As the world moves to more competitive austerity measures and trade policies (themselves largely a badge of honor displayed by politicians to succor their constituents...and also as a distraction from previous profligacy) history has taught us several lessons.
Current events likely presage a new era of Real Politik and active competition between nations especially in the developed world. Two decades of relative cooperation will in my view yield to some harsh economic realities ahead. We note that recent and increasing attacks on all manner of civil liberties in the name of expediency and arbitrary standards of conduct by Central Governments to pick winners without regard to process as extremely dangerous precursors to putative events.
This is certainly not to say the world will end, mayan calander style, but it does require a re-thinking of global markets and what assets likely appreciate in these (transitory, it must be said...tough times do not last and life goes on) times.
As I have intimated several times on this blog, new standards of order will not be held by positive economic conditions augmenting all living standards, but by more coercive methods. History has shown us that when austerity measures are put in place, populations reject the FAITH of PROGRESS that was so vigorously sold to them by their leaders.