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The credibility of the political and economic elites was undermined by their inability to deliver the goods, a rising living standard for a majority of people.The elites also failed to articulate a compelling vision.Few officials in the UK stood up and offered a positive argument of why the Tories led the UK into the EU (and the ERM).Instead many of the Remain camp used negative scare tactics. The positive case was left unspoken.

Stiglitz defended economists by noting that the profession argued that as with any policy, free trade would create winners and loser.They had anticipated that the winners would compensate the losers.In the US that was missing and part of the political vacuum. The "American First" thrust of the new administration is a wake-up call like none other. 

The body politic has been attacked, and the antibodies which were dormant (some confused it with being dead) have begun mobilizing and resisting. The system works, and it is more resilient than many of its friends and enemies suspect.

Marc Chandler‚Äč
Global head of currency strategy at BBH
Brown Brothers Harriman

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