Owl Wisdom Podcast: The Post-Trump Global Economy

The recently concluded US elections have huge implications for the rest of the world. Not just because America is still the world’s largest economy, but because it wields its economic and military power on the international stage, like no other country does. In that respect, it has enjoyed huge influence.

In the past four years, we have witnessed how that influence can also be wielded to disrupt the world economic order and multilateral institutions that America helped develop decades ago. We have also seen how, in pandering to a particular domestic constituency, an American leader can upend an entire global economic, diplomatic and military order.

Hopefully, that time is over. We will continue to feel its effects rumbling throughout the world, though, not least because there are many such leaders today in our midst. Still, it is a time to imagine how we can remake the world economic order that has been broken and needs repair. In this edition of the Owl Wisdom Podcast, I look at Trump’s policies; some never went beyond rhetoric and others were hugely damaging and regressive.

I also examine areas that need careful attention and cooperation over the next few years, so that a new world economic order may emerge. Not necessarily a pre-Covid world, though I do think that certain multilateral institutions and forums such as G20, WTO, NATO and WHO must be revived immediately. But also a new world order that takes into consideration challenges of the future, such as climate change, rising inequality, and regulation of tech.

Below, you’ll also find links to useful reading. Including a report of a study done by Harvard Business School on US Competitiveness, as part of a longer research project since 2011 that I found on Google. I must admit I do not understand the objective behind the research, and would have thought that CEOs of American S&P 500 companies or those in the Fortune 500 might have been a better respondent base if one is trying to assess US competitiveness in the global economy, to which they could have added leading economists in America. That would have influenced the kind of questions posed, and therefore the scope of the entire study.

While on the subject of reports, I find even the WEF’s report on Global Competitiveness wanting, because it defines competitiveness in terms of productivity alone. I suppose there is always room for improved and more focused research. Meanwhile, I hope you like listening to this podcast and I look forward to your comments.

Links for further reading:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/W790RC1Q027SBEA

https://www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/new-foreign-direct-investment-united-states

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2010.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54638643

https://www.vox.com/2017/2/6/14519750/apple-google-facebook-trump-immigration

https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitiveness-report-2017-2018

https://www.hbs.edu/competitiveness/research/Pages/research-details.aspx?rid=85

In the podcast, I mention that the US stagnated for three years at No. 3 in the Global Competitiveness Rankings. I must add that those were for the years 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. It has improved since to No. 2 from 2017-18 onwards, as you can see in the two reports above.

This edition of the Owl Wisdom Podcast uses free stock music tracks by Arthur Vyncke, Keys of Moon and Rexlambo from Free-stock-music.com in the main sections and the music of Twisterium from freebackgroundtracks.net in the introduction, interlude and end sections of the podcast and is grateful to all of them.

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