What does Brexit mean for the UK, London, and NYC? Will McConnell allow a US stimulus payment vote?

Brexit will be here on January 1st. What big changes are coming?

There are a lot of big changes coming. Most important for the average Brit is the fact that you no longer can work or have education access in the European Union. You have to apply with normal immigration patterns, as you would outside the EU. That's going to change the way people think about their future. But otherwise, a lot greater regulatory impact, declarations of customs for goods being transmitted, so the cost of trade is going to go up with the world's largest common market. You know, the idea of I mean, for financial markets is very important because you have financial groups that are losing automatic access to the single market in the EU as well. They're supposed to be new deals cut around that, but we aren't there yet. It's not a disaster, but the fact that all these changes are happening immediately, and they are a significant cost primarily on the smaller economy of the United Kingdom and that they're going to have to be borne at a time when the economy's not doing well, when coronavirus hasn't been handled very well, when global demand is already depressed, this is a big hit, and it's a big hit also on the back of almost five years of uncertainty around the UK.


I think one of the most interesting things is London is not going to be seen as as much of a global city. As someone who loves London personally, I think that's sad. But it's also really interesting because when you think about truly global cities in the world, I've thought Hong Kong, for example, certainly not any more with what's happened from the mainland and the introduction of the national security law. London really hard to say given what they've just done in the UK to limit connections with the European Union. There's in general lots of fragmentation in the world, globalization and globalism has taken it on the chin. I think this helps the United States, the world's largest economy, and it helps New York City because there is still a desire for financial markets, for global creatives, for talent and wealth to come together in places. Tokyo is an incredibly well functioning, really big city, but it's so much more homogenous. Beijing is an incredible place with a massive amount of dynamism, energy and wealth, but it's also in an authoritarian system and a reasonably closed marketplace. It just can't be global. So, I actually think that New York City is comparatively speaking, going to do a lot better as a place in terms of energy, momentum, ideas and wealth, even though in the coronavirus period, people have been leaving New York, L.A., Silicon Valley for places that are cheaper. I would be betting long on places that are global, especially in an environment that's going to be more unequal going forward and first tier cities doing well.

Are $2000 stimulus payments back on the table in the United States?

If McConnell decides that he is willing to put it to a vote, the answer is maybe, but I have a hard time seeing him do that personally. Keep in mind that that would be a gift to the Democrats who have been supporting this without taking away any of the other bits of the bill, the rescission that President Trump has demanded, the pork and spending that has come somewhat from Republicans, somewhat from Democrats. I think McConnell still believes that the way he exercises power is by determining the political agenda and only providing opportunities for things that he and his party supports. Now, there is the complication of the Georgia by-election and both of the GOP senators who are running in that by-election, Perdue and Loeffler have come out surprise, surprise, in favor of the $2000 stimulus, the checks, individual checks, for again, for everybody that that makes under a certain amount, and that's useful for them because they're running, it's politics as usual, but I don't think that necessarily makes McConnell any more likely to put it on the agenda. In fact, given the fact that politics are generally local, they get to say they supported it, they're not going to take a hit from the fact that it doesn't actually pass. So, I think it is effectively a nothing-burger. It's Trump saying that he pushed hard for those checks, for people's money in their pockets, and it was taken away. And if he wants to have a fight with McConnell, he certainly can.

Happy New Year. What does the world in 2021 look like?

I will not tell you that right now. I will tell you that next week you should all tune in for our top risks. We do it every year. And it is well in place. There is an enormous amount of work that goes into it. We will be putting it out on Monday, January 4th. And there's going to be a livestream to talk about it at 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time. You can watch on gzeromedia.com and all of our social media accounts. I look forward to seeing all of you then. Happy New Year to everyone.

Visit Microsoft on The Issues for a front-row seat to see how Microsoft is thinking about the future of sustainability, accessibility, cybersecurity and more. Check back regularly to watch videos, and read blogs and feature stories to see how Microsoft is approaching the issues that matter most. For the latest, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

University of British Colombia professor Edward Slingerland says drinking makes us feel good and has historically encouraged socializing. But there are negative implications, as well. We now have the problem of "distillation and isolation": getting as much booze as you want and drinking alone, especially during the pandemic. There's a gender issue too: the "bro culture" associated with alcohol can exclude and even be dangerous for women. Not all regions have the same problems, though, as drinking habits vary widely. Watch Slingerland's interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus, Delta variant woes, and Lebanon one year after the Beirut blast.

An Olympian refuses to return home to Belarus and an anti-Lukashenko activist has been found dead in Ukraine. What's going on?

Yeah. That anti-Lukashenko activist was found hanged in a park in Kiev. Once again, not exactly likely a suicide. These anti-Lukashenko activists have a way of turning up injured or dead. It's a horrible regime. Their friends are limited largely to the Russians. That's about it. The economic pressure is growing from Europe, from the United States, very coordinated. But the problem is a very hard to do much to Lukashenko when he has not only support of his military, but also the support of most of the workers in the country who aren't prepared to strike because they want to ensure they still have jobs. I expect this is going to continue, but human rights abuses are stacking up. It is nice to see that the Americans and the Europeans are coordinating policy as well as they have been.

More Show less

Raisi won't have it easy: The newly "elected" president of Iran, Ibrahim Raisi, was officially endorsed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday. In his inaugural address, the 60-year-old hardliner pledged to get US sanctions removed and to respond to rising socioeconomic grievances within Iran, but he warned that he wouldn't lash Iran's prosperity or survival to "the will of foreigners." In Iran, the president's role focuses mainly on domestic policy, but with the economy reeling one of Raisi's big early challenges will be to continue complicated talks with the Biden administration to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, which would lead to the US lifting some of the harshest sanctions. Both sides say they want a new deal, and have gone through half a dozen rounds of negotiations already, but they remain at odds over who should make what concessions first. Raisi also pledged to restore Iranians' flagging trust in their government and to improve the economic situation, but in ways that are in line with "revolutionary principles." He'll have his hands full with that. And don't forget that the likely imminent (re)takeover of neighboring Afghanistan by the Taliban — whom Tehran don't like at all — will also occur on Raisi's watch. Good luck, Mr. President, you'll need it.

More Show less

It's been 365 days since twin blasts at a Beirut port decimated Lebanon's capital. More than 200 people were killed and some 7,000 were injured, yet accountability has been scarce. There is ample evidence that multiple Lebanese officials knew that ammonium nitrate was being improperly stored at the port. Four high-ranking politicians, including former PM Hassan Diab, have been charged by a Lebanese judge, but they all refuse to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Since then, Lebanon's already-dire economic and financial crises have only intensified. The Lebanese pound, the national currency, has plummeted, losing 90 percent of its value since 2019, when the country's economic crisis erupted. And more than 50 percent of the population is now living below the poverty line.

More Show less

The Biden administration is finally devoting more attention to Southeast Asia. Last week US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin traveled to Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines, marking the first regional visit by a Biden cabinet official. A trip by Vice President Kamala Harris is already in the works as well, and this week Secretary of State Tony Blinken will meet (virtually) with ASEAN counterparts.

The flurry of activity comes after earlier concerns that President Joe Biden was neglecting Southeast Asia, the region where US-China rivalry is the most intense. To understand better what Austin's visit meant, and what comes next, Eurasia Group's lead Southeast Asia analyst Peter Mumford spoke to us from Singapore.

More Show less

158: To boost vaccination rates, New York City will soon require proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test to enter gyms and restaurants, as daily new infections in the Big Apple have jumped 158 percent over the past two weeks due to the more contagious delta variant. New York is the first major US city to take this step, following similar schemes already in place in France and Italy.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. Watch episodes now

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

Does alcohol help or harm society?

GZERO World Clips
GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. Watch episodes now

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal