The Long View 2021: Awareness in a Dynamic World
December 17, 2020
The pandemic and governments’ responses dominated the headlines in 2020—along with the US election. The crisis forced business leaders to focus on operations and what was in their immediate field of vision. This outlook presents key themes to watch in 2021 to regain perspective and awareness. The continuing battle to arrest the spread of COVID, spur economic recovery, and mitigate the collateral damage will make the business, social, and political narrative in 2021 very predictable. Many themes Longview identified for 2020 remain equally or more pressing for 2021: inequality and social justice, innovation, sustainability, political risk in the US, the rise of China and geostrategic rebalancing, and the EU’s efforts to set a Europe First agenda.
The US Election: A Business Risk Assessment
October 1, 2020, updated October 26, 2020
Election crisis scenarios have come to dominate discussions of American politics, but such thinking has been handicapped by a long history of political stability and notions of American exceptionalism. Longview applies an emerging market political risk assessment framework to the US and outlines implications for businesses. The analysis explores a full range of possible outcomes to reduce the potential for surprise—a need highlighted by the advent of COVID.
The Long View 2020 1/2: What Changes, What Stays the Same?
July 18, 2020
In December 2019, Longview Global Advisors outlined key issues and trends to watch in 2020. Then the Covid-19 pandemic changed the global narrative. The pandemic and associated economic and social shocks are unprecedented in many ways and these forces have accelerated many preexisting economic, social, and political trends, making definitive answers about the future hard to come by. This brief offers a mid-year reassessment of risks and signposts to watch as the pandemic continues. Throughout, it is important to ask, What changes, and what stays the same?
Latest Views Around the World of the US
July 12, 2020
Views of Americans about their country tend to be more favorable than views of the US held by elites abroad. To reduce this potential blind spot for US based executives, Longview summarized views around the world of the rapidly evolving situation in the US. It is based on informal conversations as well as a survey of media and research.
Longview Quick View: The IMF's World Economic Outlook in the context of Covid-19
April 14, 2020
The IMF's spring World Economic Outlook has added to the drumbeat of sour economic news related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a preview, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, “We anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression.” The agency's outlook is in line with other forecasts, but it also pointed to many unknowns and downside risks, especially in 2021.
The Long View 2020: Geostrategic Business Issues to Watch
December 12, 2019
Global developments in 2019 played out with a seemingly unprecedented significance and pace. This VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity) world requires businesses to conduct more complicated planning and risk management and hedge to avoid surprises. The Long View explains 10 issues to watch in 2020 so you can ask more questions, challenge more assumptions, and be more skeptical of business-as-usual mentalities.
Five Forces Driving the World’s Political Risk Supercycle
Updated, November, 2019
The global political environment has been characterized as unprecedented, volatile, and dangerous—epitomized by an upsurge in populism and authoritarianism. This brief connects the dots and shows how this megatrend is rooted in five major, interconnected political forces: 1) slow growth, 2) inequalities in income and opportunities, 3) perceptions that governing institutions are unresponsive, 4) political entrepreneurs or insurgents, and 5) a hyperconnected social media environment. These forces are driving an enduring, global political risk supercycle that cannot be ignored. The brief suggests three ways business leaders can respond to the threat.
This assessment updates a Longview analysis first published in October 2016.
Greece: Back from the Brink
April 22, 2019
Greece is peripheral to the EU in many ways—in terms of its location, small economy, and cultural difference from the rest of Europe. Yet, Greece has had an outsized impact on the EU’s economic and political agenda over the past decade. And, in many ways, developments in Greece—the financial crisis and economic stagnation; the rise of populism, extremism, and euroskepticism; and migration pressures—have exemplified the existential challenges facing greater Europe. Greece is turning a corner now, and for these reasons, understanding more about Greece also gives insight into Europe’s economic, political, and social trajectories.
The Long View 2019: Issues to Watch, Questions to Ask.
December 27, 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, one of its striking characteristics is the head-spinning pace of developments in domestic and international affairs. Another is the rising sense that political risks could blow the global economy off course. This fast-moving and complex dynamic makes it difficult to form a view of the future, so this brief reviews developments over the last year and uses conceptual frameworks to suggest how the year ahead may unfold.
Quick View: The Business Implications of the US Midterm Election
November 8, 2018
Longview Global Advisors assessed the policy and business implications of the US midterm elections. Three takeaways are: (1) it wasn’t a show-stopping repudiation of the Republican agenda; (2) the new Congress will be more polarized; and (3) political infighting and gridlock will intensify. Expect USMCA to be ratified, tariff and non-tariff barriers with Chine to go up, and Russia sanctions to be extended. Ultimately, the most important driver of White House policy will be the outlook for the US economy in 2019-2020.
The Long View: The Rising Political Risks of Trade and Investment
July 13, 2018
Assessments of the Trump administration’s tariff announcements have been breathless and lack sufficient analytic nuance and political context. This note argues that predictions of a global trade war are overwrought. Trade relationships are complex and dynamic, there are many cross-cutting forces that defy simplistic assertions, and rising protectionism will have unequal effects on business. In this context, US trade and investment relations with China and its other key partners are likely to get worse before they get better.
Quick View: The Business Implications of Mexico's Historic Election
July 2, 2018
Longview Global Advisors and Latin American Lens, a Mexico City-based consultancy have combined forces to provide research and advisory services. This brief assesses policy and business implications of the electoral victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Morena party.
Quick View: The Kim-Trump Summit—A positive development, for now
June 12, 2018
Despite negative assessments of many pundits about the personal nature of the dialogue and a lack of firm commitments,the Kim-Trump summit process has produced a significant near-term improvement in US-Korean and inter-Korean relations. The situation after the Singapore summit is far cry from the very tense stand-off of just 5 months ago. However, the risks of disappointment are significant and the opportunities for businesses and investors are very limited.
The Long View: The IMF's World Economic Outlook
April 22, 2018
Twice yearly, Longview Global Advisors reviews and assesses the World Economic Outlook published by the IMF—with a focus on the social and political drivers and implications for business. This brief reviews and assesses the April 2018 Outlook.
The Long View: Political Issues to Watch in 2018
December 20, 2017
This outlook synthesized perspectives from Longview experts around the world. It focuses on eight key country-level issues that investors and business leaders will need to pay attention to in 2018 in dealing with politicians and policymakers, stakeholders in society, and local business partners and competitors.
Field Report: Politics and Business in the UAE and Saudi Arabia
November 7, 2017
This note presents observations from a visit to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and reflects conversations with a range of investors, business leaders, and advisors working in the Gulf. A common theme heard was "watching and waiting." The region’s economy has bottomed out, but the outlook for the medium term is subdued. This comes against a backdrop of great geopolitical flux—concerning energy markets, Saudi politics, Yemen, Iran, and Qatar. High profile arrests announced in Saudi Arabia on November 5 reinforce a sense of change and uncertainty.
Field Report: A View of Independence from Catalonia
October 30, 2017
This field report is based on five days observing political developments in Barcelona and outside the city. It reflects conversations with a range of Catalans as well as others living in the region. The brief also draws on broader political, social, and economic themes Longview has been observing around the world over the last several years.
Assessment: The 19th Plenary Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
October 27, 2017
The 19th Communist Party congress, held in late October, effectively portrayed China as a nation with a strong and unified leadership and a well-defined plan for the future. Key messages were that China is driving global growth, investing at home and abroad in infrastructure and innovation, and is committed to globalization and trade. This is in stunning contrast to many other countries’ challenges with slow growth, governance, and nationalism.
Outlook for Brexit and the UK
September 1, 2017
The May government’s weakness has undermined confidence and clouded the UK’s outlook. The EU’s firm and united stance is reinforcing a hard Brexit scenario as well. A hard Brexit, preceded by some stop-gap “soft” transitional regime, remains the most likely outcome (50% probability). Brexit should be viewed as a tortuous 10–20-year process that businesses and investors will have to deal with.
Venezuela: Regime change or more of the same?
August 20, 2017
Political risks in Venezuela are rising, but timing has always been an issue and the “inevitability” of regime change is an unreliable construct. There are two likely scenarios: the persistence of grinding economic and political stalemate (with or without Maduro), or a regime change that leads to some
form of transition government that tries to stabilize and reform an impoverished, polarized, and armed country.
Around the World—Leaders’ Views of President Trump
March 24, 2017
US business leaders traveling abroad are constantly asked for their views of Donald Trump. For the context behind those questions, Longview Global Advisors’ country experts outline in this brief how political leaders and their constituents around the world view the American president.
Business Implications of the Trump Policy Revolution
December 21, 2016
Since the American election, US equity markets have surged, reflecting investors’ assumptions that President Trump will focus on growing the economy and creating jobs through fiscal stimulus, tax cuts and simplification, and deregulation. Almost all of his first one hundred days’ agenda is directed at this objective. In this brief, Meridian Research Group and Longview Global Advisors map out the medium-term implications of the Trump policy revolution.
Game On: A Political Outlook for Brexit and Europe
October 26, 2016
Most voters, politicians, and business leaders in the UK don't want to see a hard Brexit, yet the politics of divorce in both the UK and EU are likely to derail diplomatic efforts to finesse a soft variant. Expect a drawn-out, contentious process, with costly outcomes for all parties involved.
Angela Merkel Faces Her Biggest Challenge Yet In Brexit
July 7, 2016
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pragmatic attitude to crisis management, while criticized for its caution, has cemented her standing as the preeminent leader of Europe. The British vote to leave the EU now presents her biggest challenge. More than ever, Germany will shape the fate of the EU and the UK’s relationship with it.
The Panama Papers, Political Risks, and the Business Leader Agenda
April 6, 2016
Sensitive information related to over 200,000 offshore entities, investments, and transactions over 40 years has been made public. Regardless of the legality of the activities covered, the political risks are significant. The affair is likely to last a long time and lead to unexpected fallout.
Myanmar: Tremendous Investor Interest Amid Significant Risks
April 4, 2016
Investors have poured into Myanmar, but they face a daunting operating environment characterized by underdeveloped infrastructure, widespread poverty, questions about political stability and poor governance.
Enhancing the Board's Global Perspective
March 28, 2016
Many corporate boards do not possess directors who have the requisite international expertise to provide a credible challenge to management. There are (arguably) at least three approaches to enhancing the global perspective of the board. Dean A. Yoost and D.J. Peterson elucidate how to broaden your board's global lens.
Brexit could help derail the global economy in 2016, but British voters could care less
March 2, 2016
The Brexit vote has been set for June 23 and the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union—something that was widely dismissed—suddenly seems very real. While the economic impacts are hard to quantify, the near-term risks—leading up to and immediately after the vote—look decidedly tilted to the downside.
Doing Business in Fragile Markets: Integrating Doing Good and Doing Well
December 17, 2015
Fragile states can be opportunity markets. But the reality is that investments are just as likely to create tensions as they are to resolve them, and doing good in addition to doing good business is a difficult task.