April 9, 2020 infosol

Undercurrent 4: Endemic Chutzpa in Midst of a Global Pandemic

19 Undercurrents with Ramifications That Go Beyond Twenty 20

US Role & Brand Value 

  • The pandemic raised many new questions about the void of U.S leadership in a global crises
  • Many US allies like Germany & Canada are shell-shocked & dumbfounded by U.S posturing
  • US enacted legislation from WWII, depriving Germany from access to medical supplies
  • Considered to deploy troops on Canada’s border, a neighbour and a NATO & USMCA partner
  • Locking horns with WHO and threatening to cut the funding for the multilateral body
  • Meanwhile the flow of medical supplies from Eurasia to the E.U & U.S indicates a new paradigm
  • These have all created deep dents in United State’s perceived international pre-eminence
  • The global superpower with largest defence budget found its healthcare infrastructure defenceless
  • Massive shortages of ventilators, PPE and other critical supplies for frontlines, define new frontlines
  • United States’ November elections will be a hot-bed for the debating seismic domestic negligence
  • Yet neither party has a halo-effect in such debates, as these shortcomings are decade long issues
  • After these crises and regardless of November results the US domestic and international policy priorities need a major retooling

Keep an Eye On

An accelerated pace in de-dollarization around the world is in motion. Though this will not happen overnight yet it will be faster than predicted before.

An uptick in demand for gold, and possible discussions for new global fiscal architecture and realignment are proactively murmured in different capitals.

RMB will not replace USD overnight, but a growing share of trading in Euro, RMB and other currencies will gain momentum.

Moving forward labelling China as a “currency manipulator” will take a backseat and will be a harder sell after these crises. China’s soft power muscle flexing in these crises and the fact that many capitals are holding their breaths, and hoping that China repeats its GFC 2008 playbook for reigniting global growth may result into new constellations.

For example many countries continue to suffer from punitive U.S sanctions and are in dire need of medical devices, equipment and supplies amidst this ravaging global pandemic.

The human toll is and will continue to be high and yet U.S applies its hard-handed Dollar muscle in these hours of need and humanitarian crisis.

With such realities in a post COVID-19 China may be perceived as an “Exchange Controller” and United States within the global conscience may assert the title of “Currency Manipulator”.

It’s easy to put Make America Great Again on a baseball cap, which probably was made in China. Yet these crises have revealed that US needs to knock the baseball cap into a cocked hat and to work hard to genuinely, harmoniously and sincerely regain it status and credibility at home and abroad.

Ali Borhani is the Managing Director of 3Sixty Strategic Advisors Ltd. It is the readers’ responsibility to verify their own
facts. The views and opinions expressed in this article/commentary are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other individual, agency, organization, employer or company.