Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Tag: Donald Trump

Three un-Davos men

None of these men are ideologues in the classic sense. They are the latest incarnations of Huntington’s culture warriors — they are masters of the culture of contradictions. Xi has revived his own form of Maoism, with unchallenged state control, now sauced up with dollops of market- and technology-infused pragmatism. Modi, for his part, embraces Hindutva and foreign leaders with equal vigour and is equally facile at following ancient texts and his WhatsApp feed to check on who has responded to his daily greetings. As for Trump, he is consistent only in playing to the base that brought him to power and to his own base instincts. He can also talk up America like a luxury condo he has developed for the exclusive use of global investors even as he sends strong signals that the condo is not open to the riff-raff, especially from certain continents or certain religions. These are the unDavos Men, who are consistent in their adherence to contradiction.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

Trump Envoy Erik Prince Met with CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund in Seychelles
by Erin Banco

“Why would you separate the management company?” asked Patrick Schena, an expert on sovereign wealth funds who teaches at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. “One of the reasons is to give the appearance of a degree of separation to show independence in decision-making.” In other words, he said, RDIF wanted to move away from a highly controversial sanctioned entity to appease potential business partners.

Read the full article in The Intercept

Beware the Trump Effect

This is a tale of two septuagenarians; I hope they never meet. One is the country of India as an independent democratic nation. The other is the American president, a reminder that independent democracy provides no guarantee for its product. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Washington DC, he extended an invitation to the Trump parivaar to visit India. Ivanka Trump accepted right away and recently the details of her visit have been re-confirmed by the official medium of this White House — over a tweet. While Ivanka’s appearance would be harmless enough, it would be best if Daddy chooses to stay away.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti at Brookings

If Trump, Modi Talk Climate

All this makes for an awkward prelude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington — a pity, since the two headstrong heads of state have a lot in common. Diplomacy may demand that the climate kerfuffle be kept off the agenda. In the unlikely event that it does come up, though, here is a cheat sheet for the PM.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

The Art of Curry Diplomacy

Infosys’ curry diplomacy was, no doubt, inspired by Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” order and his threat to revise the H-1B visa programme. I am not convinced that extravagant job-creation programmes in the US are the best use of Infosys’ increasingly scarce resources. While the Bengaluru-based IT giant may know how to mix its spices, to “curry favour” is a phrase that, oddly enough, has little to do with treating someone to a mean curry. Its obscure origins are in the grooming of horses: “To curry” is “to brush”. By spending resources on creating thousands of tech jobs in a country where the administration is gutting resources for science and technology programmes in an industry rapidly being automated, it seems Infosys is bringing the wrong curry and backing the wrong horse.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

Seize The Year: And Now For All The Non-Trump News Crowded Out in 2017

It is already the start of the third month of 2017. We have been so absorbed with the daily barrage of news from Washington DC and Mar-a-Lago, and news about news, both fake and real, that it seems all other headlines have been crowded out. So much else needs to be done in 2017 to create the headlines we would like to see in the months ahead. It is time to “carpe annum”, to seize the year.

No doubt, 2017 will live in the long shadow of 2016. We must also find ways to take stock and push beyond the shadows. Of the many from which to pick, we found 5 developments from the past year worth noting in its impact on our work ahead.

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Predicting the Trump Presidency: How I Blew It

It has been almost a week and I am still not prepared for President Trump. I was sure that Hillary Clinton had it in the bag. I had convinced myself that Donald Trump’s arresting, but toxic, message, his misogyny and rage against the “other”, together with his general lack of discipline, organization or depth would do him in. Reassuringly, the polls were confirming that the electorate also agreed.

Of course, I was wrong. Of course, it is easy enough to declare it a “black swan”, the equivalent of “stuff happens; don’t blame me”, and move on. I simply couldn’t. How did I — and almost every “expert” I know or read or meet at conferences — get it so spectacularly wrong?

Read the full post from Dean Chakravorti at The Huffington Post

Brexit: The return of boundaries

The Brexit vote may not be the last nail in globalisation’s coffin, but it has ensured that the pallbearers have been set on high alert. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, a despondent America considers a vision of the country modelled on a gilt-edged and inaccessible penthouse apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue. After all, the promise comes from the owner of such a penthouse; Donald Trump intends to impose punitive tariffs, deny entry to Muslims and others deemed undesirable, while dismantling trade deals and security alliances. What is more, his rhetoric has struck a chord in America and beyond. Nativists sentiments, growing inequalities and a sense of insecurity about the disappearing middle-class dream is a dangerous mix when there are politicians who — to use my favourite example of madly mixed metaphors — are prepared to lead their countries off the edge of a precipice with their heads in the sand.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express

Thiel Warms Up The Throng For Trump: When Silicon Valley Becomes Political

Silicon Valley, famously, is as much about that over-used notion of disruption as it is about over-stated claims to making the world a better place. Both goals have the power to stir up the millennial mind, which is good for recruiting. Both, however, also have strong political overtones: disruption pulls the rug out from under the powerful; as for making the world a better place…well, isn’t that what politicians are supposed to be doing when they aren’t politicking? No wonder, despite the commonly held belief that politics and technology are like oil and water, technology, without question, is increasingly tied to political expression. In the past, this expression used to occur in subtle ways. In the present political season, that subtlety has gone out of the window. Technology seems to have embraced politics like never before.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in Forbes

Trumping Across the World
Donald Trump is not a uniquely American phenomenon. America is only catching up.

Of course, there can be no comparison. One is a teaseller’s son, the other, heir to a multi-million dollar real-estate fortune. One is a career politician, the other, a bull repeatedly charging the political china shop. One who campaigned with different headgear, from Rajasthani turbans to tribal dumluks, impeccably synchronised to appease different target constituencies, the other, favouring the same immovable bird’s nest of hair as the sole ornamentation for his head, regardless of the customer.

With all that being said, America’s unexpected surge in favour of Donald Trump, who has just won the crucial New York primary, reflects a universal yearning: The ordinary man — and woman — wanting to be led by someone extraordinary, by a leader omnipotent and muscular, who does not dither with endless policy deliberation and consensus-building.

Read the full op-ed from Dean Chakravorti in The Indian Express