The World’s Policeman?

A recent Wall Street Journal review of a new book by Aiyaz Husain, “Mapping the End of Empire”, brings to mind the days of Britain’s role as the World’s Policeman.  “Pax Britannica” was a period of relative peace in Europe and the World (1815-1914), during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.  Mr. Husain, a historian at the Policy Studies Division of the State Department, argues that Britain, exhausted and virtually bankrupted by World War II, sought to persuade the richer and fresher United States to take up new global responsibilities.

Currently, the world is facing a variety of threats, in a wide range of areas, including Iran, Ukraine, Nigeria, Syria, and the South China Sea, to mention only a few countries and areas that could have a material impact on global trade and economic activity.

Investors tend to benefit from the free flow of ideas, services and products.  To the extent that conditions worsen, threating the world’s major trade routes and/or making it difficult to purchase certain key raw materials, corporate profits and stock markets may suffer.  We will continue to monitor the global political and economic environment.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA