Notes on the Global Condition (2017/4)

You don’t exit the force field you alter your position within it … and you don’t do so under conditions of your own choosing. Or, why economic nationalisms are not all alike.

The diverging response in markets and from business actors to Brexit and Trump has been indicative of the huge power gradients within global economy.

On Brexit news and any talk of “hard Brexit” sterling plunges. So far the response to Trump has been to drive the dollar up. It is the Mexican Peso that plunges and emerging markets in general that take a hit.

When Trump tweets aggressively about Ford’s or Toyota’s Mexican investment plans their stock drops and they cancel their plans. Meanwhile, Downing Street huddles anxiously with Nissan to cut a deal to persuade them to retain jobs in the UK. Whilst Trump crows of his triumphs in keeping jobs in America, the British advocates of sovereignty are so embarrassed by the deal that they have done that they refuse to disclose it to parliament. The only body that may actually be able to extract information about the deal is … Brussels!

Another way to think this might be in terms of the distinction between those who have no option but to accept rules, those who have the power to decide whether or not they will accept a certain set of rules, those who decide or co-decide what the rules are and those who decide whether there are any rules at all.

Does this have implications for the options open to a reformist left administration in Washington, were there ever to be such a thing? Sure it does!


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