Silicon Valley Bank collapse: Not 2008 all over again
Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.
With the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, is it 2008 all over again?
There's one very clear way that it's not, which is that it's not a big enough crisis for people to come together. And remember, after 2008, everyone understood that we needed to do everything possible to get the markets functioning, get trust in the system again, and avoid a great depression. Nobody's saying that right now. And it's not just because the US political system is more divided, it's also because people feel like it's fine to go after the "woke" banks. It's fine to go after the Trump era deregulation around the medium size banks. And everyone can point at their favorite villain while you don't really need to do a hell of a lot beyond the bazooka that Secretary Yellen threw at SVB and Signature Bank this weekend. So no, in that regard, it's very much not 2008 all over again. In some ways I'm happy about that and other ways I'm not.
As China reopens to tourism, is COVID finally behind us?
Well yeah, in the sense that we can travel everywhere. I mean, the fact that you haven't been able to go to China for three years now. First because of COVID, then because of zero-COVID policies is a real problem. I mean, engaging with Chinese policy leaders, corporate leaders on a Zoom, you're just not getting a lot of information. And Munich Security Conference was the first time I met with a senior Chinese delegation face-to-face, aside from China's then ambassador, now foreign minister to Washington in three years. So I mean, just my level of understanding of what the hell is going on in China is significantly less than I need it to be. And now that we can all start going to China again, that's a really big deal. So I think that makes COVID behind us. Of course, long COVID isn't behind us. And this is a permanent disease that, in terms of COVID's reality, people are still going to die from this thing, but in terms of treating it like a pandemic, yeah, I think it's pretty clear that that we are over and done with and I'm glad to say it.
Will the AUKUS deal shift the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region?
No, I don't think so. I mean, it's a big deal for the Americans to be sharing advanced nuclear technology and hardware with the Australians, something the Americans wouldn't have done before. That is in part a growing concern about China. By the way, it's also potentially an intelligence risk because Australian level of security around their intelligence and information and their susceptibility to espionage from Beijing is a lot higher than that of the United Kingdom, than that of the United States. So there is a risk on board with that, but no, I think the important thing is that the Americans are continuing to focus on what is really a pivot towards Asia, more military equipment, more economic engagement, and of course, more concern of American allies and partners all across the region that they need the Americans from the security perspective, even as China becomes the critical economic partner. So that I think is important incrementally, strategically, but I wouldn't say AUKUS is the big mover, this week's San Diego meeting notwithstanding.
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