Multi Asset: Global

Geopolitical Strategy

BCA Research’s Geopolitical Strategy service provides market-relevant, data-driven, non-partisan, macroeconomic research with geopolitical risk analysis resulting in discretionary trade recommendations for global investors.

Competitive Advantage

  • Investment Relevance - Geopolitical Strategy is the financial industry’s only dedicated geopolitical strategy. Launched in 2012, it builds upon over 70 years of macroeconomic expertise at BCA. No other provider of geopolitical analysis has a firmer grounding in investment research.
  • Analytical Framework - The Geopolitical Strategy method emphasizes national constraints rather than preferences. We identify geopolitical opportunities as well as risks, and aim to reveal when markets are overrating or underrating geopolitical narratives.
  • Non-Partisanship - Our analysis responds to our clients’ interests – not to partisan biases. Coverage is politically neutral, centered on the market, and global in range.

Geopolitical Strategy is not about predicting inherently unpredictable events. It is about getting global policy settings right, improving scenario analysis and probabilities, and thus capitalizing on geopolitical risks and opportunities.

Matt Gertken Chief Strategist,

Geopolitical Strategy

Deliverables

  • Weekly Reports provide high-level analysis of geopolitical political issues affecting global asset classes.
  • Special Reports give an in-depth view of country risks and forward-looking themes.
  • Webcasts discuss the latest research with a lively Q&A.
  • Special Alerts provide insight on sudden, extraordinary global developments.
  • Geopolitical Calendars give clients a handy look ahead each month.
  • Book Reviews keep clients informed of critical texts on geopolitics and markets.

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Some of what we've called

2022 Ukraine Invasion, Taiwan Crisis, Iran Nuclear Breakout
In April 2021 we shorted Russian assets and in January 2022 we predicted the invasion of Ukraine, which occurred the following month. We also predicted that the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis would occur within two years, which materialized in August 2022. Finally we predicted that the US-Iran would fail to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran would reach nuclear breakout capacity, and the Middle East would destabilize anew.

2021 Hypo-Globalization

In a post-COVID context, global trade will revive but a return to “hyper-globalization” will not occur. Globalization will underperform its potential. Protectionism and mercantilism will co-exist with the formation of strategic trading blocs.

2020 No Return To Normalcy After Covid-19
In April 2020 we warned that “geopolitics is the next shoe to drop” after the pandemic. The recession would exacerbate great power competition, protectionism, and nationalism. We warned in March 2020 that while Democrats would win the US election, the post-Covid world would be inflationary and geopolitically unstable, and in July 2020 we warned specifically that US-Russia tensions would skyrocket.

2019 US Peak Polarization
In July 2019 and again in April 2020 we argued that US political polarization is reaching a historic peak that will include the 2020 election cycle and the aftermath. In the coming years we expect a new national policy consensus to emerge centering on proactive fiscal spending and confrontation with China. Polarization is a feature of US politics but its market relevance will decline if there is consensus on fiscal and trade policy.

2017 Proxy Battles In Asia
Amid US-China divorce, the rest of Asia becomes a key focal point for global growth, trade, and geopolitical competition (March 2017). India, Japan, and Southeast Asia stand to benefit but Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines face escalating geopolitical risk.

2016 China Deleveraging
China’s leadership is using the centralization of political power to combat systemic financial risk and this “deleveraging campaign” will drag on global growth (Dec 2016). The trade war and COVID-19 only temporarily interrupted this important theme, which is one of the major deflationary risks in the exuberant post-COVID bull market.

2014 Peak Globalization
In Nov 2014 we argued that the world has seen “Apex Globalization.” Multipolarity in geopolitics would reinforce the protectionist impulses emerging around the world.

2012 US-China Rivalry
We assessed that US-China conflict was likely in Sept 2012. This enabled us to take President Trump seriously from the beginning. We also highlighted that policy would remain hawkish under any Democratic president, which has played out with the Biden administration.

2011 European Integration
BCA Research Geopolitical Strategy has argued since its inception that the EU monetary union would not collapse and that European integration would be the answer to crises (Oct 2011). We always carved out an exception for the UK, which culminated in Brexit. Still, European solidarity and integration have been reinforced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geopolitical Strategy

Matt Gertken

Chief Strategist

Matt is BCA Research’s Chief Strategist, Geopolitical Strategy and US Political Strategy. He oversees the firm’s coverage of market-relevant policy developments across the world. Prior to joining BCA in 2015, Matt worked as a Senior Analyst at Strategic Forecasting, Inc (Stratfor) and in various academic and publishing roles. Matt holds an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

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