S Aufrecht


  • The single point I want you to take away: Nobody knows what's going on in globalization. I know the leading writers on globalization, Thomas Friedman, Jagwash Bagdati, Martin Gouf ?. We are like the blind men describing an elephant. Why was the head of DBS bank sacked—I mean, why did he resign? Because he underestimated the exposure to the sub-prime crisis.
  • Three questions I hope to answer:
    1. What is it and who created it?. the process that is leading to the creation on one world. Most of the good things in the world in the last century have come from the West.
    2. what threatens it?
      • The conventional wisdom is Al Qaida. Or the failed states, Somalia, etc. Or it's the NGOs, demonstrating against world talks. I'm going to Geneva tonight to give a speech, and I'm going to be naughty and tell the NGOs many of the problems in the world are their fault.
      • Protectionism is coming back. A trade round is about to collapse for the first time in 60 years. Fred Bergstein's bicycle theory. Uruguay round almost failed but 1993 APEC leaders meeting rescued it.
    3. Can Asia save it? Yes and no (but not maybe). I was in Pakistan when the exiled leader came back and then was re-exiled the same day. But what the world didn't notice was that two young Pakistani geeks set up a company, I think it's called Scribe, which was sold to Adobe for hundreds of millions of dollars the same day. But on the No side, many Asian countries don't want leadership. China has chosen not to take any kind of global leadership. This may be in order to avoid alarming/provoking America. Deng Xiao Ping gave advice before he died in the form of 28 characters. Take a low profile. After Doha collapsed everybody's minister except China was on TV. The other possible candidate is India. See Singh's thoughtful speech. India is not ready yet.
  • This is a time when the need for global leadership has never been higher but the availability of leadership has never been lower. There is no natural leader.
  • Q:. What about MNCs? A: They were driven out into the world by an enabling environment.
  • At this point a classmate asked an interesting question about what the physical presence of a country's internet connection is (prompted by this) and that led to some research so I missed most of the Q&A, which seemed to cover the basic globalization terrain.