Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow

What will 2024 bring us?

The economy is overheated. Or perhaps underheated? Efficiently networked or shackled by fragile supply chains? How can you not lose in a trade war and how can you make money in a conventional war? But only effectively and in the spirit of ESG (taking into consideration environmental, social, government facets). We will be saved by technology, the educated proclaim. Artificial intelligence will destroy us, proclaim the apostles of mainstream wisdom.

In 2024, for the first time in human history, elections will be held in 76 countries with more than half the world’s population, including eight of the ten most populous countries in the world: India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia and Mexico. Every second adult on our globe will be taking politicians to task for the way they have governed in a time of decline, inflation, bloody conflict and widespread disinformation. In place of the shocks that tested the maturity of the political class, more black swans are sure to appear. There has been a pandemic, there is a war in Europe and, to make the end of 2023 even more stark, there is the eruption of a dormant volcano of savagery in the Middle East. The smaller, smouldering armed conflicts that have been going on for years are no longer noticed because they are no longer on our holiday or business agenda. On the other hand, we suppress the threat of war either unintentionally or deliberately.

It will be a year brimming with surprises, in which more than 4 billion voters worldwide will dance to the tune of the new media. Never before has social media been better placed to politically dominate such a large public sphere and supplant the authority of traditional mass media. This seemingly most democratic form of direct contact with the electorate has simultaneously become fuel for manipulation, disinformation, panic and the stigmatisation of opponents. Opinion leaders on Twitter now have infinitely more power to reach and mobilise the electorate than the dinosaurs of old-fashioned campaigning methods. Unverified sources of knowledge, non-existent opinion leaders, ubiquitous fake news driven by the vast capabilities of artificial intelligence…

On Europe’s socio-political radar, the boats of another violent wave of migration can be seen. The EU is supposedly testing new instruments to send people back to where they came from. However, they will prove to be as ineffective as all the previous ones. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to predict this. The EU’s external borders should be impermeable to migrants and solidarity regulations will only deepen the divide between Western and Eastern Europe because coherent Eastern European countries with their traditional societies did not and do not want immigrants.

The countries where elections will be held in 2024 generate more than half of global GDP. This is where the partners and customers who supply us create, produce and employ: with components, raw materials, food, services and expertise. And this is precisely where the economic systems will have to drift to the right or left. And you, as an entrepreneur, have to ask yourself the question: do you prefer a free market that leans to the right or to the left?

Whether we like it or not, we are living in interesting times.

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