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Roger Bootle on the UK’s membership of the EU

Writing an op-ed for City A.M. on the UK’s membership of the EU, Roger Bootle, one of Europe’s most respected economists, told readers to “beware the corporate grandees who claim Brexit would cost Britain dear.”

Referring to those who are keen to maintain the status quo with regard to the EU, whose argument lies in the belief that a huge number of jobs is bound up with the continuation of the UK’s membership, Roger argues that whilst it is true that very many jobs are connected with trade with the EU, ” the issue is not about the precise number – 3.5m, or 3.9m, or 2.8m – but rather with the concepts underlying the estimate.”

Roger points to the fact that the EU and UK would have powerful incentives to maintain trade. He goes on to say that the “economic case to stay in the EU, just like the economic case to come out, is far from overwhelming.”

Click here for the full article.

John Hulsman on why the West no longer exists

Writing in City A.M., John Hulsman, a leading geopolitical analyst, details why he thinks the greatest global geopolitical risk is the end of the west, as rising powers realise it simply doesn’t exist any more.

John argues that Barack Obama was elected to lessen American foreign policy risk after the disasters of the Bush administration, but “what once looked like a sensible, limited, pullback of US forces after the promiscuity of the Bush era was instead a run for the exits.” Moreover, he adds that the West’s weak threats and lack of a serious consequences against Russia have made it seem even weaker.

John goes onto say that “the real ace up the sleeves of the dissenting powers…is the total collapse of Europe as a global force.” This is because “Europe is divided between euro creditors and debtors, between the north and the south, with the EU proving itself hugely unpopular almost everywhere…As seen from Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Damascus and Tehran, this is the inspiring, hopeful narrative of Western decline.”

The article is currently the most read and commented in City A.M., and reached number 3 on RealClearWorld in the States. Click here to read the full piece.

“The West’s utopians damned Ukraine to Russian dominance” – John Hulsman

In his latest posting as Senior Columnist for London’s City A.M. newspaper, John Hulsman wrote on how we got to where we are in Ukraine (read: mistakes the West made with regards to the on-going crisis), and how to best Putin in the end.

John argues that the West’s world-view betrayed a total ignorance of the realities of geopolitics; Ukraine is not a primary Western interest, whereas Putin was prepared to risk a lot to achieve an end state wherein Kiev remained within the Russian sphere of influence. John adds that to “see the crisis as it is means accepting the notion that interests primarily guide a state’s foreign policy.” Crucially, Western utopian policymakers were unable to do this. 

That Ukraine will remain within the Russian sphere of influence is undoubted, however there is a way to win this contest in the long run. John points out that Russia needs the price of oil to be roughly $110 a barrel to balance its budget; it is already falling south of that, with long-term futures markets pointing to prices heading to well under $100. He goes on to say that the West needs ensure that this happens through “lifting the ban on the export of American oil…[and] encouraging the Poles and British to open up the shale industry.”

Click here to read the full article.

John Hulsman on the underrated importance of the India elections

The largest democratic exercise in history has begun in India, as 800 million eligible voters head to the polls for the general election. Dr John Hulsman, political risk analyst and senior columnist for City A.M., writes on the underrated importance of these elections, and how just three hurdles stand in the way of economic renaissance.

John argues that the “probable victory of the business-friendly Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist BJP party could do nothing less than jumpstart the moribund sub-continent, placing India on a new, virtuous cycle, and allowing growth to take off once again.”

However for Modi’s government to be successful, John points out that three basic challenges must be overcome:

  1. Win decisively to dominate the likely coalition, a feature that is habitual for India.
  2. Tame a reactionary civil service that is used to moving at a desultory pace at the best of times.
  3. Clarify the role Modi took in the Hindu pogrom in Gujarat in 2000.

John believes that with the BRICs concept fading, India stands out as “the major emerging market with the greatest possibility of further catch-up growth on the cards.”

Click here to read the full article.

John Hulsman made Senior Columnist for City A.M.

John HulsmanATG|Chartwell congratulate John Hulsman, a leading political analyst, who has recently become a Senior Columnist for City A.M., a London-based newspaper that brings the latest UK and world business and finance news.

This follows the recent success of his articles focusing on the situation surrounding Russia and the Ukraine crisis, which were picked up by Real Clear Politics, a Chicago-based political news and polling data aggregator, and later become some of the most read stories on the site.

We wish John all the best in his new role at City A.M., and look forward to reading his future foreign affairs column!

John Hulsman: a Goldilocks assessment of Putin

In his latest posting for City A.M., John Hulsman, a leading expert on political risk, argues that the Western weakness in responding to the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine comes from a failure to grasp Putin’s motives.

John shows that on the one hand there is Senator John McCain, the leading American neoconservative hawk who believes that Putin is another Adolf Hitler, and that the West must quickly wake up to this horrifying fact. However, as John points out, “every foreign policy challenge does not approximate 1939. Hitler alone was Hitler, with very few other problems posing such a clear cut distinction between good and evil.”

On the other hand, ex-British Army head Lord Dannatt suggests that British troops be retained in Germany to force the Kremlin to realise that the British mean business. Again, John points out that the present crisis does not signal a reversion to the Cold War; Russia is simply not strong enough, and the West’s level of commitment has fallen since 1991. John adds that under-reactions are just as dangerous as over-reactions – the predicament of Goldilocks.

John believes that NATO’s present command has the correct assessment of Putin; they are worried about the Russian-speaking areas which are not covered by the alliance’s security blanket, particularly eastern Moldova and eastern Ukraine. Based on this insight, Putin can be said to be “intent on restoring the perception of Russian national greatness, after two decades of Western encroachments into what he regards as his sphere of influence…[he is] intent on snatching up as much Russian-speaking territory adjoining his country as possible.”

What is the “just right” response that the West should take? Click here to find out.

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