I don’t have much to add about the horrific attack in Nice last night. It saddens me as it saddens you. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the world grappled with the threat of large scale, high tech coordinated attacks. Some methods have worked better than others. While the world’s global anti-terror efforts have had success in thwarting attacks on the scale of 9/11, the proliferation of lethal “lone-wolf” attacks seem impossible to stop.
Financial markets barely wince anymore at events such as Nice, Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Istanbul, Baghdad etc., etc. They have become immune. But what we’ve been seeing recently are political and cultural reactions that will continue to have increasingly impactful ramifications on global economies and markets. As citizens in a free society (here and in Europe) we must be wary of those with “easy” fixes to this threat, and what those fixes entail. These fixes are increasingly taking the form of politicians rising to power on platforms of nationalism and isolationism. Markets may not be paying attention to the growing nationalist fervor building in Europe yet, but they will. It’s a massive step backward for markets and the global economy. Because that fervor results in events like Brexit. Each new terrorist attack increases these nationalistic/isolationist feelings.
This latest attack simply pushes France closer to Nationalist leaders, and that means moving closer towards the unwind of the EU. This will not be good for the already fragile state of the region’s economy, and the notion that the U.S. will be able to de-couple from any Euro anarchy is preposterous, especially when you consider the state of our nation, also at risk of an isolationist/populist revolt:
Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2016
I’m not entirely sure what he’s referring to when he says “when will we learn?” but I have a few guesses. And those “learnings” all seem like they lead to the type of self inflicted wounds that do more damage to our country and the world than a terrorist with an assault rifle or a truck ever could.
No matter how you look at, or who you support to lead the next leg on America’s fight against terrorism it’s not just a matter of a commander in chief of the Armed Forces and intelligence capabilities. We also need to lead in a measured and calculated way and avoid the inclination to retreat into isolationism.
The West withdrawing from the global markets and the freedom of movement of people would have devastating implications on the global economy. That’s exactly what the bad guys want.