Quick Take

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Good morning everybody and I hope everyone is okay this Monday. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, those of you that celebrate. Of course, pretty difficult news over the weekend, and even this morning, the World Health Organization, referring to the new variant omicron of COVID as a very high global risk. And when I hear those words, obviously we get moving at Eurasia Group, a firm very much concerned about that. And indeed, this is in terms of new news about this pandemic that we've all been living with now for almost two years, this is some of the most concerning new headlines that we've seen thus far.

There are some things we know and some things we don't know, there are three things we need to know, if you want to really assess what the omicron risk represents for us and for the world: rates of infection, sickness and mortality and vaccine effectiveness. We only have strong answers about the first, which is we know that this is a lot more infectious as a variant than Delta has been, which itself was much more infectious than the original virus. And that is a very serious problem. I've spoken with a lot of the epidemiologists we know about this over the weekend, they're all extremely concerned about that.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and happy week to you, happy Monday. Just back from Singapore, and of course, I arrive in the United States and political insanity on a whole bunch of things. The thing that really struck me was the Rittenhouse acquittal. Kyle Rittenhouse, this young man who brings an AR-15 to riots and ends up shooting and killing two people, injuring a third, and found not guilty unanimously by the jury on all counts. And the country, as expected in these things... And this is by far the legal case that's gotten the most attention in years, and the response of the country is absolutely polarized, and so depressing to me.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Just about to head to Singapore, but before I do, I thought I would give you guys a quick recap on the COP26 summit, couple weeks long in Glasgow.

And I understand that it's fashionable and important to talk about just how immediate and immense the climate crisis is, and that we didn't do enough, and we have more work in front of us, and all that is true, but actually I come away from the last two weeks fairly optimistic in the sense that the acceleration of effort that we're seeing from all corners, I mean there's even more from the central governments than you would've expected, and they were the underperformers, certainly more from the private sector, more from the banks, more from the corporates. And as a consequence, right now, I mean the big headline is that we are still on track for 2.4 degrees centigrade of warming if all of the countries make good on their existing pledges, which is itself unlikely. So we're not really on track for 2.4, it's higher. And that's double where we are right now, 1.2.

Having said that, there are a number of positive things that I think are also getting baked in, not just how much carbon is in the atmosphere. One is that they have decided, the participants of COP26, that they're going to come with new goals next year, as opposed to every five years, which had been the process. So as we're seeing more effort, as we're seeing more progress, we're also seeing stepped up urgency. And the very fact that you will now have a one-year, an annual summit that becomes an action-forcing event, even if it's marked by half measures, will end up getting you a lot more progress. I think that's significant and everyone agreed to that.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Happy start to your week. I'm going to talk about something completely different today, NFL football. Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay, lost to the inferior Kansas City Chiefs yesterday, 13-7. And do you know why? It's because their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, wasn't playing. He has COVID. And he was asked before whether he was vaccinated, he said, "yes".

Here's the video: "Are you vaccinated and what's your stance on vaccinations?" "Yes, I have been immunized."

Turns out he wasn't vaccinated. Now that's his right but he did not adhere to the required protocols for unvaccinated NFL players because he's a weasel. Now Aaron is saying, he's being demonized by the woke mob. He's done his research. He's listened to Joe Rogan. He took Ivermectin and a homeopathic immunization protocol, whatever the hell that is. And he's allergic to an ingredient in mRNA vaccines, which of course doesn't include J&J, which he doesn't talk about. No reason for that but nonetheless, he even sent 500 pages of research that he did to the NFL.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a happy COP26 kickoff day. That's in Glasgow. We've got a bunch of Eurasia Group folks there. I am not. I'm here in New York and of course wouldn't you know, it's the first day that it's pretty cold out and so I actually got the winter gear out. It feels a little bit perverse given the climate issues that we're talking about and thought I'd talk a little bit about where we're going.

Look, it's interesting, first of all, because the COP26 summit is right after the G-20. The G-20 didn't get much attention this time around. Also, because there wasn't an awful lot of news being made. I mean, the big announcements are coordination on the economic side. It is about an alternate minimum tax, which was been driven by the United States and the Europeans. We had movement towards that the last OECD summit and full agreement this time around at the G-20. Also, there is breakthrough on aluminum and steel tariffs that would have led to tit for tat, from the Europeans against American exports, a bunch of luxury goods. Nobody needs any of that. Both sides taking a step away from the brink, improvement in terms of globalization and movement of goods and less costs being born by consumers. And at a time when we're hitting inflation. And when there are all sorts of supply chain difficulties and shutdowns, no leaders really want to focus on a bigger fight.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody and happy Monday. Back in the office, getting a little cool. So I've got my sweater going on. It's the first time I've had a sweater on. What do you do with that? Discussing fashion, as I talk to you about what is on my mind this week?

And what's on my mind this week, Facebook. Facebook is on my mind. It's a tough week for Facebook. There are all sorts of whistleblowers out there. There's testimony going on. There's calls for regulation. Everybody seems unhappy with them. Indeed, you even got the government relations types, Nick Clegg, who I've known for a long time back when he was a policymaker in the UK saying that the headlines are going to be rough, but we're are going to get through it. But I will say, first of all, I'm kind of skeptical that any of this goes anywhere in terms of impact on how Facebook actually operates.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Read Ian Bremmer's wide-ranging essay in Foreign Affairs that puts in perspective both the challenge, and the opportunity, that comes from the unprecedented power of Big Tech.

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here on the road, something we haven't done very much recently, but will increasingly as we try to move through COVID. And I want to talk to you about a new article that I just put out in Foreign Affairs that I'm calling "The Technopolar Moment." Not unipolar, not bipolar, not multipolar, technopolar. What the hell does technopolar mean?

It means that increasingly big technology companies are themselves geopolitical actors. So to understand the future of the world, you can't just look at the United States, Europe and China. You need to look at the big tech companies, too.

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