Investors must brace for further unrest

Business | Andrew Wong 11 Jan 2021

Several of my predictions for 2021, which I made last week, are coming to pass in the first week of this year while global stock markets continue to rise despite so many negative factors.

Now, the occupation of the US Congress by supporters of US President Donald Trump was a last-gasp attempt to stall President-elect Joe Biden's win.

But, if viewed from another perspective, did the protesters storm the halls of Congress only because they were incited by the president or because they had reached breaking point over all the unfairness that seems to be engulfing the United States?

People are bitterly divided on whether last year's US presidential elections were rigged. But what's certain is that Americans have begun to question whether the system in the United States is still fair.

I'm not talking about the government system, but the mainstream media and networks, and the way they operate.

Even though the Liberals successfully booted Trump out of the White House, there are many people who agree that the double standards of the left will only tear America further apart. Therefore, the biggest issue facing the United States today is fairness and this will have an impact on whether the gap between the rich and the poor continues to worsen.

A group of America's richest people are now are the bosses of US networks and media including the founders of social media giants such as Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. Not only are they rich as Croesus, they also control the fate of online comments and news. They have the final word what information the people receive so if they deal with information unfairly on their platform, the people will receive information that's biased. And though they claim their country is the world's freest, it will be difficult for the American people to agree with them.

The clearest example was when Twitter promptly blocked Trump's account because he was "at risk of further inciting violence" but at the same time continued to allow the phrase "Hang Mike Pence" to trend on its platform.

Now, isn't "Hang Mike Pence" inciting violence? If so, why did Twitter let it trend for several hours before finally blocking the posts?

If the founders of social media - big shareholders who are wealthier than kings and have more power than the president -- to influence what people read online, it will only make the underprivileged feel more depressed and exacerbate divisions within society.

Thus, the storming of Congress last week may only be a start of anti-government demonstrations and it likely we will see more and more serious problems in the future.

Because, no matter how much incoming President Joe Biden tries to unite Americans after he takes office on January 20, nearly half of America will still have questions about whether there was fraud in last year's elections.

After the demonstrators occupied Congress, Biden did not think about how to assuage people's misgivings about the elections. Instead, he questioned why law enforcement agencies were lax in dealing with the demonstrators compared to the way they cracked down on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

Will his comments defuse the crisis or further inflame the nation?

Of course, the United States is not alone when it comes to sloganeering for unity. A lot of people with vested interests - in order to protect their own interests - will have double standards.

This is why I said last week that global geopolitical risks are hidden risks for financial markets and investors must beware of more strife to come.

Andrew Wong is chairman and CEO of Anli Securities

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