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2018 Feels Ripe for ‘Big Unexpected Crisis,’ Eurasia Group Says

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January 2, 2018

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook.

Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018.” The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to affect economics as well.

“We see a much greater fragmentation of the global marketplace because governments are becoming more interventionist,” Eurasia President Ian Bremmer said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua. “Part of that is because the Chinese have an alternative model for their investments and they’re increasingly going to be seen as the most important driver of other economies around the world who will align themselves more with Beijing than with Washington.”

Here’s are some of Eurasia’s biggest worries in 2018:


President Xi Jinping’s successful consolidation of authority is helping him to fill the gap created by U.S. President Donald Trump’s move away from Washington-led multilateralism. In areas such as trade and investment, technology and values, China is setting international standards with less resistance than ever before.

“For most of the West, China is not an appealing substitute,” Eurasia said. “But for most everybody else, it is a plausible alternative. And with Xi ready and willing to offer that alternative and extend China’s influence, that’s the world’s biggest risk this year.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 7:40 am

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