Pfäffikon SZ, Switzerland – The world is changing at a rapid pace. Different platforms knowingly turn the thumbscrews for hard-working entrepreneurs. The electric car gets more and more acclaim, and the Bitcoin is embraced as a genius solution. These are a number of developments that seem irreversible. However, social unrest is lurking.
The past week I spoke with someone from the higher management of a well-known energy company. It is remarkable that they are busy internally with an analysis of the impact of the imminent energy transition. For the time being, the results do not lie. Different industries are on the eve of complete eradication. The social impact will be unprecedented.
A simple example is the car industry. When the increasingly embraced electric cars are gaining popularity, workshops will disappear like snow in the sun. Replacing an exhaust is, after all, a thing of the past, but even a small service is no longer necessary for electric cars. Suppliers will be hit hard in all layers of the car industry. Not to mention the impact of the phenomenon of ‘sharing economy.’ The possession of a car or a boat is in the future indeed for ‘losers’ and perhaps an unprofitable house also.
Who thinks that only the middle layer will be wiped out is wrong; In Saudi Arabia, for example, more will change than many would like. It is going to be a hard job to keep all the tribes under the whip. The first signs to respond to the new situation are already slowly emerging. It is no coincidence that the largest oil company in the world –Saudi Aramco– will be listed on the stock market step by step, now the gentlemen can still get a decent price for it. However, Saudi Arabia will not escape much social unrest. There is an end to the time when problems or desired living standards can be bought off endlessly.
Meanwhile, the man in the street can prepare himself for a total industrial shift as not before. Many are thrilled to experience this time of change and progress. Admittedly, this is great and offers enormous possibilities in all kinds of areas. Nevertheless, decades of unrest and unease will frighten large populations; make sure you are well prepared.
It remains for me to wish you a good weekend.
Jan Dwarshuis is CIO at Thirteen Asset Management AG. Dwarshuis writes his columns in a personal capacity. Professionally, he holds positions in major European, American and Russian stock funds. The information in his columns is not intended as professional investment advice or a recommendation to make certain investments. At the time of writing, he has no position in above mentioned shares and has no intention of doing so in the next 72 hours.