Monday, September 18, 2006

The J Curve

I just conducted a fascinating MoneyMasters video interview with Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group. Ian, who completed his doctorate at Stanford University when he was just 24 years old, started his business less than 10 years ago. The Eurasia Group is a consultancy that specializes in political science. It helps corporations and hedge funds assess political risk in more than 60 countries.

Our discussion focused on his recently published book called
The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. The title refers to the shape of the curve you get when you plot a country's stability on the vertical axis and its degree of openness on the horizontal axis. Ian's thesis is that closed but stable countries such as North Korea and Iran, cannot transform themselves into open countries without going through a period of severe instability.

Even China is not immune to this rule. Of course, China has managed to transform its economy, but its political structure remains closed. Ian warns that the world could face significant dangers if China suffers instability as its political system inevitably begins to open.

This MoneyMasters interview will be available for viewing on Thursday morning at 6:00 am. By the way, for all you iPod fans out there, you can now subscribe to these videos for free. Simply go to the iTunes music store and search for "MoneyMasters" or "Janjigian". Enjoy!