From Unz: Risks and Opportunities for 2017
Russia is now the most powerful country on the planet. I know, I know, the Russian economy is relatively small, Russia has plenty of problems and just a year ago Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power” while McCain referred to her as a “gas station masquerading as a country”. What can I say? – these two imbeciles were simply wrong and there is a good reason, plenty in fact, why Forbes has declared Putin the most powerful man on earth for four consecutive years. And it’s not just because the Russian armed forces are probably the most powerful and capable ones on earth (albeit not the largest ones) or because Russia has successfully defeated the USA in Syria and, really, the rest of the Middle-East. No, Russia is the most powerful country on earth because of two things: Russia openly rejects and denounces the worldwide political, economic and ideological system the USA has imposed upon our planet since WWII and because Vladimir Putin enjoys the rock-solid support of about 80%+ of the Russian population.
Even though I’m on the ‘right’, I’m not so quick to jump on the ‘Russia is the greatest thing ever’ bandwagon. People said the said thing in the late 80′s, too, that Russia would dominate, and then like a house of cards it folded. Putin having 80% support is kinda meaningless considering the country is run like an oligarchy anyway. Russia’s economy is weak and highly dependent on oil and gas prices being high. When oil prices plunged in 2008 and in 2014, Russia’s economy contracted significantly. Russia also has high bond yields on its debt and a weak currency. Unlike America and China, Russia’s very deficient in intellectual property exports.
The ‘new world order’ is not Russia, rather it’s the regions below:
America – west and east coasts; Massachusetts
China – four major cities
Northern Europe – Oslo, Stockholm, Davos
The leader by far is America, with it’s unstoppable dollar, eight consecutive years of GDP growth, the election of Trump, and the biggest and longest stock bull market ever. For 2017, I predict the US dollar will continue to surge as Europe struggles with slow growth, Islamic terrorism, debt, and uncertainty…The only way the US dollar falls is if non-American countries outperform, economically, relative to America, which won’t happen as long as the rest of the world continues to be economically weak as it has been since 2011. There’s no reason why Europe, South America, Russia, and the Middle East will stage a meaningful economic recovery. Another reason is that the fund managers who bid up foreign currencies between 2002-2008 and in 2009-2011 are not going to make that mistake again, having been burned twice. As foreign countries rack up debt to futility inflate their dying economies, this pushes their currencies lower and consequently lifts the US dollar, due to the ‘fight to safety’ trade. Yen, Euro, Pound, Aussie, and Canadian dollar are never going to recover…stick a fork in em’. This also explains why Bitcoin is doing so well and will continue to rise, as a means of transferring capital out of countries with doomed currencies. Bitcoin is going much higher and I have been long Bitcoin since 2013.
Although America, as a ‘whole’, is one of the leaders of this ‘new world order’, not all of America contributes equally. The ‘epicenters’ are the Bay Area (especially, the Silicon Valley–the technology capital of the word, home to Apple, Facebook, Google, etc.). Same for China, which has Ali Baba, Baidu, and many other leading technology companies. Europe and Russia also have technology companies, but they don’t exert nearly as much influence as America’s and China’s tech companies. The Bay Area also has among the best real estate markets in the world too. This tiny region controls so much of how the world consumes and processes information, whether it’s the Twitter feed, the Facebook feed, or Google search results. In this same region, there is also Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Stanford, three of the most prestigious universities in the world. Southern California, which has Hollywood and UCLA, is also important, but not as much as the Bay Area.
Another ‘epicenter’ is Seattle, where Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon are headquartered. And also, Massachusetts, which has Harvard and MIT, two hugely influential institutions. Additionally, there is New Haven, Connecticut, home to Yale; Providence, RI: Brown; Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth; and so on. Also, Washington D.C., for obvious reasons. Then there is also New York, specially, Manhattan, home of Wall St. and the two most important stock exchanges in the world: the Nasdaq and the NYSE. And Sagaponac, NY, the most expensive zip code in America. So that pretty much covers the most important and influential parts of America (but also most of the world, too).
Despite the protectionist and anti-globalist sabre rattling during the campaign, China–United States relations will strengthen further with Trump as president, and will remain the two most dominant countries in the world, by far, for the foreseeable future. America, especially the Bay Area and New York, will remain more than ever a magnet for China’s high-IQ rich, as China’s cognitive and financial capital floods America’s coasts. As much as some want to believe we’re in a post-America era, the rest of the world can’t get enough of America. The four major cities of eastern China – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen – are also ‘epicenters’ or constituents of this ‘new world order’, and like Silicon Valley, are full of innovation and technology, as well as having a very strong real estate market. Like Silicon Valley, it’s somewhat insular, high-IQ, and high-trust, in contrast to most parts of the world, that are much less intelligent and more corrupt and incompetent. China has become so important in recent years to America that even the smallest of news over there is picked up by the American media, and vice-versa.
Finally, there is northern Europe, specifically, the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, where the global elite retreat, insulated from the occasionally undesirable consequences of their actions and general pubic disdain. Other countries that are part of the ‘elite’ include Austria and Switzerland. The capitals Oslo and Stockholm are like quintessential ‘socialist utopias’ consisting of high living standards and perpetually rising real estate for those who are wealthy enough to afford it, and, overall, are high-trust societies with low crime and no Islamic terror.