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David Murrin: We are Looking at a Decade of Conflict

Tom Bodrovics is once again joined by global forecaster and author David Murrin to discuss global conflicts and the cycles that lead to them. Murrin believes that China is currently challenging the U.S. in a hegemonic battle, influenced by the Kondratiev cycles that have been playing out for centuries. He sees war as a natural selection process that arises when an empire reaches its peak, and describes it as entropic. Murrin believes that war is inevitable and that China is using hostile actions such as the release of COVID-19 and IP extraction to challenge the U.S. The ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict is described as a “bloody stalemate” due to the U.S.’s lack of support for Ukraine. Murrin argues that until America provides Ukraine with the necessary resources and confronts Putin with strength, he will continue to gain ground. He also discussed the role of leadership in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, the complexity of the Middle East conflict, and the need for Western countries to create coherence and order in order to present a strong front against external challenges.

Murrin also discussed the Kondratiev cycles, to explain the potential for a third world war. He predicts an escalating conflict in the Middle East, with Iran potentially using its nuclear power for regional dominance. He warns of hypersonic cruise weapons and the need for the U.S. to maintain a military capability on par with its challengers. Murrin also suggests that the West must learn from the mistakes of the past, particularly in the Middle East, and avoid the hubris of thinking that one nation is exceptional. He emphasizes the importance of lateral thinking and adaptability in facing hegemonic challenges, and urges Western societies to demand more from their leaders and prioritize strategic thinking.

In conclusion, the interview highlights the complexity of global conflicts and the need for Western countries to adapt and innovate in order to face these challenges. Murrin stresses the importance of understanding the cycles of history and learning from past mistakes, as well as the need for strong leadership and lateral thinking in navigating through these conflicts.

Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
0:47 – Conflicts & Cyclicality
10:40 – Russia & West’s Approach
16:23 – Outcomes & Inevitability
21:33 – U.S. Power & Hubris
22:48 – Hamas/Israel Conflict
34:20 – Chess Moves & WW III
39:47 – Constriction & Commodities
45:22 – Coming Commodity Cycle
51:53 – Treasury Exits & China
54:28 – Chinese Demographics
58:10 – Conscription
1:03:26 – Concluding Thoughts
1:07:30 – Wrap Up

Talking Points From This Episode

  • The cyclical nature of global conflicts and the current hegemonic challenge between China and the U.S.
  • The importance of adaptability and lateral thinking is emphasized in facing these challenges and avoiding past mistakes.
  • Strong leadership and strategic thinking are necessary for Western countries to confront external threats and maintain stability.

Guest Links
Lateral Vs Linear Thought:

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.

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