Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, as he prepared to return to France, expressed the thought that the world is growing more dangerous. His concerns are based on the perception that three main safety mechanisms no longer function.
- No more American power willing to be the last-resort enforcer of international order.
- No solid system of international order.
- No real concert of nations able to re-establish common ground.
These observations by a career diplomat are certainly worth serious consideration. Investors may want to also reflect on the realities of history. The world has always been a dangerous place with a long history of wars and regional conflicts. Efforts at a system of international order have tended to fall short. Even Britain’s efforts as the world’s policeman, during a century of “Pax Britannica”, was not sustainable with the advent of World War I (see our blog titled “The World’s Policeman”).
Investors may also want to reflect on the nature of uncertainty. Not knowing, or the future, is typically scarier than reflecting on what has already occurred.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA