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In this interview, host Eric Chemi engages with Dan Yergin, Vice Chairman at S&P Global and author of ‘The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations.’

Yergin brings his expertise to the table, discussing the intricate interplay of energy markets, climate change initiatives, and geopolitical dynamics shaping our world. This conversation is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the global energy landscape and its impact on economics and geopolitics. Discover Yergin’s unique insights on the current energy crisis, the evolving role of renewable resources, and the geopolitical tensions influencing energy policies worldwide.


Dan Yergin 0:00
I would say people are feeling more, more confident, I would say compared to where they were a few months ago, partly because there’s a feeling that interest rates have peaked. And that at some point in the next several months, they’ll start coming down. As you know, the big debate is coming down now or next July. But so I feel that in general, people are more confident. I think that’s reflected in the stock market and stock prices.

Eric Chemi 0:32
Welcome to Wealthion. I’m Eric Chemi. There is so much in the news these days about energy, oil, natural gas, the green transition electric vehicles, the geopolitical impact of what’s happening with wars right now happening in the European Middle East. And what does that mean for energy markets? And energy markets have a big impact on how much people can spend, right? What does that inflationary impact on the final wallet spend that people have? And what does that mean for the Fed? What does that mean for stock and bond markets? It’s all interrelated. So today, we’re talking to the world’s preeminent expert on the energy industry and the interrelations between countries and companies and geopolitics. I’m really pleased to be joined by Daniel Yergin, Dan, thanks so much for being on the show with me. Your bio, your bio is impressive, right? You wrote the prize, the Pulitzer Prize winning book called The prize was the history of oil. Your latest book from a couple years ago is the new map. And in it, you said, if you’re gonna look for a hotspot of the world, look at Ukraine, that’s exactly what happened. You were you were very prescient in in your analysis of what’s happening. And you’re the vice chairman of s&p global, you know, the acquiring company of what you started with Cambridge Energy Research Associates, many years ago that became, I guess it was IHS market. Now. It’s s&p Global. So you’ve seen it all. I feel like you know, everybody, right? You’ve met Putin, you’ve met every CEO of an oil company, you’ve met every every person that matters in the energy industry, you’ve met them, you know them. So I really appreciate you taking time to spend with us today.

Dan Yergin 2:07
Well, thank you, Eric. I’m very glad to be with you. And thank you for that. very gracious welcome.

Eric Chemi 2:12
What is the biggest concern right now? Is it the Israel Gaza war? Or is it the Ukraine Russia war? Or is there some other third issue is that the Venezuela Guyana thing that all of a sudden has happened in the last few days, when you’re talking to the people that make policy around the world or invest? You know, the the executive, the Exxon types, the chevron types, and they’re figuring out where to put their money? What are they most worried about at the moment today?

Dan Yergin 2:38
I think you could summarize it all in one to one phrase, which is geopolitical risk. And all of those things you’ve mentioned, fall under them. You know, business likes predictability, business likes to be able to make investments and know how they’re going to turn out. But geopolitics seems to just be dominating the conversations right now. And for good reason,

Eric Chemi 2:59
Has it gotten worse? Because when you write, when you write the prize, you write the new map. We’ve had geopolitical issues from day one, right? This is a human, a human thing, it doesn’t go away. But instead, all of a sudden, this decade, worse now than it was in the 70s 80s, or 90s.

Dan Yergin 3:13
I think it’s changed. It is true that I remember the prize if somebody said in the 1930s, in your own oil is 90% of oil was politics. But I think what’s happened and this is what I really focused on, one of the things in the new map is that we’ve had this era of globalization, which is about 30 years, started with the collapse of the Soviet Union. And then later with China entering the World Trade Organization, but I called the WTO, the World Trade Organization consensus, the globalization consensus, and you had conflicts and everything. But the sense was that all these countries were benefiting. And that era is now over. And we’re in an era where suddenly supply chains, which used to be something that this supply chain managers worried about now boards of directors worry about. So we’ve gone from that era, in which the leadership of the US was pretty assured to one of great power competition between the US and China. And this kind of now, Russia has really become a dependency of China.

Eric Chemi 4:19
Really, you’d say you would describe Russia as a dependency of China in the same way we think of North Korea as a dependency of China or the way that we thought of Cuba was a dependency of Russia.

Dan Yergin 4:28
Yeah, well, yeah. Because it’s when the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union disappeared, that real try was to integrate half Russia, which has nuclear weapons, lot of nuclear weapons integrated into the global economy, the global political system, its economy increasingly integrated with Europe. But Putin, you know, Putin made that I mean, he was already going in another direction. But when he made his decision to invade Ukraine, He overturned that bargain that relationship, and the door to Europe is slam shot. At, which is Russia’s natural market. And so Russia really is now very important to China. And its competition with the United States. But for Russia, it’s really economic futures with China. And, you know, people will say in his store is western goods disappeared from the shelves in Russia, and they’re replaced by Chinese goods,

Eric Chemi 5:20
All this integration, right? That’s it’s been such a controversial topic over the last several decades, will bad actors behave better if they’re integrated? Or do bad actors now have more leverage on you, because you’ve integrated with them is where we have been better off, let’s say, from an American point of view, would we have been better off, never integrating with Russia, never integrating with China and saying, you’re on your own. And we can do this without you.

Dan Yergin 5:44
I think with Russia, we really had no choice because of the nuclear weapons. And so and it made sense. And it seemed for a couple of decades that that was what was happening. And that, you know, Russians, you know, broken out of the be outside the Iron Curtain, and they were integrated into the global community. You had Russian studying United States, American studying in Russia, growing commerce, but Sign of the Times is like the US Russian Business Council, which promoted Western companies, US companies, and Russia, has now closed down. So and with China, I think what was not understood was how integrated our economies had become, in so many ways that people don’t think about. I mean, you know, a lot of people are listening to this, and watching this show, probably take a vitamin C pill, or have in their multivitamin, a vitamin C, highly likelihood, that what’s called the active pharmaceutical ingredient of vitamin C, that comes from China. So there’s so many ways we’re connected in so many ways. They’re connected. But we are going through a period of least of fragmenting globalization. And we’re finding out it’s difficult, because we’re more connected than we thought we were

Eric Chemi 6:57
Difficult is quite an understatement. You put it that way. What what are the conversations that you’re having these days? So geopolitical risk seems to be the number one issue. What else are the topics when you’re talking to either heads of state policymakers in different countries or energy executives, other than geopolitical risk? What are they focused on? What are they worried about?

Dan Yergin 7:20
Well, I think they’re worried about domestic political risks. They’re worried that the bargain that they made for, you know, to make an investment that the government changes or policy changes, I find that both around the world and of course, United States, people are very interested in understanding the ramifications of the inflation Reduction Act. Indeed, I’m doing a presentation next year, next next week, not next year, soon, it’ll be next year, next week to accompany on that, because the US, which used to tell other countries don’t have industrial policy now has what’s called industrial policy, ie very direct investment and, and involvement in the economy in a way that we didn’t in the past. And we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, but potentially trillions of dollars. And so there’s, there are risks there. But there are a lot of incentives for companies to figure out if they invest in the right thing. So we saw I think, I find around the world, people are very interested in understanding these policies that have come out of the Biden administration.

Eric Chemi 8:23
In this maybe this is crazy topic. But you mentioned the Biden administration, the policy they put in place, very different than what we saw in the Trump administration. And, you know, Jared Kushner has got this book out now. And, and he talks about, look, if we were still in charge, if the Trump administration was still in charge, we would have had these wars, there would not be Israel and Gaza would not have been Russia and Ukraine, because we had a better handle on what was happening because we understood these dynamics better. Do you agree with that statement with that sentiment?

Dan Yergin 8:50
I think? I don’t know. I’d have to think about that with the Trump administration did get done with the the Abraham Accords, which was diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel and a couple of other key Arab countries. That momentum was continuing because it looked until the Gaza war began until Hamas invaded Israel, that Israel and Saudi Arabia would have diplomatic relations, which would be a huge turnaround. But in some ways, there’s also been continuity, a lot of the policies and tariffs and so forth, related to China that were produced by the Trump administration have continued. So I think the one thing if you’re here in Washington, where I am, you’ll find that there’s not a lot that unites Democrats and Republicans. But one thing it certainly does is this kind of sense that China is a competitor or an adversary. And that’s effects of policies and there’s that’s where you have some continuity from one administration to another.

Eric Chemi 9:59
How do they deal with that? because we do so much business with them, but then we treat them so, so poorly in a way in the sense of, we don’t trust them. That’s a bipartisan agreement of, they’re the bad guys. But we still do business with them. But we’re not sure if we should ban Tiktok. You know, we’re not sure how to deal with them. And we want this energy transition, but they control all the minerals. If we’re going to switch over to electric vehicles, we actually are better off in a world where we control oil based fossil fuel based resources. But when you start start switching to electric vehicles, it’s going to be all now Chinese dependence. How do they deal with this?

Dan Yergin 10:34
There are a couple of different parts of your question. First, that issue of trust is very basic. And I think for a couple of decades, there was trust that the US and China were, were both part of the same game of a global economy and benefiting from it. And certainly, there’s high distrust in the United States, concerned about China’s continuing military growth concerned about the South China Sea, which I write about in the new map, people focus on Taiwan, but you got to keep in mind the South China Sea, which China claims its own, and about a third of world trade passes through it. But I was just yesterday, in contact with a colleague who was coming back from China, and he said, Chinese has said to him, very similar thing that we don’t trust the United States anymore. So it’s a that’s a two way street. And a lot of effort is made in here in the US trying to figure out what are Xi Jinping has intentions, what does he intend to do? But I think, then you raised the question of minerals. And it’s true that if, you know, to move to this world of what’s called netzero, reducing emissions means creating new supply chains. And it’s it means I mean, the phrase I use in the new map as you move from Big Oil to big shovels, because you’re going to need a lot of mining. And China has a predominant position in mining around the world. And a very predominant position in processing those minerals, sometimes 70, or 80%, about 80% of the solar panels come from China, maybe 80% of the lithium ion batteries for electric cars come from China right now. And that’s one of the things that the inflation Reduction Act intends to, to change. But then the third part of what you said really goes to where the US is predominant, which you know, not so many years ago, the US was the largest importer of oil in the world. Now, it’s the largest producer of oil in the world, it’s a major exporter of oil in the world, the US was going to import lots of natural gas in the form of what’s called LNG, liquefied natural gas. Now, the US is the largest exporter of natural gas. So the US has a very, you know, it produces a lot more oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia. So in that sense, I think that third part of your, your observation is very important is that this is where the US is strong. And China, isn’t it imports 75% of its oil, and half of its oil comes through the Strait of Hormuz, we don’t depend upon the Strait of Hormuz, which is that that passageway from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.

Eric Chemi 13:10
So why are we doing this? What Why is it country? Are we forcing ourselves to do an energy transition that hurts our self reliance, our self dependence, independence and puts us more, you know, in desperate need of what China has to offer? What Why do we do that as

Dan Yergin 13:26
Well? It’s obviously it’s the climate agenda that that drives it. And, you know, Trump backed away from the climate agenda, would Biden came in the first thing he did was establish that we’re going to rejoin the climate agreement. And there was just this huge conference in Dubai, for what’s called cop 28, which is a UN climate conference, 100,000 people showed up for it. So it’s basically on climate is the other factor, though, is also competing with China trying to bring certain kinds of manufacturing back to United States particularly concerned about semiconductors, not only from China, but from Taiwan, where we’re highly dependent. And so that’s some of this big industrial policy, like the chips act to to fabricate computer chips in the United States, because that business was being done overseas, because it was cheaper, and they had scale.

Eric Chemi 14:25
I know, you know, I told you before, and I said, I’m not going to ask you investment questions or investment ideas, but do you look at certain areas, certain countries or sectors and see opportunity when obviously working in s&p global, a lot of it goes back to what’s the data say, or what were our opportunities? I don’t mean to say give me a stock or give me a pic. But are there certain areas where you feel you’re optimistic that this nation gets it or this industry is going to figure things out that if you had to just pick up sort of a big picture macro trend? Where do you see more positivity? Well,

Dan Yergin 14:57
I think three years ago, everybody should have put all their money into artificial intelligence AI. And, you know, you, I mean, again, I’m not an investment advisor, a stock picker, but you know, look at where all the strength is in the, you know, in fact, in the s&p, which is one of the indices that our company does. But, but you know, these things go in cycle oil and was very out of favor, and then it came back in favor. And then it, you know, it, it’s a cyclical industry. So, you know, I have to think, you know, probably would need to give some thought to what industries ultimately are not cyclical. This is the famous saying goes, trees don’t grow to heaven. But, you know, right now, everybody’s crowding into tech, I think just so much depends on actually what happens to the economy. And the general sense, you know, if we pick today’s date, is that, you know, people say, Oh, it’s going to be a soft landing, inflation is coming down faster. But some of the banks and some of the analysts still think they see a recession in the second half of the year. So I’m just struck by, you know, forecasting, you know, that famous phrase attributed to Yogi Berra, I don’t know if it’s true, but to him, but avoid prophecy, especially about the future. And it certainly holds true at the beginning of 2023, people thought, US oil production would grow, but at very low level. I know we came out with a number that said higher, and people said, Oh, you’re off consensus, and it turned out to be even higher than that. And so, you know, looking at how people miss their inflation forecast going up, and apparently now going down.

Eric Chemi 16:47
The forecasts are never right. It’s, I remember one year, this is probably around the oh, 70809 blow up. And there was some survey at the end of the year of investment professionals, and they said, Okay, what do you think the market is going to be? Like, that’s called s&p 500. What do you think will be for the next year, and they give these five choices A through E, and I think the choices we’re gonna like, you know, net, you know, negative 5% to negative 10, or zero to negative five, and zero to plus five, five to 10 1050, like, like these little narrow gaps, right. And I think that year was like negative 40. Something, it was not even in the range of choices. So you’re right about the forecasts. We’ve had people come on the show, some really see a hard landing ahead. They don’t believe the soft landing at all. They don’t believe the forecast, they they look at a lot of things that are starting to break down. I’m curious, when, let’s say you talk to a CEO who has to decide, are we going to invest more in energy, or we’re going to do a big capital spend big infrastructure project, they’re looking at inflation, they’re looking at growth, they’re looking at demands, they’re looking at jobs, but their decisions are also going to affect what happens, right? If every company pulls back and says we’re not going to invest, that itself could create a recession or a hard landing. So what what are you seeing in those conversations? Do they feel optimistic? Or do they feel pessimistic because they don’t trust the data?

Dan Yergin 18:05
I think I would say people are feeling more more confident, I would say compared to where they were a few months ago, partly because there’s a feeling that interest rates have peaked. And then at some point in the next several months, they’ll start coming down. As you know, the big debate is coming down now or next July. But so I feel that in general, people are more competent, I think that’s reflected in the stock market and stock prices as well.

Eric Chemi 18:33
Walk me through how interest rates affect the energy industry in terms of when we’re at 5%, rather than 0%. What does that do for the likelihood of new projects being built growth from the cloud?

Dan Yergin 18:48
Well, it’s really what it’s really hit is renewable energy. And it’s really hit things like offshore wind, where you see all these projects that were going to be built along the east coast, huge multibillion dollar projects being postponed, delayed, maybe even canceled. Because these capital intensive projects, they’re afflicted by a high interest rates, other afflicted by inflation, and they’re afflicted by supply chain problems. So you know, if you look at the stock of, you know, an offshore wind company, it really went up and then it’s gone down considerably. And headlines, you see headlines in the Financial Times crisis in offshore wind. So they say a lot of renewable projects have been very affected negatively by high interest rates. So, and then the question, you know, I, you know, whenever you very often do when you go on a business television, the last question is telling me about oil prices, what’s going to happen to them? And my answer is, well tell me what’s gonna happen to GDP, because that will really affect it right now. What we see is An imbalance in the market, in the sense of demand is growing, growing. What’s really been the surprise is called the strength of the western hemisphere, which is oil production growing in the United States by a lot this year, who is by far and away the biggest oil producer in the world, Canada, Brazil, and Kiana, small country on the northern coast of South America, where Big Oil developments coming. And so basically, right now, supply is outdistancing demand. And that’s reflected in the oil price being down a lot. We one of the things that really struck me when Hamas invaded Israel and launched the war, normally you have a war in the Middle East and oil prices go up this case, they went down. And I think although it’s not well recognize, the growth of shale oil in the United States has been a real stabilizer to the oil market, avoiding the kind of panic that would happen in uncertainty. And similarly, you know, the story that’s less well known even than oil is natural gas, again, what we call liquefied natural gas. The US only started exporting in 2016, is now the world’s largest exporter. 40% of Europe’s LNG imports come from the United States. So Putin probably would have gotten his way in using the gas weapon, because he cut off natural gas supplies to Europe in order to shatter the coalition supporting Ukraine. But what he didn’t count on was as LNG, including a lot of it from the United States would come in and replace Russian gas. So it shows the geopolitical impact of the oil and gas development United States, which a lot of people in this country don’t recognize. But when I go to other countries, they sure do recognize it, and they’re grateful for

Eric Chemi 21:50
It’s like you, we don’t even realize the average American doesn’t even realize the strengths that we have here with what’s what’s the resources here. We’re in December, the Winter’s coming, it’s gonna be another cold. Winter is cold, right? Like, that’s the definition of winter. We saw Europe struggle a little bit with it, but they got through it in terms of okay, you don’t have the same energy resources from Russia, The war is still continuing, it’ll continue through this winter. What do you foresee in terms of heating oil, natural gas? And what do you see in terms of them being able to stay warm,

Dan Yergin 22:20
It’s natural gas. You’re, I mean, it was it was tough for Europe, I mean, prices really did go up. And it was even tougher for developing countries, which were not able to get LNG, because that LNG, it was going to fill the gap in Russia. So you know, if you’re in Europe, in Germany, they worry about being de industrialized, because of the cost of energy, their cost of energy are much higher, including the cost of electricity are much higher in the United States, because of, you know, the way they’ve structured things around renewable energy, and driving, you know, they shut down Germany shut down its nuclear power, which was 20 25% of its electricity on environmental grounds. So I think that, you know, I think, I mean, Europe is in a better position this year than it was last year, because it built up stock supplies of gas in storage. But you know, what, people are gonna still be looking at the at the thermometer very carefully, it’s going to be a lot easier if it’s a mild winter, if it’s a cold winter, it will still be challenging.

Eric Chemi 23:25
You mentioned Germany shutting down their nuclear plants, right? climate agenda, we’re going to move in this direction. But now our electricity prices are higher than they would have been, we don’t have as much energy. Are you afraid of those types of mistakes happening in America because a certain group of people get their way and all of a sudden, we’re just voluntarily turning off our that that we had that we had no problem being able to deliver it,

Dan Yergin 23:50
That’s a very real concern, that that our our electric supply system will be tighter, we won’t have the transmission. I was with a group of electric power executives a couple of months ago is really striking to me in the past, they’re always focused on demand for electricity going down because we’re gonna have more efficient refrigerators. And, you know, different policies. Now they’re seeing demand is gonna go up because electric vehicles EVs and going to go up because of all the electricity demands for artificial intelligence, computing power server farms were computers, and they’re now sort of focused on well, how do we meet that demand? Where do we grow it? Particularly if this problem we have in the United States, which is you can’t get permits to get things done, you can’t get permits to build things, whether you’re talking about a natural gas pipeline, whether you’re talking about a new mine, so you know, that is dependent on the Chinese Supply Chain system and foreign sources or transmission lines. And, you know, we have the same in the United States called the Interstate Highway System. stem, which President Eisenhower did in 1956 launched, I don’t think you could build it today, because you wouldn’t be able to get the permits, you’d be in court. In fact, I was talking to the executive of one of the big, renewable wind developers United States. And he was saying, you know, I think we’ve been trying to get a project approved since 2007. He said, I think we should hire as our staff now, people who are in the eighth grade, because by the time they finish their careers will finally have these things approved. So that is, you know, I guess if you go back to what are business executives worried about? They’re worried about the effectiveness of government of the machinery of government working properly. We’ve seen that in Washington, too.

Eric Chemi 25:42
Is that is that one party or the other? That’s that’s causing more of the problem on these permits? Or is it everybody?

Dan Yergin 25:48
Well, I think it’s everybody, because it’s across the spectrum. Obviously, some part, you know, there are not a lot of Democrats who are in favor of natural gas pipelines, there are a lot of Republicans. But it’s because there’s the permitting process is so complicated, you have so many different agencies involved. And then even if you get a permit, you have another seven years of litigation that goes on to this federal appeals court. And that federal appeals court is talking to a woman who’s in charge of a major mining project in the West, and they keep waiting to hear from I think it’s the Ninth Circuit on a case, which is the court out in the far west, and they just keep waiting. And, you know, everything takes longer. You know, one of the things about the inflation Reduction Act, and in general is that while we need more minds, it takes, if everything goes well, it takes about 20 years to bring a new mind on. So if you started if Eric mining company decided to spend a billion dollars in a mind this year, or let’s say 2024, by 2044, you might have it ready to produce something. So a lot of political cycles you would go through.

Eric Chemi 26:59
That’s a good point about hiring eighth graders. It’s in these right, these timeframes are now measured in like 1520 years plus, so you wonder, well, who’s even going to have the patience have the capital to do this, right? Is this massive, you know, I have a friend that works at Blackstone, and he and he works on their energy business, and they’re doing these deals, and these deals take 1520 years. So in order to get a profit on this right to even get $1 back of revenue, who even has the the length of time ability in terms of patience and capital and effort to get these done? Very few and far between?

Dan Yergin 27:36
I think so, I mean, you do have these energy transition funds, which have raised a lot of money, but then you get into permitting, and it also will turn out that, you know, I saw some number that over 600 localities in US voted against having, they don’t want a wind turbine farm there. So that’s why offshore wind looks so attractive, except it turns out to be a lot more expensive than than you thought. So it does take patience. And, you know, I was today this morning, I was talking with an executive from a mining company that has a, you know, had all their contracts permits with the government to develop a new mine and the government changed, and it took the permits back, you know, and they spent, you know, three or four years and a lot of money just trying to prepare to get ready to do that. Just to apply for a permit to get in your permits to do a LNG export facility. Just getting that done can cost you $100 million.

Eric Chemi 28:34
When you think about all this, it suggests that prices will keep going up, because demand will go up, but supply is not going to go up. Right. Is that just a fair basic assumption? It’s difficult.

Dan Yergin 28:44
I think short term, we’ve seen prices down because of demand being weaker than thought. And, you know, commodity prices, like copper is the metal of electrification. And a lot of this energy transition is about electrifying everything. But demand is down partly because demand is down in China. So I think longer term if you’re going to get these goals that climate goals that are out there, we did a study at s&p That said you’d have to double copper production by the middle 2030s. But then that gets back to it takes 20 years to develop a mind. So I think there’s some crunch points coming. We’re not seeing them now. Because demand is weaker than the thought and the supply is there. But you get down if you get back into a period of strong growth. That’s when you’ll start to see the pressures. And and that’s when you’ll start to see spiking going up and feeding into inflation again.

Eric Chemi 29:39
Anyway, it’s not US demand. It’s global demand. It’s Chinese demand these these commodities move on global demand, not domestic.

Dan Yergin 29:46
Exactly. And China. I mean, you know, half the world’s copper was being absorbed in China because you have 20 million people every year moving from the countryside to the city. And that all took a lot of copper to do that. So you know we do have to Under the commodity markets, the US is only a part of it. And that while the US is a very large economy, there’s the rest of the world as well.

Eric Chemi 30:13
You, you talked about something that when the permitting process, it reminds me of a conversation, I’ve had a few conversations I had, where people talk about Europe is like a museum. Now, they don’t want innovation, they don’t want change, they want everything to be the same. Are we getting to that point in America, this is a European who said, All great innovators have to leave Europe to come to America is the only place you can innovate. But when you say it takes decades to get them lined up, you know, are we turning into a museum here, too?

Dan Yergin 30:38
I don’t think so yet, I think the permit is a big problem. But I certainly see, you know, European companies that resource companies that were looking to rush are now saying they’re refocusing their business on the United States. And in fact, you know, whatever, you’re, you know, whether you’re left or right, if you’re a company, and you see the kind of incentives the US government is getting, if you can get through the process and get them, it makes it attractive to come here, and invest. So I think, in fact, you know, I think they’re, you know, when I’m in Europe, I certainly hear people talking about deindustrialization. And, and, and China is not the attractive place to invest. It was five years ago, people are kind of backing out of China, and either trying to shift their supply chains to Vietnam or India. But I think, in a world, you know, the US compared to a lot of other places, there’s still a much more attractive place to invest. And it’s still much more hospitable to innovators, and risk takers than Europe. So I think it is, you know, Europe does have that problem about, about being stagnant.

Eric Chemi 31:47
One of the investment advisors that we interviewed recently, they said, you know, I’m, I’m out of China, and I’m out of Europe, right, like I can, I can do a lot of investing in the United States and Japan and other countries, but but Europe, in China, for a lot of the reasons that you said

Dan Yergin 32:02
True. And I was in a meeting, listening to an investment committee of a foundation talking. And the big thing that we’re talking about is how do we get out of our investments in China? So and Gigi ping, you know, has been pretty aggressive towards the United States, the president, China, he came to the APEC meeting in San Francisco, the big Pacific meeting, where by where he met Biden, but he made a point to have dinner with all those CEOs, because he’s trying to say, China’s open for business. But I think the general predilection is exactly what that guy said, You got to reduce your exposure to China, even though it’s a growth market, and it’s 1.4 billion people. And Europe, if you’re looking just it’s hard to do business in some ways, the United States is harder in Europe.

Eric Chemi 32:48
That’s I guess that’s the selling point for the US, right? It’s like, Oh, you think this is hard? Try somebody else. Right? Yeah. What what’s going on? In Guyana right now Venezuela, Guyana, this feels like it’s, you know, if you’re not paying attention, it feels like something has just happened. I know there. Are they taking over they not very fresh story. But I’m sure for someone like you this has been bubbling up for a while, or anyone who’s in the know, they’ve been paying attention to this.

Dan Yergin 33:11
Well Guiana, just to help our viewers and listeners know is that as I mentioned before, it’s a small country, on the northern coast of South America. And nobody, most nobody thought there was oil there. But Exxon and, and has energy discovered, which turned out to be significant resources. And so it’s been developed very fast. And it’s very attractive. And it’s considered stable. Except next door, you have Venezuela, which has ruined its economy is basically kind of a colony of China and out of China of Cuba, and very close relations with Russia and Iran. And President Maduro, so called president, he’s a dictator, suddenly, you know, announces we’re going to have a referendum that two thirds of Guiana, including its offshore belong to Venezuela, going back to a boundary dispute that was settled in 1899, at 99. And, and, and, you know, just out, it does kind of come out of the blue, and it’s thought he’s doing it for domestic reasons, because his economy is terrible. And as much as they imprison the opposition, there is an opposition. But I think and it hasn’t been really remarked, Venezuela has close relations with Iran and with Russia. And frankly, you know, we see a Iranian linked militia in Iraq and Syria firing on US troops a week ago is 70 different times. You know, oil prices are low, the US is stretched thin, why not create another crisis on the you know, in the Caribbean, and so I You know, it’s very I I’m not convinced that this is just coming from Venezuela. I think it’s kind of well timed, given other things that are happening in the world. And people have said, it’s just, you know, rhetoric, but, you know, he may do. He may do something reckless, and the US has increased its overflights over Guiana and affirmed its commitment to it. So it may seem, most people never heard of Ghana. But But I think it’s a very important new element in the global energy scene, and its Western Hemisphere. And so it should be secure, except your neighbor is this dictatorship and this dictator whose ruin the economy of what was once Venezuela was once the richest country in Latin America.

Eric Chemi 35:45
Does all this to you look like a world war three that is starting right. You got the Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Hamas, Venezuela, they all have ties to Iran. Really? It’s a ll the same countries?

Dan Yergin 35:58
I don’t want to say anything inflammatory. I, you know, it’s funny, because the US military persons asked me the same question about a week ago. I mean, it is, I think we do have to be very careful in this period. And in particular, you know, in, you know, I think Maduro doing what he’s doing in Guiana is, it’s a Putin playbook. I don’t like the settlement that was once made, I’m going to change it. But I think we do managing relationship with China is certainly the number one geopolitical task for the United States in this century, particularly as the term that now gets applied to China that it’s a near competitor, or peer competitor. So I wouldn’t go as far as the statement said, but you know, one of the things I tried to point out in the new map, maybe there are two things to call people’s attention to. One is whether many things that one is the degree to which we don’t want to find yourselves in a pre World War one situation. And two, I really want people to look at it and read it two sections on energy transition, to realize that the sinkhole, the energy transition that people are talking about, and implementing now is totally different from any energy and transition that we’ve had before. So I think, you know, I think those are two of the big takeaways. And, you know, even Henry late Henry Kissinger, you know, sort of talked about analogies to pre World War one right now. But then, of course, I remember I think I quote him in the new map, he said up, but analogies are imperfect. But I think we are we we have to be careful. But you know what, the Chinese have to be careful, too.

Eric Chemi 37:47
I like the way you, you put it, well, we’ll leave it there. That’s that’s a good ominous way of leaving it. They have to be careful, too. Then you’re going to of course, the book, the most recent one is The New Map. I loved it. People should definitely read it. Because it’s everything that’s happening right now you spell it out. And geez, the price is so key if you want to feel how we got to this point over the last 150 years with oil, and shattered peace was that the name of the original book

Dan Yergin 38:14
that was on the origins of Cold War, and I wrote

Eric Chemi 38:17
the breakdown of what happened after

Dan Yergin 38:21
the funny thing when I was writing the new map, I started to think I never thought I would be writing another book about the origins, the Cold War, but that’s a new Cold War. But that’s kind of how I started to feel as I was re writing the new map. But let me emphasize one thing. I have an optimist.

Eric Chemi 38:38
It’s like somebody said, recently, things have been worse than they are now. And they always get better. So for as bad as people think something is today, like, things have been worse, and they’ve got better. And we’re not even that bad.

Dan Yergin 38:50
Right. And one final thing to say markets are always interesting, and they’re always changing.

Eric Chemi 38:54
Right. You know, if you say you write if you write books long enough, all of a sudden you start writing about the next Cold War, right.

Dan Yergin 39:00
And I never expected, you know, I had all my old archives in the first book, and I thought, Well, wait, this is beginning to sound familiar.

Eric Chemi 39:09
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Right. The first book to the most recent it’s like, oh, now we’re repeating themes. Dan, this is so good. Thank you for spending time with me today. I know you’re waiting for that watercooler to arrive and it did not come during our interview so that that worked out really well. Anyone Yeah, so so please find The New Map by Daniel Yergin. It’s a great read. It’ll be very informative. It certainly was for me as well and and thank you all for watching for listening for checking this out. If you liked this episode. Please like it, share it, subscribe to the channels let people know that more people get a chance to enjoy the content as well. And remember every Friday at 11am our new show with Anthony Scaramucci – Speak Up with Anthony scare Moochie If you got questions for him, that’s a live Colin show. Or email submissions. There’s a lot of ways to get questions asked forward slash ask Anthony Oh Ultimate If you need to talk to an investment professional, you can’t figure out what to do with your finances. You heard a lot of things today that make you uncertain. It’s free, quick form, no commitment. These are investment professionals that we endorse. It’s a free public service. You can just talk with them, have a conversation, see if they’re right for you. So thanks again for watching Eric Chemi. We’ll see you next time here on Wealthion.


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