Peter Zeihan: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

Remember Chimerica? Coined in 2006 it died before reaching adulthood!

I haven’t heard much from Niall Ferguson lately but now Peter Zeihan is a fixture on uTube. Back then Ferguson was credible. How long will Zeihan be relevant? In any case he makes a good argument for the Collapse of Globalization which we can see with out own eyes just like we saw the reality of Chimerica.

The Captain


Also recommended, from the same guy:

Zeihan is a smart guy. The kernel of his thesis is based on demographics. That demographics rule economics.
Another guy (Harry Dent) predicted the 1990’s stock market boom-based on demographics.

He is now writing books where to invest as the world is in a demographic cliff though the US demographic cliff is much less severe than China, Russia & Europe.

Intercst who post here occasionally retired early in his late 30’s. He has a retire website that was established in 1996.
He has a page in which he has tracked various portfolio over time. His manufactured Harry Dent portfolio has done best even surpassing the manufactures WarrenBuffet portfolio. The link below for perusal.


I really need to find the hour to watch that video. I used to think Ray Dalio had it right in his book about the rise and fall of empires and the patterns they have had over centuries. What Peter pays attention to, however, that Ray doesn’t seem to notice, are two key things:

  • The US is losing the appetite to be the world’s police, and the impact that has on global maritime trade (i.e. globalization)
  • The demographic cliff the developed world is facing, with China being the most worse off

After reading both people’s books I decided Peter is right. I highly suggest people watch the video Captain posted. Then for more detail, read his book.


Zeihan is indeed smart and interesting. He looks at aspects of the world that many ignore. He then always comes down on the side of most pessimistic future possible. The kind of guy who has predicted 12 of the last 2 global collapses.


I guess its how one defines “globalization”. For many years, the well off and the cerebral and the compromised told us - that getting the cheapest price was the end-all be all. Some of us warned that there’s more to a nation than just being a consumer for cheap stuff and since those days, middle classes are supposedly “wealthier” - yet a more are on meds and whole cities are wastelands. Not to mention recently the well off and cerebral figured out they don’t want to be be held hostage by other nations in some cases. So yes, maybe the day of the investor class reaping most of the tax-deferred benefits, and “strong buy!” benefits …while poor workers in poor countries do the grunt work, and the Americans descend into dysfunction and despair - eager to embrace anger and demagoguery (sound familiar?). I am very heartened that so many who used to shout ‘free trade!’ and “dont be nationalist!” have learned a lesson - and have figured out that maaaaaaybe - it’s ok to pay more, but be just a bit less dependent on others. Salute to all involved.


Globalization is a live and kicking. Ask the Europeans are are peaved we are subsidizing our taking back of major industries. The US will be taking China’s place exporting a manufacturing deflationary force globally. We have demand side econ now. Our partners the Europeans are getting supply side econ. Woe is them.

Why do we common folk keep blaming the “elites” for the problems that we ourselves are responsible for? It is we consumers who demand the cheapest prices and vote people out of office if gas prices go up. It is we consumers and small business owners who look the other way when an undocumented immigrant is willing to mow our lawns, wash dishes, or put on roofs for cheap. No one is forcing the middle class to use opioids, buy gas-guzzling SUVs, or become obese. Refugees crowd our southern border because of drug gang violence in their home countries. It is American drug users financing those gangs. We want personal freedoms but refuse to act responsibly and hold ourselves accountable.

“The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves”

I don’t buy it. Zeihan is much smarter than I am but I find the argument a bit weak. Globalization exists because globalization works. It is responsible for much of the rise of global GDP since WWII. Economics drives policy so I don’t think globalization will disappear unless someone comes up with a competitive alternative.

What the aging demographic means is that there is a growing need for a more mobile global work force. The EU greatly benefits from the free movement of workers from eastern Europe to countries in the north and west. Britain is just finding out the downsides of restricting that flow. We have a southern border problem in large part because our farmers, restaurants, and builders need these laborers (which conflicts with our distrust of people who look different and don’t speak English).

What I think we will see as a consequence is a globalization of labor through more liberal immigration policies in the countries most affected by an aging population.


This is mentioned in the video but probably not hard enough. It is talked about much in the book however. Globalization was possible, in large part, by the US Navy patrolling the seas and making them safe from piracy (whether private or state sponsored). This was a direct result of Bretton Woods at the end of WW2. Because before that happened moving valuable goods by ship across oceans was risky. We patrolled the seas, and this became mostly a non-issue. Heck, our Navy is practically the only reason why, for decades, shipping oil by boat through certain critical regions of the world was possible, safe and cheap. (I would say our Navy is a HUGE subsidy to the oil industry that nobody talks about.) The problem is the US populace is growing tired of being the World’s Police Force and paying for that. This is the predominant threat to globalization.


Our government marches to the tune set by corporate desire via lobbyists & campaign contributions. NAFTA in the 1990’s opened the floodgates to offshoring manufacturing jobs through Jack Welch started it in the 1980’s by shipping GE appliance jobs to Mexico to bring more profit to the bottom.

Then there is internal corporate sabotage within the government. Remember Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin(former co-chairman Goldman Sachs)? He in conjunction with Allen Greenspan & Larry Summer shut down Brooksey Born derivitives warning. Born actually wanted to create regulations over derivatives! That had to be stopped.

Rubin also facilitated the repeal of the Glass-Seagal Act which allowed commercial banks to get into stock & bond issuance. Once the prospect of the removal of the Glass-Seagal appear boy did the campaign contributions flowed to congressional reps & senator.
Reuban’s reward for his part in pushing the repeal through? Top job at Citicorp. One of the largest if not the largest commercial banks in the USA.
The above shenanigans has been written about. I use Nomi Prins’s “Other People’s Money:the corporate mugging of America ” as a source.
She left the investment bank world in 2001-02 after attaining a managing directors job at Goldman Sachs leaving much invested stock options on the table. She told her boss when resigning:”I know actually what to do to be successful here—and I have no desire to do it.”
She attained the upper level of the ziggurat she really saw the corruption & egarious pay and saw through “the Goldman rhetoric about how globalization was good for its bottom line and the general future of the universe.”
She became a journalist & book author writing about the US financial world & its impact on our economic world.
Her latest book “Distortion: How the Financial Markets Abandoned the Real Economy Forever”

A riveting exposé of a permanent financial dystopia, its causes, and real-world consequences It is abundantly clear that our world is divided into two very different economies. The real one, for the average worker, is based on productivity and results. It behaves according to traditional rules of money and economics. The other doesn’t. It is the product of years of loose money, poured by central banks into a system dominated by financial titans. It is powerful enough to send stock markets higher even in the face of a global pandemic and threats of nuclear war.
The above description of the book is taken from the Amazon website.

I would say you are casting blame on the wrong party. But that is just my opinion.


Back in the day of the East India Companies the “Police Force” was privatized to the East India Companies. One way or the other the consumer always pays the full price. No free lunch.

The Captain

Goldman Sachs does a lot of crappy stuff for which they should be blamed, but I don’t think they and their ilk are responsible for American obesity, drug use, the widespread hiring of undocumented workers, or ( to get back on topic) the desire to buy lower priced foreign merchandise even if made in sweat shops at the cost of American jobs. Those behaviors are based on choices individual Americans make.


That and how problems are handled are generational in the US. The boomers “en mas” have been messing up for decades. If we had more Millennials in this forum we’d hear a different story.


You’ll have to explain this to me. The US military will certainly act in the US interests, including protecting trade routes important to America. But it is rare that the US military is deployed in areas where the US has no interests. That’s not really being a police force.

It also doesn’t appear that the US navy spends a lot of time protecting trade routes, it’s not like they are constantly deploying convoys as in WWII. So I suspect what the US populace may be actually growing tired of are attempts to impose regime change in cultures that aren’t amenable to democracy.

In any case, I think the real guarantor of maritime trade is the economic importance of the trade to most countries. This means that parties that threaten that trade are likely to face global economic sanctions. What would be the point?

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Here’s a map of US military bases in the Middle East:

About 20% of the world’s oil flows through the Persian Gulf. We spend literally trillions of dollars to make sure that oil keeps flowing.


There is always a need for a check on our spending patterns. But the American public understands the role we play in the world. There are fringe voices claiming massive clout on both sides. There are times where our foreign policy is very unpopular. But over all the American public is resourceful and dutiful to taking care of the world. We also get our military is a hammer that comes down.

btresist certainly corporate are not responsible for obesity or drug use. However corporations are full support, along with the Democratic Party for different reasons, of employing undocumented workers. So beneficial for the bottom line. Which why corporations also supported globalization as stuff got made with cheap labor & products in some cases remained high to benefit the bottom line. Apple is a prime example. Or in some cases like laptop went down somewhat but nowhere near what the corporations were raking in on profits from cheap labor.
And those extra profits from cheap labor along with financial data distortion largely goes to CEOs & the top 10% who own the majority of share in the stock market (80-90%).
In Welch speak:”Increased Shareholder Value” justified ever increasing CEO compensation.


FWIW, that would be en masse.


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I never said I knew anything :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


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I will defer trying to defend Zeihan’s claim about the importance of our Navy to globalization to his book, which does a great job making his claim. But just as a quick note, why was there not a “real guarantor of maritime trade” w/o the US Navy before Bretton Woods? Because before this happened, global maritime trade was a risky business.

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