In 2024, all over the world, voters will be stepping up to the plate. There will be more than 70 elections next year in countries that are home to around 4 billion people—for the first time, more than half of the global population. But while there is more voting than ever, there is not necessarily more democracy, and many elections will be neither free nor fair.
Most consequential for the global economy will be what happens in the US. Voters, and the courts, will have a chance to decide if they want Donald Trump 2.0, who has about a 30-40% chance of regaining the US presidency according to betting sites. The consequences will be global, affecting everything from climate policy to military support for Ukraine, NATO expansion or withdrawal, policy in the Middle East, competition with China, regulation of AI, US domestic oil and gas production, immigration politics, and the list goes on.
America’s plan to pivot to Asia, and focus more on its rivalry with a rising China, has been derailed by war in Ukraine and now Gaza. Russia, too, is distracted and losing influence. Frozen conflicts are thawing and local cold wars are heating up around the world. Instability in North and Central Africa is rising. The world is preparing for more conflict now that America’s “unipolar moment” has ended.
As China’s growth has slowed, tensions continue to rise over Taiwan, and America continues to limit Chinese access to advanced technologies. The “new cold war” rhetoric has hardened. Western companies trying to reduce their supply chains’ dependency on China might find it more difficult than expected. And new countries, such as India and Mexico, will capitalise on those trends.
Another big theme in elections will be the changing face of the clean energy transition, which will re-draw the energy resources map. Lithium, copper and nickel now matter more, while oil and gas and coal, and the regions that dominate their supply, will progressively matter less. But we hasten to add that many of these changes will take many years, if not decades, to play out. Competition for green resources will reshape geopolitics and trade, and create new winners and losers.
Source: Alpine Macro
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