David Murrin: Part 1 – The U.S. and Europe are in a Terminal State of Decline
This episode is broken into two parts, second part will be out Wednesday.
Tom Bodrovics interviews global forecaster and author David Murrin on the topic of the road to war being peppered with polarization. Murrin explains that the human strategy for survival is through social structures, and that wars between a weaker system and a rising system are necessary to create a better outcome. He also explains that war is regulated by the Kondratiev cycle which takes place every 56 years. He then talks about how China is seen as the primary polarizer, with America as the secondary polarizer. He then moves on to discussing Germany and how it has not yet responded with secondary polarization. He believes that Germany’s reunification with East Germany was a reverse takeover, and that Germany has been subverted by Putin. Murrin then talks about the UK’s response to Russia, and how misguided it is to not be increasing defense spending while at war with Russia. He says that the UK needs to be spending 5% of its budget on defense until the threat of China and Russia is abated.
David discusses the importance of lateral thinking, particularly in times of war. He posits that dyslexia and lateral thinking are key qualities that can provide game-winning strategies and are underutilized in the Western world. He explains the concepts of hunter-gatherers and agrarianism, pointing out that when the Western world is in decline, there is a disproportionate number of linear leaders who aren’t able to adapt. He then moves on to discuss his five stages of empire model, which is a construct to explain human social systems, and the Kondratiev cycle. Central banks have been unable to predict and manage inflation due to their linear thinking. He argues that the current wave of inflation is likely to lead to further escalation of wars and that China’s need for commodities will drive its agenda.
Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
0:37 – Polarization & War
6:07 – Germany’s Response
15:30 – Political Oscillations
16:53 – Stages of (Empire) Decline
27:46 – Disordered Thinkers
35:49 – Commodity Cycles
Talking Points From This Episode
- David Murrin discusses the Kondratiev cycle, which takes place every 56 years and regulates war.
- According to Murrin, dyslexia and lateral thinking are key qualities that can provide game-winning strategies and are underutilized in the Western world.
- Murrin explains how war is often linked to commodities and how central banks have been unable to predict and manage inflation due to linear thinking.
David Murrin began his unique career in the oil exploration business amongst the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the southwestern Pacific islands. There, he engaged with the numerous tribes of the Sepik River, exploring the mineral composition of the region. Before the age of adventure tourism, this region was highly dangerous, very uncertain and local indigenous groups were often hostile and cannibalistic. David’s work with the PNG tribespeople catalyzed his theories on collective human behavior.
In the early 1980s, David embarked on a new career, joining JP Morgan in London. Watching his colleges on the trading floors, he quickly identified modern society also behaved collectively. He was sent to New York on JPMs highly rated internal MBA equivalent finance program. Once back in London, he traded FX, bonds, equities, and commodities on JPMs first European Prop desk. In 1991, he founded and managed JPMs highly successful European Market Analysis Group, developing new behavioral investment techniques which were utilized to deploy and manage risk at the highest level of the bank.
In 1993, David founded his first hedge fund, Apollo Asset Management, and, in 1997, co-founded Emergent Asset Management as CIO. His primary role was overseeing trading across all fund products as well as being particularly active in the firm’s private equity business. He co-founded Emvest, Emergents African land fund, in 2008 and acted as its Chairman until its sale from the group in 2011. In addition, through Emergents Advisory Business, David was responsible for the critical fund-raising for Heritage Oil, allowing it to expand significantly by investing in its Uganda exploration program. He took full control of Emergent in 2011, combining his management of the Geomacro fund with the role of Chief Executive Officer until 2014.
David has been described as a polymath and his career of more than three decades has been focusing on finding and understanding collective human behavioral patterns including deep-seated patterns in history and then using them to try and predict the future for geopolitics and markets in today’s turbulent times. He has a remarkable track record.
Davids advisory and future trends speaking are based on his direct investment experience combined with a framework that can be used to explain and qualify decisions within an investment team, aid risk assessment and reduce biases in collective investment decisions.
In the desire to share his observations and predictive constructs, David has written four books.