Analysts: Sorry, but We May Have a Global Crisis This Year

Eurasia Group lays out a bunch of ways it might happen
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2018 9:44 AM CST
Why China May Pose the Biggest Risk of 2018
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Given that "the global order is unraveling" in "a world without leadership," Eurasia Group has some sorry news: "If we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis—the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown—it feels like 2018." What kind of crisis might be on the horizon? The New York-based political risk consultancy lists 10 possibilities, including several related to declining US influence. The biggest seven:

  • China: Filling a gap vacated by the US, China is extending its influence "with less resistance than ever before," threatening economies and suggesting friction with the US.
  • Geopolitical accidents: With less trust among actors, missteps in North Korea, Syria, and Russia could lead to confrontations.
  • Global tech cold war: The US and China are seeking new technologies in "the world’s biggest fight over economic power," while other countries fight for market dominance.
  • Mexico: The outcome of a NAFTA renegotiation and a presidential election in July "both carry significant market risks."

  • Iran: Tensions will rise as the country pushes back against US efforts to curtail its regional influence. If the US-Iran nuclear deal falters, the Middle East could be thrown into disarray.
  • Erosion of institutions: "The expansion of an increasingly toxic antiestablishment sentiment is starting to erode the legitimacy of political institutions in established democracies," making for less stability.
  • Protectionism 2.0: A continuing shift toward a new form of protectionism that "generates more acrimony because it is often targeted at political adversaries" poses risks for trade in 2018.
Click for more risks or see 10 predictions for the year, including one involving robots. (More lists stories.)

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