Peter Zeihan

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Biography

Peter Zeihan is a geopolitical strategist who has lived in the world of international affairs throughout his career. He launched his own firm, Zeihan on Geopolitics, in 2012 in order to specialize in customized executive briefings for his clients. In his new life Zeihan applies his 12 years of intelligence experience and a geopolitical perspective to specific the needs of his clients. With a mix of insight and irreverence he helps them see their businesses and industries from a new point of view, so that they can prepare for a now-more-understandable future.

Mr. Zeihan is a frequent guest on national and international television news shows on CNN, ABC, Fox News, and also is frequently interviewed for radio programs. He has been quoted in major print and online publications including New York Times, Forbes, AP, Bloomberg, MarketWatch and many others. Zeihan’s first independent book — The Accidental Superpower — will publish in November.

Before becoming a full-time speaker, Zeihan was part of the core team that built Stratfor into a geopolitical consultancy and publishing house. In his variety of roles — for four years serving as the firm’s Vice President of Analysis — he designed products, serviced client needs and managed the firm’s analytical teams across all geographic and topical areas of responsibility.

Zeihan began his career working for the State Department in Australia, later moving to Washington DC to join the Center for Political and Strategic Studies under Susan Eisenhower. In both capacities, he regularly analyzed developments in Asia, Europe and the former Soviet Union while producing briefs and publications.

Speaking Topics

The Accidental Superpower
The Coming Hurdles & Opportunities

The world is changing fast. Demographic shifts are turning everything we know about global and national economies on its ear. Shale energy is undoing decades of dependencies. The immutable rules of geography are breaking down our longstanding global free trade system. And it is all happening at the same time. What will this new world look like, exactly?

The Future of Global Energy
The global energy sector is as complicated and opaque as it is omnipresent and essential, and it has adapted to not simply the changes in the global economic system, but the global political system. Countries that were weak to nonexistent in ages past now are major players in global energy markets, both as producers and consumers. The system that has allowed this evolution now is under fire, and soon the stability that has enabled the energy sector to create its global webwork will end. What will follow will be a world both more chaotic and poorer, one in which the process of finding, producing, transporting and refining energy will simply be beyond the military and financial capacity of most players. Only the largest, smartest and richest entities will be able to maintain – much less expand – their networks. Far from its final days, the era of the supermajor has not yet begun.

The Shale Revolution
The advent of the shale era is remaking the American energy complex. The combination of at-home investment and a lower need for Middle Eastern involvement frees up considerable American resources. The result will be a different sort of American economy, a different sort of American diplomacy, and a different role for the United States on the global stage.

The Future of Global Agriculture
Modern agricultural patterns are the result of three largely unrelated factors: low-risk global trade, insatiable Asian demand, and unlimited cheap credit. Within the next five years, all three of these trends will not just evaporate, but invert. When that happens, the only thing that will hurt more than the gradual loss of demand will be the sudden collapse of supply. However, none of this impacts the American producer – it therefore will be the United States that will reap the benefits of its productivity and stability for decades to come.

The Future of Global Manufacturing
The world of manufacturing is an endlessly specialized venture, with most manufacturers sourcing components from scores of facilities across a dozen or more countries. But what if the ability to sail components from site to site became compromised? What if capital availability proves insufficient to update industrial bases as technology evolves? What if intermediate and end markets become less desirable – or less accessible? All that and more is about to happen, which signals the end of manufacturing as we know it. The successful manufacturers of the future will be those who can command access to raw materials, capital, labor and markets – all in the same location.

The Future of Global Finance
In the decades since World War II, everything from computerization to securitization to the rise of the developing world has made the financial sector central to modern economic activity. But never forget that modern finance itself is an outgrowth of revenues generated by the global free trade order. Never forget that the past two decades have witnessed the richest and cheapest supplies of capital in history. A political decision made seven decades ago created the trade order. A fleeting demographic moment created the capital richness. Both have nearly run their course. Very soon we will bid finance as we know it goodbye, and the world will be much poorer for it. A few locations, however, will find the wreckage easier to struggle through than others. For those lucky few, the world will be their oyster.

What Every Financial Professional Should Know About Geopolitics
Geopolitics is the study of how place impacts people — whether that impact be cultural, military, economic, political…or financial. Everything from how banks lend to how stocks are traded is heavily colored by where one lives, and understanding the unspoken — and often unacknowledged — rules of the game can prove critical to financial success. Zeihan explains how geography impacts the various regions differently, how this elevates some sectors while enervating others, and what sort of surprises — both good and bad — are about to burst onto the stage.

The New Face of Terrorism
The constellations of factors that allowed groups like al Qaeda to function are coming undone, ushering in an age in which transcontinental terrorism will cease to be an issue of significance. But that does not mean that the world will be terror-free. Hardly. It “simply” means that that the terrorism of tomorrow can be mapped.

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