Ian Bremmer from Davos: Trump's speech; impeachment trial; Putin 2024

Ian Bremmer joins us from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to provide his analysis on the news of the day in global politics:

What stood out in President Trump's Davos speech and how is it received?

Well, I mean, you know, his victory lap stuff. I mean he's talking a lot about how amazing the economy is and the trade deals is getting done that are better than ever. Look, he has some actual accomplishments to trumpet now. His exaggerations were pretty great. How it was received as interesting; In the crowd, some tittering, people shaking their heads. But the reality, we're talking privately, is they like a lot of what he's doing compared to a lot of the Democrats that are running. Remember, these are CEOs of industry. These are financial titans. They're much more aligned with Trump than they are say, Greta on the environment. Important to know that when you think about how people make decisions.


The Senate impeachment trial has begun. What are your expectations?

Expectations? That he's going to get acquitted, the president, on an almost perfectly party line vote. That's going to anger the Democrats immensely, will make them feel like the electoral process itself is delegitimized. If it's a tight election, it's going to be a contested outcome. I fear that that is where we are heading.

What is going on with Russia and Putin's proposed constitutional changes?

Well, you got a new government in Russia. It looks a lot like the old government, but Prime Minister Medvedev is gone. You've got this new entity that is potentially one that Putin will end up running. It's a Kazakhstan type thing. What do you do when you want to stay president for life, but you're stuck at the end of this term in 2024? He's just setting up for the long term and Putin's going absolutely nowhere.

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Learn more in this episode of Eni's Energy SUPERFACTS series.

British economist Jim O'Neill says the global economy can bounce back right to where it was before, in a V-shaped recovery. But his argument is based on a lot of "ifs," plus comparisons to the 2008 recession and conditions in China and South Korea that may not truly apply. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Robert Kahn take issue with O'Neill's op-ed, on this edition of The Red Pen.

Today, we're taking our Red Pen to an article titled "A V-Shaped Recovery Could Still Happen." I'm not buying it. It's published recently by Project Syndicate, authored by British economist named Jim O'Neill. Jim O'Neill is very well known. He was chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He's the guy that coined the acronym BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China. So, no slouch. But as you know, we don't agree with everything out there. And this is the case. Brought to you by the letter V. We're taking sharp issue with the idea that recovery from all the economic devastation created by the coronavirus pandemic is going to happen quickly. That after the sharp drop that the world has experienced, everything bounces back to where it was before. That's the V. Economists around the world are debating how quickly recovery will happen to be sure. But we're not buying the V. Here's why. W-H-Y.

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Over the past few years, we've seen three major emerging powers take bold action to right what they say are historical wrongs.

First came Crimea. When the Kremlin decided in 2014 that Western powers were working against Russian interests in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to seize the Crimean Peninsula, which was then part of Ukraine. Moscow claimed that Crimea and its ethnic Russian majority had been part of the Russian Empire for centuries until a shameful deal in 1954 made Crimea part of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. Americans and Europeans imposed sanctions on Russia. But Ukraine is not part of NATO or the EU, and no further action was taken.

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Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, provides his perspective on technology news:

Will the new audit of Facebook civil rights practices change the way the company operates?

Yes. It came under a lot of pressure from civil rights activists who organized an advertising boycott. And then an internal audit on Facebook's effect on civil rights came out. It was quite critical. Those two things, one after the other, will surely lead to changes at the company.

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The United States and the European Union have comparable population sizes, but their COVID-19 death toll trajectories have recently become very different. Since the beginning of July, the average number of both new fatalities and new deaths per 1 million people is rapidly increasing in the US while it remains mostly flat in the EU. We compare this to the average number of new cases each seven days in both regions, where the US trend continues upward but is not surging like the death toll. EU countries' robust public health systems and citizens' willingness to wear masks and maintain social distance could explain the disparity.