Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 09-13-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • China’s economy is nearly 2.5 times that of Japan so even if growth slows substantially, China will continue to have seismic effects on the global economy.
  • Henry Kissinger said Republican candidate China-bashing is dangerous and could create an atmosphere a la Europe before WW I – a war no one wanted but no one knew how to prevent.
  • China’s renminbi has appreciated substantially against the dollar and yen over the past few years so devaluing it due to market forces is wise, which is why the move was praised by the IMF. China’s inconsistent and ineffective policies in the currency and equity markets does not make it evil.
  • Germany has tried as hard as any nation in history to repent for its past, and is now an exemplary liberal democracy and model global citizen. Reuters said West Germany accepted 13 million people from Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe after After WW II.
  • The countries in the Middle East that have taken in refugees are often not the richest: Jordan has taken in over a million, Lebanon a huge number, Turkey 1.5 million, but Saudi Arabia and Egypt have barely taken any.
  • If you put fruits and salads at the start of a buffet, people are more likely to eat good things. If you want people to save money, make the saving the default option.
  • An Australian study found that the longer humanitarian migrants stay in a country, the more likely they are to start businesses than other migrants. Historical refugees include Chopin, Freud, Einstein and Madeleine Albright.

John Sawers at Macro Advisory Partners said:

  • The world is chaotic and dangerous due to the rise of ISIS, change in terrorist tactics to killing in shopping malls – much harder to stop – and cyber attacks, where we have no ability to deal with in a conventional way.
  • The great bulk of migrant refugees are people genuinely fleeing conflict. The bigger problem is our citizens visiting Syria and returning radicalized and terrorist.
  • The intelligence communities in America, Britain, France and elsewhere have been successful in combating terrorism, but one cannot have a 100% record.
  • Iran is transitioning from a revolutionary to a more normal state. Rouhani et al have a different vision for Iran’s security and future than the hard-liners in the Revolutionary Guard and Quds Force. Iranians, especially the young, have little respect for the concept of a revolutionary state, and just want a normal life.
  • Putin understands that any prospect of sanctions being lifted requires him to cooperate with the Ukrainian government, while the West has to understand that Ukraine holds a special place for Russians.
  • China is trying to change to a more market-led economy. The US relationship with China is key for global stability for the rest of this century. A failed China is a much more dangerous China.
  • Obama inherited the entrée from hell, but has been calm, steady and reliable. His initiatives on Iran and Cuba are important in normalizing those countries.

Naguib Sawiris said:

  • The war in Syria will not end in months or even years.
  • The whole world is united in identifying the enemy as ISIS, who are killers and gangsters.

David Halpern at Behavioral Insights Team said:

  • Peer pressure is effective in encouraging people to pay their taxes, especially if you tell them that most people in their area pay on time, and even more effective when you tell them they are one of the few who have yet to pay.
  • Most things that governments do actually concerns behavior.
  • People are much more likely to do something if they plan ahead, think more precisely and concretely, when, where and how they are going to do something. Asking questions in a different way makes people much more effective in their job search.
  • If you want people to save money, make saving the default option – as a result, more than 5 million Brits now save. 
  • Most healthy years lost are due to behavioral factors.
  • Economies bounce up and down because of what we think others are doing, and we are often wrong in those perceptions.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/

or read the full transcript at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1509/13/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 12-21-14

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Movie studios and theaters have made a mistake in not affirming freedom of expression regarding the movie “The Interview”. In the late 1930s, the UK wanted to ban distribution of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator”  to appease Nazi Germany.
  • Obama’s strategy of pressuring Russia and making it pay a price has worked.
  • Putin is not really a dictator but an illiberal Democrat.

Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal said:

  • The Castro regime or its successor will be much more obstreperous than we imagine and the liberalization that we seek will not materialize. The opening up of Burma – one of Obama’s great achievements – showed that just setting up an embassy and opening commercial relations was not enough and we gave up too much of our leverage.
  • Cuba is not China and not an important country so there will be no economic bonanza coming our way.
  • Pakistan has chased its best people away.

Anne-Marie Slaughter at New America Foundation said:

  • Robust US economic relations with China has not changed its hold on its society. A US relationship with Cuba is better for both countries and very important for US relations with all of Latin America, given America’s Hispanic population. The Caribbean is an area with much investment and Cuba is a key player.
  • Putin is very weak, and his move into Crimea and Ukraine was the result of both economic and political weakness. Putin’s popularity has been tied to his increasing the standard of living for the majority of Russians four-fold, but now Russia is in recession.
  • The Saudis are lowering oil prices to hurt both Iran and Russia.

Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said:

  • The move toward Cuba is well designed and either works and sets in motion the trends we want to see or doesn’t, and we still have the embargo in place. The move is one of the positive effects of lower oil prices because Venezuela is not going to be able to sustain theIR subsidy.
  • Putin has consolidated power to a degree around his own person that is without precedent in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, which makes it hard to predict how he will react to this pressure.
  • Pakistan is a weak, divided, almost endlessly failing state and the most frightening country in the world with 150, 200 nuclear weapons and many of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

Rana Foroohar at CNN said:

  • A great first step would be to help Cuba build a more robust Internet a la China
  • Lower oil prices is essentially a $100 billion tax rebate for consumers, but very bad news for petro autocrats like Russia and Iran – the negative fallout tends to be more intense than the positive effect.
  • Russia is a failed state economically, with 75% of the exports coming from oil.
  • In Russia and in many other emerging market countries, there is a younger generation that is quite nationalistic.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1412/21/fzgps.01.html