May 31 2019

Executive Power Under Attack

Look at Brexit. What started as a shock when the referendum confirmed by popular vote on 23Jun16 that the Brits would get out of the EU, has gradually morphed into a mere amusement for those looking at the disarray of the political scene in the UK. Now this has become the epitome of something more radical at play: A global shift in executive powers leading to a geopolitical threat.

In the aftermath of this 3-year drama, the recent European election has finished to prove that traditional parties have been completely wiped out. In the UK, not only the Conservatives have lost their credibility in the process, with a demise starting back to Cameron’s days, but also Labour, which miserably failed to cash in on a political vacuum left by their main opposition. In a sinister fate of things, Nigel Farage and his procession of doomsayers are back with a vengeance.

Sadness doesn’t start to describe it. Crucially, this is the end of the runway for traditional, rather centrist, parties who failed to quell inequalities and deliver sustainable growth. As we’ve experienced in the US, the executive power is seized by radical outsiders whose actions, although providing a refreshing approach for a while, are threatening to topple down our democracies and the post-2nd-world-war order.

The crisis of the executive power is not only visible in the US, but also in Italy, Greece, and Germany (decline of SPD, and CDU/CSU), where the watershed of recent elections should soon force their leaders to consider anticipated elections with results to be feared.

While the recent examples in Austria (vice-chancellor Strache stepped down after video scandal) and Romania (indictment of the ruling party leader for graft) give us hope that institutions and check-and-balances are alive, the reshuffling of governance everywhere in the world directs us towards some new knowns, such as that nationalist moves are no guarantee of better well-being, and also some new unknowns, how a group of resolutely nationalist countries could agree on a global peace order?

360 Advisory – Markets