risks

Eurasia Group Publishes Top Risks for 2020

“2020 will prove a tipping point moment in international politics. China and the US are decoupling on technology, developed world countries have become toxically polarized, and climate change matters as never before. Together, these trend lines are likely to produce a global crisis.” – Ian Bremmer

NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 06, 2020
Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan are pleased to present this year’s Top Risks report, which identifies the most important geopolitical trends and stress points for global investors and market participants in 2020, as well as a few red herrings—issues that, despite media attention, are unlikely to pose a significant threat or drive instability in the coming year.
“2020 will prove a tipping point moment in international politics,” said Bremmer. “In recent decades, globalization has created opportunities, reduced poverty, and supported peace for billions of people. But now China and the US are decoupling on technology, developed world countries have become toxically polarized, and climate change matters as never before. Taken together, these trend lines are likely to produce a global crisis.”
“Rigged!: Who governs the US?” tops the list in 2020. “This year, US institutions will be tested in unprecedented ways,” Bremmer and Kupchan write. “We face risks of a US election that many will view as illegitimate, uncertainty in its aftermath, and a foreign policy environment made less stable by the resulting vacuum.”
Below is a summary of all ten Top Risks for 2020. Please click here for the full report and an exclusive video.
Bremmer and Kupchan will host an on-the-record conference call today at 10:00 EST/15:00 GMT to discuss the risks and take questions. Dial-in information is below.
1- Rigged!: Who Governs the US?
In 2020, US institutions will be tested as never before, and the November election will produce a result many see as illegitimate. If Trump wins amid credible charges of irregularities, the result will be contested. If he loses, particularly if the vote is close, same. Either scenario would create months of lawsuits and a political vacuum, but unlike the contested Bush-Gore 2000 election, the loser is unlikely to accept a court-decided outcome as legitimate. It’s a US Brexit, where the issue isn’t the outcome but political uncertainty about what the people voted for.
2- The Great Decoupling
The decoupling of the US and Chinese tech sectors is already disrupting bilateral flows of technology, talent, and investment. In 2020, this decoupling will move beyond strategic tech sectors like semiconductors, cloud computing, and 5G into broader economic activity. This trend will affect not just the $5 trillion global tech sector, but other industries and institutions, as well. This will create a deepening business, economic, and cultural divide that will risk becoming permanent, casting a deep geopolitical chill over global business. The big question: Where will the virtual Berlin Wall stand?
3- US/China
As this decoupling occurs, US-China tensions will provoke a more explicit clash over national security, influence, and values. The two sides will continue to use economic tools in this struggle—sanctions, export controls, and boycotts—with shorter fuses and goals that are more explicitly political. Confrontation will grow over Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Uighurs, the South China Sea, and a host of other issues.
4- MNCs not to the rescue
Far from filling the gaps on critical issues like climate change, poverty reduction, and trade liberalization left by underperforming national governments, multinational corporations (MNCs) will face new pressures from political officials, both elected and unelected. Politicians working to manage slowing global growth, widening inequality, populist threats, and security challenges created by new technologies will assert themselves at the expense of MNCs. In this more difficult global environment, corporate leaders will be more focused on their bottom lines, not less.
5- India gets Modi-fied
In 2019, Prime Minister Modi and his government revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir, piloted a plan that stripped 1.9 million people of their citizenship, and passed an immigration law that considers religious affiliation. Protests of various kinds have expanded across India, but Modi will not back down, and a harsh government response in 2020 will provoke more demonstrations. Emboldened state-level opposition leaders will directly challenge the central government, leaving Modi with less room for maneuver on economic reform at a time of slowing growth.
6- Geopolitical Europe
European officials now believe the EU should defend itself more aggressively against competing economic and political models. On regulation, antitrust officials will continue to battle North American tech giants. On trade, the EU will become more assertive on rules enforcement and retaliatory tariffs. On security, officials will try to use the world’s largest market to break down cross-border barriers to military trade and tech development. This more independent Europe will generate friction with both the US and China.
7- Politics vs. economics of climate change
Climate change will put governments, investors, and society at large on a collision course with corporate decision-makers, who must choose between ambitious commitments to reduce their emissions and their bottom lines. Civil society will be unforgiving of investors and companies they believe are moving too slowly. Oil and gas firms, airlines, carmakers, and meat producers will feel the heat. Disruption to supply chains is a meaningful risk. Investors will reduce exposures to carbon intensive industries, sending asset prices lower. All this as global warming makes natural disasters more likely, more frequent, and more severe.
8- Shia crescendo
The failure of US policy toward Iran, Iraq, and Syria—the major Shia-led nations in the Middle East—creates significant risks for regional stability. These include a lethal conflict with Iran; upward pressure on oil prices; an Iraq caught between Iran’s orbit and state failure; and a rogue Syria fused to Russia and Iran. Neither Donald Trump nor Iran’s leaders want all-out war, but deadly skirmishes inside Iraq between US and Iranian forces are likely. Iran will disrupt more tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf and hit the US in cyberspace. It may also use its proxies in other Middle East countries to target US citizens and US allies. The likelihood is increasing that the Iraqi government will expel US troops this year, and popular resistance from some Iraqis against Iran’s influence there will strain the Iraqi state—OPEC’s second-largest oil producer. Feckless US policy in Syria will also drive regional risk in 2020.
9- Discontent in Latin America
Latin American societies have become increasingly polarized in recent years. In 2020, public anger over sluggish growth, corruption, and low-quality public services will keep the risk of political instability high. This comes at a time when vulnerable middle classes expect more state spending on social services, reducing the ability of government to undertake austerity measures expected by foreign investors and the IMF. We’ll see more protests, fiscal balances will deteriorate, antiestablishment politicians will grow stronger, and election outcomes will be less predictable.
10- Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—who has a long history of provocative behavior in response to threats, sparking confrontation with both foreign and domestic critics—has entered a period of steep political decline. He’s suffering defections from the ruling Justice and Development Party as popular former allies establish new parties. His ruling coalition is shaky. Relations with the US will hit new lows as likely US sanctions take effect in the first half of this year, undermining the country’s reputation and investment climate and putting further pressure on the lira. Erdogan’s responses to these various challenges will further damage Turkey’s ailing economy.
Red herrings
The new “Axis of evil”—Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Syria—is unlikely to blow up in 2020, despite the headlines. Iran represents the biggest threat, but neither Trump nor Tehran wants all-out war.
The world’s advanced industrial democracies (the US, Europe, and Japan) remain well-positioned to withstand the populist storm this year.
A big win for Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party, and a historic-scale loss for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, gives Britain a much-needed break from Brexit madness in 2020.
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Top Risks conference call dial-in (10:00 EST/15:00 GMT)+1 800.791.4813 (US, CANADA)+1 785.424.1102 (INTERNATIONAL)CONFERENCE ID: 4994
Conference call replay available three hours after call at:+1 844.488.7474 (Toll-Free)+1 862.902.0129 (Toll)Access Code: 12161550
***Eurasia Group is the world’s leading global political risk research and consulting firm. By providing information and insight on how political developments move markets, we help clients anticipate and respond to instability and opportunities everywhere they invest or do business. Our expertise includes developed and developing countries in every region of the world, specific economic sectors, and the business and investment playing fields of the future. With our best-in-class advisory and consulting offerings and GZERO Media, the Eurasia Group umbrella provides the marketplace with a complete political risk solution. Headquartered in New York, we have offices in Washington DC, London, San Francisco, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Singapore, and Tokyo, as well as on-the-ground experts and resources in more than a hundred countries. “Politics first” grounds our work: Politics is the lens through which we view the world, and we are committed to analysis that is free of political bias and the influence of private interests.

Lottery Tickets as Holiday Gifts for Minors? Know the Risks!

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.

The idea that a game of poker among teens or the gifting of a lottery ticket to a minor is harmless, simply because they are not smoking or drinking, is sending the wrong message that somehow gambling is acceptable for underage persons.

SANFORD, Fla. (PRWEB) December 10, 2019
Today, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) joined forces with the National Council on Problem Gambling and the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University, to urge parents and others to take the time to select meaningful holiday gifts and stocking stuffers for kids, versus buying unsuitable, quick-fix gifts, like lottery scratch off tickets, or other items not intended for children, which have the potential to cause harm.
According to Jennifer Kruse, FCCG’s Executive Director, “The idea that a game of poker among teens or the gifting of a lottery ticket to a minor is harmless, simply because they are not smoking or drinking, is sending the wrong message that somehow gambling is acceptable for underage persons. It is essential to remember that gambling is strictly prohibited for individuals under the age of 18 in the Sunshine State. Of equal importance, attaching a lottery ticket to a child’s gift or including a lottery ticket in a child’s holiday stocking can actually cause harm, with research findings on this very issue directly correlating the receipt of lottery tickets as gifts during childhood with risky, problematic gambling behavior later in life.”
While most people don’t have problems when they gamble, more young people today are developing problems with gambling than ever before, due to the availability, accessibility, and acceptability in our society. Many adults are unaware of the non-traditional ways that gambling is now popping up online, such as through video games – where casino gambling takes place within the game or players purchase upgrades that increase the likelihood of success or extend the game (extra chances or lives) – all of which are forms of gambling. Research findings from one study noted that those with problem gambling behaviors at age 30 were three times more likely to have engaged in a greater variety of gambling activities as youth. Thus, children receiving lottery tickets as holiday gifts have an increased risk for the development of later-life problem gambling, as this represents exposure to another type of gambling activity.
Youth between the ages of 13-17 are among the fastest growing groups of problem gamblers, with prevalence rates in some states twice that of the adult population. According to Kruse, “Data collected on the FCCG’s 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine supports this assertion, as 36% of problem gamblers seeking help last year said they started gambling before the age of 25, and 10% stated they began gambling prior to reaching the legal age of 18. Further, more than one-third (34%) reported the onset of gambling-related problems began before the age of 30. Whether or not folks are comfortable with the idea, children can and do engage with gambling. The FCCG urges parents, educators, and others not to dismiss problem gambling from the long list of concerns regarding today’s youth.”
Additionally, Florida prevalence research among adolescents’ ages 13-17 reveal that at-risk, problem and compulsive gamblers acknowledge that the first person they gambled with was a family member, often identifying a grandparent, parent, sibling, or other relative. “Parents and other adults must remember that just as gifting a child a bottle of alcohol or a pack of cigarettes is inappropriate, so too is the gifting of lottery tickets to minors. We must create safeguards to help protect our youth and ensure they understand that gambling is a risky behavior, as is the consumption or use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco,” Kruse concluded.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) is a not-for-profit corporation under contract with Florida State government, serving as the designated state affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). In addition to operating the 24-hour Problem Gambling HelpLine (888-ADMIT-IT), the FCCG increases awareness of problem gambling through education and outreach efforts throughout the state of Florida, advocates on behalf of the public regarding issues relating to problem gambling, and provides programs, resources, and other population specific supports to those in need of assistance.
i. Kundu, Priya V eta l. “Gambling-Related Attitudes and Behaviors in Adolescents Having Received Instant (Scratch) Lottery Tickets as Gifts” Journal of Adolescent Health: Official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine vol. 52, 4 (2013): 456-64.ii. Caribonneau, R., Viataro, F., Brendgen, M., Tremblay, RE., Variety of Gambling Activities from Adolescence to Age 30 and Association with Gambling Problems, December 2015.iii. Shapira, N., Ferguson, M., Frost-Pineda, K., Gold, M., Gambling and Problem Gambling Among Adolescents in Florida, A Report to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, February 2003.

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