May, UK Prime Minster, taking a harder line with Brexit from the EU once Article 50 of the EU Charter is triggered. The opportunity has arisen for a new type of rebel against the new anti-establishment establishment now that Brexiteers and Trumpites are in their ascendancy.

Global business executives, politicians, commentators and celebrity activists instead of lamenting about the ending of the Obama Presidency now need to embrace not just a new agenda of defending and improving liberal democracy, as the best political engine for raising living standards around the world, but a better way of involving its increasingly disparaged citizens in the process.

More elite group thinking in the cool mountain air is not going to resolve any loss of confidence in Western political systems that caused the political upsets of 2016. It has allowed the rise of nationalism and nativism across Europe and the successful isolationist rhetoric of the Trump presidential campaign.

Will he and his new administration be all bad? He seems to be rather thin skinned and rises to the bait or “tweet” far too quickly for trouble not to be too far away.

However, global stockmarkets have rallied, perhaps too far, in anticipation of looser fiscal policy, reflation and rising bond rates. Investment strategists have suggested the US should publicly finance infrastructure as one area of fiscal policy earmarked to get a boost under Trump.

How the new administration deals with Russia’s President Putin over claimed election interference with Rex Tillerson as the new Secretary of State, a lifelong oilman with business dealings with Russia, will be worth following. So too will the complex negotiations with Iran and Saudi Arabia over Syria, Yemen, trade sanctions and global terrorism. Furthermore, China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea with its neighbours will test and stress his administration to the limit no doubt.

Although it’s likely he’ll rely on his team to do the job for him and I suspect he’ll be as much of a part-timer as possible with Kellyanne Conway and his daughter Ivanka likely to feature a lot in managing the media (and his tweets) in the months ahead.

So what can the new establishment rebels do to make sure they don’t experience the political shocks that upset them so much in 2016 continuing in 2017?

Well to begin with, as it will take more time than a 4 year presidential term or the timeframe for the UK to exit the EU formally. By engaging with people and organisations not based in capitals or large metropolitan areas to better understand, argue and formulate changes to the political system.

Politicians and political elites should promote and introduce deliberative democracy techniques using sortition and lots for forming representative bodies. As in Finland, organise trials for universal basic income models to help alleviate anticipated long term employment or lifestyle changes due to technological advancement.

Well intentioned worries over inequality at Davos won’t produce any worthwhile solutions unless more people perceive they aren’t excluded from society or its opportunities by distant wealthy elites. This is surely the lesson from 2016 and any time now would be a good time to address it. Lest unpalatable results materialising further for those who claim to know best what’s good for society.

It might even be interesting experience transitioning to a new democratic system of governance now that could be worth talking about at some future Davos gathering.

LDC.

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Building a Wall to Stop Immigrants is the Last Piece of Infrastructure the USA Needs.

Republican Presidential Nominee apparent for the 2016 election (unless the Republicans can depose him at their convention) Billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump as part of his electioneering bravado has promised to construct a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigrants from entering the US.
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2016: What’s Coming – the Good, the Bad or Mediocrity.

Another year starting so what’s in store for investors and markets?

In 2015 the GDP of the US economy grew at 2.4%, the UK did 2.5% and the EU managed 1.5% with all its currency and migrant upheavals (GS, 2015). China slowed down yet still reported 6.9% causing investors or speculators a heap of disappointment or margin call troubles depending on what figures one believes. India performed better at 7.4% and seems to have the confidence of pundits for an improvement in 2016 to 7.8% (GS, 2015). Let’s hope so, as India the world’s largest democracy, has disappointed before and there’s still plenty of debt and cronyism in its large institutions.
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Trends, Themes and Fault Lines: Where Could All This Inequality End Up – in Darkness or the Light?

Since July 2013 the FTSE100, the leading UK share index, has ranged between 6400 and 6800 points. While the larger US S&P 500 index has moved from 1600 points up to record highs, closing above the 1850 level on several occasions, notably since January the S&P 500 has traded in a more sideways fashion. Perhaps this indicates a top in the market or a pause for good reason- reported earnings weaknesses or Fed tapering – however it’s still an impressive increase from the market lows during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The bulls and bears react to positive or negative news and information which forms investor sentiment to drive the markets on their trajectories and so forth.
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A crisis in the Crimea and growing volatility in the world’s markets – it’s been quite a 1st quarter for 2014.

Back in January it was hoped that global equities may repeat some of 2013 rally. However, the US Federal Reserve increasing tendency to taper remains firmly part of the US financial agenda. China property bubbles and debt defaults have started to concern investors. Yet so far the Chinese authorities have bailed out government entities and kept a lid on a more general panic in view of the vast quantities of property related-debt. Vladimir Putin put on a good show with the Sochi Winter Olympics, where some of his now sanctioned oligarchs made a few (billion) now devalued roubles, while plotting and executing a, relatively harmless welcomed by many, annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
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Al-Megrahi and MacAskill Observation

Well to remember- Play hard and well in international relations as coming bottom of the league isn’t a sporting option in the real world. A thought from a few years back-
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The Grangemouth Conspiracy – Close To Reality Or A Product Of My Furtive Imagination: You Decide And You Read It Here First.

2014 following on from 2013 has the continuing debate on Scottish independence and with the referendum this September. However, the industrial action at the Grangemouth refinery near Falkirk, Scotland last autumn an issue came to mind involving the global view of possible US security and economic interests with friends and allies. Read more

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The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound

The Big Guns Are Blasting In The Scottish Independence Battle Of The Pound. Is a new currency looming for an independent Scotland and would the EU accept Scotland into its membership?
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Future Perfect or Future Problem: Part 2: Defence and Diggers

And 2014 the Year For A Lot of Yellen

2014 has started with a Polar Vortex descended on a huge chunk of North America some 190 million people affected by the icy Artic blast. The US has reported disappointing employment statistics for the end of 2013, the BoE and ECB have held rates at their current lows and the Federal Reserve has Janet Yellen as its new Chairwoman – a 1st too.
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We, the people demand some decent Government and…

They’re back on the streets again in the Ukraine and Thailand. Brazil has got its share of protesters too never mind the problems of Arabic North Africa, the Levant or Iran and Saudi Arabic too. People are demonstrating to varying degrees of success of course about not just political freedoms but economic ones too.
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