The Third Rail
Navigating the geopolitical power grid in 2024
Joel Ross, who writes the legendary Wall Street newsletter The Ross Rant, sent me a question after reading Karim Pakravan’s recent guest post on EconVue+. Given all the geopolitical trends and events now underway, what is my conclusion about the state of the world, and what does that mean for people trying to make decisions in the new year?
I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days, shifting the puzzle pieces around, in order to try to put into a few words what I really think. The quick answer to the second question is that this is a season for caution. Watch out for that third rail that looks like all the rest, but don’t ignore the fast track that always emerges in times of rapid change. Distinguishing between the two requires understanding how the system and the engineering work.
Bigger picture, looking down from a higher altitude, 2024 looks geometric to me, like a power grid with intersecting lines. A world that is divided horizontally and vertically in an electronic tapestry, woof and warp—in fact a kind of spherical chip. My purpose in writing is to suggest a flexible framework to facilitate decisionmaking for anyone trying to deal strategically with this intensely dynamic situation.