Ian Bremmer is one of the foremost geopolitical analysts of our time. He is founder and president of Eurasia Group, a geopolitical risk and consulting firm based out of New York. The creator of the global political risk index (GPRI), Bremmer has authored several books, including national best-sellers "The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations" and "Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World." He is a frequent contributor to publications like Reuters, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and is a regular on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox News Channel and CNN.
Bremmer recently sat down with ETF.com to discuss which geopolitical events concern him most at the moment, and what that means for the various economies around the globe. He also tells us the sectors and countries best positioned economically for a G-zero world, which Bremmer describes as a new world order where there's an absence of global leadership from any one country, or group of countries.
ETF.com: You're one of the most renowned geopolitical analysts in the industry. Looking ahead to the coming year, what current geopolitical event concerns you most?
Ian Bremmer: Clearly, right now it's got to be Ukraine, because if the West gets it wrong—and they are getting it wrong—the implications are enormous; not just for Ukraine. We're talking about the movement of some of the largest economies in the world. Geopolitics is already driving Russia into recession, and the Europeans—who are just clawing out of recession themselves—are also exposed. Then there are the risks from the broader great power relationships between the United States and Russia.
ETF.com: What does that mean for investors? Do you see a potential spillover effect into other markets in that region?
Bremmer: Sure. The United States is pushing very hard with sanctions—and to get European support if the Russians don't back down. There's no chance of the Russians backing away, and there's some chance that the violence we've already seen will expand with Russian troops on the ground in Ukraine. The inevitable U.S. and European response will clearly have knock-on effects across Europe, particularly with those economies that are most vulnerable to disruptions of business with the Russians.