The major world risks in 2016

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, January 5th, 2016 - 13 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, Environment, Globalisation, International, iraq, Japan, Syria, us politics, war - Tags:

For those who need one extra helping of anxiety-inducing risk discussion for 2016, here’s a summary of what the Eurasia Group have to say:

The Middle East is the most vulnerable to a geopolitical leadership vacuum and is heading toward conflagration. There are six failed states across the broader region (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria, and Yemen) and more refugees than ever recorded. ISIS has become the most powerful terrorist organization in history. Oil economies are under strain. All of this will get worse in 2016.

Europe will feel much of the pain—in economic costs, security vulnerability, and political blowback. The United States, at the twilight of Barack Obama’s administration, will mostly stick to its knitting, since the western hemisphere remains insulated from the lion’s share of geopolitical instability. In Asia, despite having many of the world’s strongest national leaders, helping manage these problems is not a priority.

This all means a dramatically more fragmented world in 2016 with more intra-, inter-, and extra-state conflict than at any point since World War II. And yet drawing the major powers into military battle against one another—World War III—is virtually unthinkable (recent comments from Pope Francis notwithstanding). The world’s four largest economies—the United States, China, Japan, and Germany—are all deeply reluctant to accept responsibility for crisis management. Only the Germans are affected directly by this turmoil, and they still have plenty of reasons to duck the fight.

And so, in 2016, conflict intensifies. Last year, investors recognized growing uncertainty but remained more focused on the economic improvements: a US economy in recovery and Europe coming out of recession. That’s unlikely to last, as geopolitical risk shakes the global order.”

The broader report also dishes on:

  • The hollow and weakening trans-Atlantic partnership
  • Conflict between Open Europe and Closed Europe
  • China being the only remaining country with a global strategy, and its increasing global footprint
  • Rise of ISIS within many more Islamic-dominated countries
  • Destabilising discord inside Saudi Arabia
  • Technology leaders rising as political agents
  • Political and economic crisis worsening in Brazil

And dismisses a few things as red herrings:

US voters aren’t going to elect a president who will close the country to Muslims. China’s economy isn’t headed for a hard landing, and its politics will remain stable. Continued strong leadership from Japan’s Shinzo Abe, India’s Narendra Modi, and especially China’s Xi Jinping will keep Asia’s three most important players focused on economic reform and longer-term strategy, reducing the risk of conflict in Asia’s geopolitics.”

It’s a fun stab at a bunch of things.

13 comments on “The major world risks in 2016”

  1. Liberal Realist 1


    However EG don’t recognize how (IMO) dangerous the situation in Syria is. Unintended consequences could very easily lead to a hot conflict between Russia & Nato.

    It’s lucky that the Russian’s played cool when their bomber was ambushed. Some of the language coming out of Russia now suggests that they won’t tolerate any more bullshit from the likes of Turkey.

    Interesting assessment via Consortium News:

  2. Agora 2

    Anxiety is exciting, energising, empowering due to increased noradrenalin flow throught the system. Consider the risk profile of the Australian economy ..

  3. AmaKiwi 3

    In the recent debate between the 6 or 7 Republican presidential hopefuls, ALL promised acts of war if elected.

    The decision to go to war is not rational. It is emotional. The crowd loved the candidates’ aggressiveness. The US public is getting psyched for a John Wayne “give ’em hell” confrontation.

    War is the monster child of fear, anger, and racism. If wars only began after rationally calculating the costs versus benefits, there would probably never ever be a war.

    In 2016 the USA will significantly expand the Mideast war. The public mood demands it.

    • One Two 3.1

      Manufactured Consent

      The public mood is whatever it’s required to be

      • AmaKiwi 3.1.1

        @ One Two

        I am not sure what you mean. If you mean the underlying social mood can be manipulated by the rich and powerful, I disagree.

        I see us moving from an era of trust, cooperation, and optimism to an era of anger, distrust, fragmentation, and pessimism. The EU is unraveling. This NOT what the rich and powerful want. Mideast turmoil is bad for the multinationals. Etc.

        I think you and I have a fundamentally different view of what drives macro social changes.

        • One Two

          the crowd loved the candidates aggressiveness …”

          That is manufactured consent which you describe eminating through the debate audience, broadcast across the networks

          It’s about the perception of social mood and is a primary tool. Look it up

          The actual social mood has been changing and will continue to deteriorate. Whether it leads to positive change remains to be seen

          Turmoil is always good for the few

      • Smilin 3.1.2

        The public mood is controlled by the media who are constructs of the front put out by the govt pr , the truth has nothing to do with it or we would all be dead, the final solution has come full circle.
        Just to extend the need to question the principles behind this and nail the dodgy bastards like Key who think we dont know .
        Dirty Politics on a global scale will be the MO as all the other lies have failed to convince even the dumbest of us that this crock of shit we call our financial system is anything thing like good for us and the fact that far smarter people than me for 3yrs now have been predicting a major crash this year greater than 2008 and it will be like the 30,s, its just the beginning.
        By 2017 no one will give a damn who is in power in this country because it wont change anything and all Keys BS will only be there to satisfy his BS dream of his youth as he plays golf in Hawaii with Obama both retired fucking BS artists

  4. plumington 5

    IMHO With Russia and China emerging as contenders for the new world reserve currency American interests are manipulating world markets and commodities to retain power
    China and India are buying up Gold reserves and our western fiat currency system is going to be manipulated to the wishes and outcomes for the banking elite
    As these power houses seem to be in conflict, are they?
    Much like most political parties their ideology may differ but they offer very little or no practical difference to the masses another sign of manipulating the democratic systems and those within
    This is not just NZS problem it is a world democracy problem (and we the peasants think our country lacks corruption those in real power have done a great head job)
    With those in real power 3-5 steps ahead of the great unwashed consequences and reaction are just part of their strategy
    Nothing happens without a reason, and follow the money, 2016 will be a interesting year

  5. johnm 6

    1. Abrupt climate change and the chaos it brings:
    ( )
    ( )

    Afewknowthetruth says:
    December 23, 2015 at 10:50 am
    Re: climate change being the number one issue….

    Yikes! At 403.89, we now have a daily CO2 data point 5.15ppm above one year ago! That’s twice the recent historic trend of about 2.5ppm per annum (0.7 ppm per annum rise when Keeling started measuring).

    Okay, one data point does not make a trend, but it is symptomatic of the shocking predicament we (well actually our children) are in.

    Surging atmospheric CO2 is not so surprising really, when you consider that chopping down trees, burning fossil fuels, and covering pasture in concrete and asphalt have all become so

    Kevin Hester says:
    December 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I suspect the big story of 2016 will be an awakening in the global populace that abrupt, runaway climate change is driving our biosphere over the cliff and into the abyss.
    We have crossed dozens of irreversible tipping points that are leading us towards near term human extinction and sooner than anyone is being told.

    Posted by Kevin Hester on Friday, 21 November 2014

    – See more at:
    Risk of major confrontation with nuclear armed Russia in Syria and the Ukraine

    2. The Warshington Neocons ( Who follow the Wolfowitz doctrine of World full spectrum dominance and hegemony have destroyed independent governments in the ME except so far Iran and embattled Syria ) are successful so far in destroying 5/7 Middle Eastern nations: Re General Petraeus. ISIS is a creation of Warshington, London and Paris and the Anglo-Israel alliance.


    3. Sixth mass extinction of life happening on this Planet now and we will become extinct long before the rest: Industrial Civilisation is a death machine totally a 1000% short term binge and totally unsustainable. We are at war with the Planet and parts of the World whose resources we wish to take.


    4. Fukushima with 3 meltdowns is uncontained and is poisoning the Pacific and the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere continuously. The Pacific fishing stocks have been destroyed by ruthless over fishing and symbolic of this is the Japanese greed of sending Whalers into the Antarctic this year to kill Whales in contravention and contempt of the Antarctic Treaty which bans commercial activity in the World’s last remaining pristine environment, Japan signed that treaty.

    • johnm 6.1

      The Warshington Neocons engineered the over throw of the democratic government of the Ukraine bringing war and destitution to a once stable nation that had positive ties to Russia.

      Russia had positive ties to Europe culturally and economically now severed by their slavish vassal subservience to neocon Warshington. Already a major war could have been started by the illegal criminal shooting down of the Russian jet over Syria.

      Now facing reality Russia has declared:

      Russia names United States, NATO as threats to its national security

      For the first time since the dissolution of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism in 1991, a strategic document of the Russian state has openly designated the United States and the NATO military alliance as threats to Russian national security.

      The document, “About the Strategy of National Security of the Russian Federation,” was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on New Year’s Eve. It warns that Russia faces “counteraction from the USA and its allies, which are striving to retain their dominance in global affairs.” It predicts that this will lead to further “political, economic, military, and informational pressure” on Russia.

      The document points in particular to actions NATO has taken since backing the February 2014 coup that installed a far-right, pro-Western regime in neighboring Ukraine. It cites the “intensification of military activities of [NATO] member countries,” the “further expansion of the alliance” into Eastern Europe along Russian borders, and “moving military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders” as national security threats to Russia.

  6. There are many daunting experiences that we have encountered and hope that they will stay in 2015. However, sadly enough they are still outstanding and not yet resolved up to this date. They will continue to haunt us throughout 2016 depending on how various leaders around the world go all out to their maximum capability to try fix the situation. Until then, more lives will be lost and finance bubbles are yet to be burst.

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