Why We Should Be Concerned with Geopolitical Uncertainty, with Ian Bremmer
Episode 83: Why We Should Be Concerned with Geopolitical Uncertainty, with Ian Bremmer
Many of the average Americans aren’t aware of geopolitics and how it affects the US government. Ian Bremmer, Founder and CEO of Eurasia Group, is not that average American. Eurasia Group is the first firm devoted to helping investors and business decision-makers understand the impact of politics on the risks and opportunities in foreign markets. In this special episode, you’ll hear Ian in conversation with Ellevate Chair Sallie Krawcheck on all things politics. From the state of the US Government to the rise of China, Ian leaves no geopolitical topic unscathed. Through an insightful, thorough and humorous analysis, Ian leaves us, not only with some hope about our technological world, but with incredible knowledge.
00:00: Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations of Women Changing the Face of Business. And now, your hosts, Kristy Wallace and Maricella Herrera.
00:12 Kristy Wallace: Hello and welcome to the Ellevate Podcast. This is Kristy Wallace, and I'm here with Maricella Herrera.
00:19 Maricella Herrera: Hey, Kristy.
00:20 KW: And we have a pretty cool show for you today. And as a special treat, one that we are really excited about, it is actually a podcast of a live event that we did in New York City with Sallie Krawcheck, our very own chair of Ellevate Network, and Ian Bremmer on geopolitical risk. Does that sound exciting to you, Maricella?
00:43 MH: Of course, it does. Sallie said it, but how funny is it and what type of world are we in, that that is the event we sold out and had a line out the door to the corner of the street.
00:55 KW: Yes. It does not sound sexy to me, but I will tell you, being in that room, wow, wow.
01:02 MH: Ian is absolutely a, one of the smartest people. Well, I take that back. The two people on stage are probably two of the smartest people I've ever met.
01:11 KW: Yes.
01:13 MH: So it's amazing. For me, we've done several events with Ian Bremmer, who is the founder and CEO of Eurasia Group and we... Every year, it's just something I look forward to. It is the one event that makes me really, really, really happy.
01:29 KW: It was because we had Catskill Provisions whiskey there, right?
01:33 MH: Well, that too. That helps. [chuckle]
01:35 KW: And that is another, a later podcast episode when you will hear more about that. But, no. So it was a great event. You're gonna get a special treat today and hearing the recording for that. It's a big thing that we do at Ellevate. We believe very strongly in the power of community. We do a lot of our own professional and leadership development. We also want to give you the skills and the knowledge and the information to succeed at work. So this event talks a lot about global economies. It's talking about the ways that we can have an impact on a lot of the social, political and financial issues that are happening today. And some predictions for the future as well as some great information on the current state of the world in which we live. I found it incredibly informative. Just loved every minute of it, and I hope that you will, too. So here we go with Sallie and Ian.
02:36 Sallie Krawcheck: You know you've got a great event when there's a line outside the door and onto the street in order to get in. And who would have thought the topic of geopolitical risk would draw such a crowd? And it has, certainly because we are in what could only be called interesting times. But, of course, it also is because we are hosting this evening, one of my dear, dear friends, Ian Bremmer, who, by the way, in the day I know of a certain, now former, Secretary of the Treasury who would not go to Russia without speaking to Ian, given his expertise. And sometimes, he'd be the only one... Ian would be the only one he would speak to. So thank you for joining us. Here's my first question.
03:26 Ian Bremmer: Yes.
03:27 SK: Oh, my God.
03:31 IB: Which bit?
03:32 SK: Yeah. All of it. Like W, like what?
03:36 IB: I'll take it on. I'll take it on.
03:37 SK: Yeah, go with it.
03:37 IB: Yeah, yeah. So you're right, you're right. It is stunning in our lifetimes to see the Chinese President say that they are prepared to be the next superpower. Publicly. It's gotten virtually no play here in the United States. We're all focused on, "Oh, my God."
04:01 SK: Oh, my God.
04:03 IB: Today, and everything else. But, you know...
04:06 SK: There are so many "Oh, my Gods," right? Yeah.
04:07 IB: I know. But most of them are not really "Oh, my Gods." They're manufactured "Oh, my Gods," either by the media or by Trump for the media to pick up, so that he can beat on the media which is less popular than Trump is, but... But... So it works and the media makes more money, and so it's important for their fiduciary responsibility. And Trump maintains his base, so it's important for his... Increasing his tenuous grip on sanity.
04:33 SK: It drives the rest of us... It just... It drives the rest of us nuts.
04:36 IB: No, but the China thing is important.
04:37 SK: Okay, yeah, let's go with the China thing. Okay.
04:38 IB: It is actually more important.
04:39 SK: Okay, okay, let's go.
04:40 IB: And it's linked to Trump.
04:41 SK: Let's go.
04:41 IB: 'Cause if it wasn't for Trump, he wouldn't have made that speech. It's probably the single greatest impact that Trump has had globally is the fact that he's provided so much space for the Chinese to operate. And anyone here that thinks that anything happening inside the US is more important than that, our kids, the global free market, standards, the internet, our future. I mean, I don't know what you think about an authoritarian state capitalist model. You wouldn't like living in it as much. But it's becoming a much stronger model. And Trump is becoming... I just got back from Tokyo. And it is so uniquely unfortunate, as I was there in this world of geopolitical uncertainty and volatility, that the United States presently has our weakest leader in modern history at the same time that China has its strongest. And everything else should come from that, right?
05:41 IB: So absolutely, we can get into the indictments handed down today. We can get into the tweets, and we can get into North Korea and all of the other stuff. But let's not pretend that anything is more important than this. And the fact that this is gonna continue to happen, and it doesn't affect the Americans as much near term, and so therefore we won't think it's a crisis and we don't need to respond to it, so therefore it can go on for a lot longer, and the Chinese can become a lot stronger and much more capable. I mean, this stuff... All of the geopolitical uncertainty, whether it's military build-ups in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, whether it's terrorism or refugees, or the rest, it hits other people. It doesn't hit us. North Korea, other people, not us. And so, we can allow it to persist for a much longer period of time. So that's what I've... I think that's the first WTF kinda moment.
06:35 SK: So let's play this out. Let's say that we continue to be increasingly isolationist. Let's say that China continues to strengthen, what is this gonna be like three years from now? Five? Ten? Fifteen? You know, when our children and grandchildren are our age?
06:52 IB: Well, so I think there are a few things to pay attention to. The first is that we know that, increasingly, a lot of Americans, Europeans, are unhappy with their governments because they feel that globalization has not worked for them. And we know that our governments are not good at providing for inefficient labor, right? They're good at providing for capital and for capitalists, but most Americans aren't capitalists. I saw Nancy Pelosi speaking the other day, and she was talking about how she... America's not socialist, it's not Bernie Sanders, she's going after them. We're a capitalist country. It's not true, right? Because to be capitalist, you have to have capital. No one I grew up with was a capitalist, right, and it works.
07:42 IB: Now, a capital system works fine when you're growing and all the other people feel provided for and the American Dream matters for them. But when they don't, and when the average Chinese feels the Chinese dream works for them, not just because of their history, not just because of their trajectory, but also because the Chinese system is really good at providing inefficient jobs. There's an apocryphal story. Milton Friedman was in China some 40 years ago, and he went to see this construction project on a canal and there were thousands of Chinese working. And they were using, instead of having heavy machinery, bulldozers, cranes, they had shovels and they had pickaxes. And he said, "Why are you doing this? It would be so much more efficient with proper construction machinery." And his minder from the communist party said, "No, no, no". He said, "You don't understand. We're trying to provide jobs for these people, that's why we do it this way." And he said, "Oh, well, then I have a better idea. Don't give them shovels, give them spoons and then you can hire a lot more of them." And we all laugh because,"Ha, ha, ha, inefficient Chinese." Okay, roll the tape 40 years and you realize suddenly that the average Chinese doesn't care that they have shovels; they have jobs.
09:00 IB: So, number one, China is much better at that than we are. Number two, we're doing something really interesting in the world right now. It's really interesting. It's never been done before. It is a worldwide experiment where we give all of our children these devices and we say, "Here, we want you to use them to interact with everyone, with friends, family, school, society, the marketplace. And let's just see what happens when you grow up." [laughter] Right? Let's just see. We don't know, it might be good, probably not. And with augmented reality, in five years, it's gonna be exponentially more intrusive and all-encompassing. But here's the interesting thing. So in the West, the United States and Europe, the institutions that determine how we engage with this thing are corporations in the private sector, and they just want us to be better consumers. They just wanna make more money. They don't care if the Russians are advertising on it. It doesn't matter, like that's their purpose. Where in China, it's the state. And China wants you to consume more, but what they really want is to make sure that you are a citizen that behaves in ways that comports well with China's interest.
10:16 IB: Let me argue that both of these two things are incredibly good developments for the sustainability of the Chinese model. That for the last 30 years, there's been a presumption that as China gets wealthier, they're gonna have to reform and become more like us. I no longer believe that's true. In fact, to the extent that the American or the Chinese model is being questioned about fitness and suitability of purpose for its population, I would argue in 2017 that the onus is on the United States to prove that our system works for the average American. Boy, it hurts me to say that. That's not what I grew up with. Now, what does that mean for 15 and 20 years? It means we don't have a global free market any more. It means we have a fragmented hybrid system with strategic sectors, with different and competing internets. And it means that the goal of the most important development in the world in the next 15 years, which will be the move towards AI, will be either the Chinese government or Silicon Valley. The difference being that the Chinese government is China and Silicon Valley is the US, for now.
11:32 IB: But if Jeff Bezos decides that his second headquarters should be in Toronto as opposed to the US because the tax benefits are greater, because people wanna live there, because whatever reason... I mean, unless the US government is gonna say, "No, you're really like Lockheed Martin. And so, we're gonna effectively make you a strategic company, and you're gonna have to stay here or else," which I don't see the US government having the inclination, capacity or ideology to do, then I think we have a problem. So and I'm not saying... Again, I'm not saying this because I like it, I want it but when I wrote about the G-Zero seven years ago, it wasn't because I wanted an end of US leadership in the global environment, I just thought it was coming, right? And I think if you wanna deal with it, the first thing we have to do is identify it. So again, if we wanna start this talk this evening with... This is a big talk about geopolitics. I know we're gonna get into the little stuff and the headlines, but I think it's really good to start with the big picture *beep* with your head kind of stuff, right? [laughter] And that's kind of where we are. Oh, are we live streaming?
12:33 SK: Yeah.
12:34 IB: Good.
12:34 SK: That's awesome.
12:35 IB: Okay. [laughter] I see the Periscope numbers are going up right now.
12:38 SK: No, we're keeping it real. We're keeping it real here. But back up, because some of the folks in this room, maybe you're not familiar with the concept of G-Zero, may not have read the book, take a step back and talk us through what that is and therefore what that means which you've been hitting on.
12:54 IB: I mean, we know that G-7, or the G-20, the idea that we have these countries that together somehow run the world. And in reality, for a long time, we've had a G-1. World War II was over, the United States created the institutions that effectively were the framework of US-led globalization. So it was the Bretton Woods accord on currency, it was the World Bank, it was the IMF, it was the World Trade Organization, it was the United Nations. These are all fundamentally American organizations, our allies, our capital, our values, our priorities.
13:28 IB: The G-Zero argument is that we have entered a geopolitical recession, that the old US-led order had a boom cycle. We're now in a bust cycle. It's eroding, it's unwinding, something else will replace it. Part of that is because we don't want to lead the way we have historically. We don't wanna be the global policeman. And it's not just about the US. This is happening in Europe, in the Trans-Atlantic relationship, which founded this US-led order, is much weaker than it used to be. Brexit. Hello, anybody? I mean, the elections we saw even in Germany, but certainly the Spanish Catalonia issue, and certainly what we're seeing right now in the Czech Republic, and certainly... We can go on... Austria... We can go on and on, and then you have the fact that China's rising with a very different model.
14:17 IB: And Russia's not rising, they're in decline, but Putin is very powerful and is using his power to undermine the US and our alliances and even bolster the North Koreans in ways that the Chinese would not do right now. So if you put that all together, it was obvious to me seven years ago, we were heading to a G-Zero, right? And we are now in a G-Zero, and anyone that watched even a bit of Xi Jinping's speech understands that. Now, geopolitical recessions are not identified the way economic recessions are, because economic recessions happen every six to seven years. We have a lot of economists. They know when it's good, they know when it's bad, they know how to react. The last major geopolitical recession we had was really World War II. That was the Depression. I don't think we're heading for World War III, honestly, but I do think we're heading for a lot more conflict.
15:05 IB: And any one that looks at the record number of refugees in the world today or the problems we're experiencing with North Korea, or Iran or Russia going into Ukraine and no one doing anything about it. Or us telling Assad he has to go and then Obama's gone, but Assad is still there. Like, those are not coincidental headlines. Those are headlines that all are directly linked and emerge from a G-Zero world, and that's why the geopolitical environment is so much more fundamentally unstable today than it was five, 10, 20 years ago.
15:38 SK: No, you were way ahead of this, and depressingly so. Because when you would talk about it years ago, I hoped you were really, truly incorrect and, sadly, you have not been. Let's take a spin around the world. I am really freaking out about this North Korea thing. Should I?
15:57 IB: I mean, you're not gonna go to South Korea any time soon, right? [laughter]
16:00 SK: No.
16:01 IB: So then less, less... I would worry less. [chuckle] That's the beautiful thing is that this is... North Korea is Trump's most obvious America First policy, but it's really not a South Korea first policy, right? It's like, okay, let's cause problems and see what happens before it's an issue for the US. And the Japanese last week were freaking out a little. So I think the possibility... I do not believe that Trump's shock and awe in tweets translates into a likelihood of a preemptive military strike. I think that Steve Bannon, when he talked about the US not having a military option in North Korea, and that was when he still was in the position, was reflecting reality. I think that the... So when Trump was running for President, literally every day he asked his fans at the rallies, "What are we gonna do?" No, no, no. What are we gonna do? [laughter]
17:12: Build a wall.
17:13 IB: Build a... Build a wall. Who's gonna build it?
17:18 IB: There we go. He has not said that in the past months. He said it every day. Hasn't said it in the past months, right? I was with the Mexican Foreign Minister. I adore him, a really good guy, a few weeks ago, he said, "We don't even talk about it anymore because it doesn't come up in the bilateral meetings." That's a big deal, right? So the fact that Trump's ability to pivot away from a politically expedient but policy-wise useless proposition is, honestly, unprecedented. He can really do it. And so when North Korea, when his shock and awe against North Korea, fire and fury, ends up not working, he'll move on. Do I feel 100% confident about that? No, no, I don't. I think that accidents are possible. I would feel less confident if Mattis and Kelly and McMaster were gone, and over four years, they might not be there. So I'm not as worried about that.
18:18 IB: But I am getting more worried about North Korea. And I'm getting more worried, number one, because of the cyber attacks. North Korea's decision to launch the WannaCry Virus, which hit the Chinese to a greater degree than the US, was quite surprising to everyone. It definitely made the Chinese stand up, take notice, push them back harder in terms of cracking down on smuggling and joint ventures between the North Koreans and the Chinese in China, and they don't know what to do. I do worry that a rogue state supporting a criminal cyber network to make and steal money is something that eventually could lead to war.
18:58 IB: And I also worry that if they... Let's see what happens next week. But this is, by far, Trump's most important trip, foreign trip since he became President. And part of that is because he's seeing Xi Jinping, which is the most important bilateral relationship, but the other part is because he's going to Asia during a crisis, a North Korea crisis, and we don't know what Kim Jong-un will do while he is there. Worst case scenario is Trump's in Japan, his first visit, he sees Abe, they're best buds. The North Koreans test an IBM over northern Japan, and it breaks up, and it falls, and it kills some Japanese. And then we could have a war. Now, it's not likely, but it's plausible.
19:54 IB: And a couple of years ago, this sort of stuff wasn't plausible. I could plausibly see a constitutional crisis in the United States on the basis of the Mueller stuff. I don't think it's gonna happen, but you now have a whole bunch of fat-tail risks. 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, that would hurt a lot of people. And North Korea is definitely in that league. So, yeah.
20:19 SK: Alright. That's encouraging. Let's head over to Russia.
20:23 IB: It's more... And look, when I was in Japan last week, the Japanese were freaking out because they told me that they were meeting with a bunch of people that were serious analysts on North Korea. People, names you would recognize. Richard Armitage, people like this, who were saying 25%, 40%, 50% chance of war with North Korea. And I think that the media plays it that way. They make it sound like Armageddon is coming, and that's just not true. I think that's just wrong.
20:48 SK: Okay, comforting. Let's head over to Russia. You talk about Russia being in long-term decline. But boy, they're making some trouble while they're going down, aren't they?
20:58 IB: Yep, they are for us.
21:00 SK: Expand.
21:00 IB: For us, with Syria. I mean, they were able to... What?
21:05 SK: The election?
21:06 IB: You want to start with the election?
21:10 SK: Yes, I really do.
21:13 IB: Okay. Well, look, the Russians definitely were trying to de-legitimize our election. They spent, whatever it was, a couple million dollars. We spent billions. The fact that our society was sufficiently divided that Russians, with some big data knowledge, could buy a few ads in Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and target them at some topics and some disillusioned people that could really make a difference in our election says a hell of a lot more about our country than it does about theirs.
22:00 IB: So let's start with that. If we wanna fix this... It's like saying we're gonna fix terrorism because we're gonna keep blowing up terrorists. If you don't fix the baseline conditions about what's causing these disillusioned Muslim men to want to blow themselves up because they have no other alternative, we're gonna... It's like Doritos. Crunch all you want, they'll make more. But, no, obviously, the Russians were engaged in de-legitimizing our election. They spent money, and we should try to stop them from doing that. By the way, I mean, we do our best to de-legitimize the Russian elections. Now, they are not legitimate, but we help. We do provide funding, including government funding, to go over and promote democracy when Putin is not running a democratic election. Now, that really upsets him. And his view is good for the goose, good for the gander.
22:58 IB: So I do think we don't... We spend very little time thinking of this from Russia's perspective. After the Ukraine sort of started to blow up and we had a deal with, together with the Europeans, that the Ukrainians were gonna have a coalition government with former president Yanukovych and the opposition and then, at the end of the year, we were gonna have elections with observers. And then a day later, it blows apart with the support of the opposition. And they say, "Oh, well, I guess your guy is gone." Like, the Americans didn't say, "Well, that wasn't the deal. We're gonna cut you off with the IMF." We said, "Well, the Russians are kind of weak, and they're gonna have to take it. So screw them." That's what we said. It's what we said, internally, and I had that conversation with, basically, the Secretary Of Defense, and the Congress and a whole bunch of people. And if I were the Russians, I would have taken Crimea, absolutely. I would have been so annoyed that the Americans did this to me. I would have been so annoyed that we sent Mike McFaul to be the ambassador to Russia, and on his first day there... And I like Mike. We were at Stanford together. First day there, he goes and he meets with the opposition.
24:01 IB: We would never do that to China because we respect the Chinese too much, or at least know they can hurt us more. The Russians, we're like, "Don't care." And now... But let's be clear, the Russians have lost Ukraine. They've lost it. It's gone horribly badly for Putin. Crimea, back when Ukraine was Ukraine, all intact, Crimea was an autonomous republic that I had visited, with a parliament that was separate, that had a Russian tricolor flying on top of it, and it had a Russian base in Sevastopol, a naval base. Crimea was not functionally a part of Ukraine. South East Ukraine, which Russia has now taken a small strip of, is expensive, violent and useless. And the rest of Ukraine, which was at least a buffer zone between Russia and Europe, now will never play with the Russians. It's IMF full program, it's pro-West, even though the West has done very little for them. So, the Russians have super lost on that. And Putin's angry about this.
25:05 IB: So, definitely, and even in Syria, the Russians have done well in Syria in embarrassing Obama. But really, the forces on the ground are not Russian. The forces on the ground are Iranian that are helping the Syrians, and that's what's made the big difference. And they're the ones that are ultimately calling the shots, not the Russians. I think that Russia is in decline. I think that Putin has strong control domestically, and I think he's willing to play a bad hand pretty well because he doesn't have many people stopping him. I do worry that when the Mueller case investigation reaches its fruition, assuming it does, and Trump doesn't force them out through repeated Saturday Night Massacre, which is possible. But assuming that doesn't happen, I assume that an awful lot of information about Manafort and friends, and their connections with some of Putin's closest oligarch counterparts is gonna be made public, and that Putin is going to be very upset about that.
26:09 IB: These are his friends, this is his money, this is not something he wants to see. And at that point, he will no longer see Trump as very useful to him, and Putin is likely to do things against the US. So, for example, we saw during the election all of the DNC files be made public, but they haven't made any RNC files or Trump family files made public. I suspect Putin would then have those made public. And I do wonder what the implications of the US-Russia relationship will be when that occurs. And that seems to me is a fairly likely thing to have happen.
26:46 SK: Do you have anything good to say? [laughter]
26:49 IB: I know a lot of good things to say.
26:50 SK: Okay. Just, something. I need something to hold on.
26:52 IB: I'll come up with a bunch. I'll come up with a bunch.
26:53 SK: I need something to hold onto here.
26:55 IB: Sure. Well, one is the alternative that people have been talking about for China for a long time is hard landing, collapse, and all the rest. After 2008, we were so delighted that Chinese economy was doing well. Economically, the fact that the Chinese model really works, and it's gonna be the largest economy in the world soon is actually good for global growth. So, that's number one. Number two, Modi. Again, well over one billion people driving serious growth completely clean, not corrupt, wants to build infrastructure. Doing it in a more authoritarian way, also facilitated by technology, but we're now talking about almost three billion people in the world that have a trajectory that's largely gonna be positive. Now, not advanced industrial democracies, but still very significant from a global perspective.
27:38 IB: Number three, climate. It amazes me that we've now gotten to the point that solar power, during the day when the sun is out, is cheaper than coal, in most parts of the world. That's because... Not because our governments did anything, but because a whole bunch of entrepreneurs, companies, mayors, governors, decided we need to do something, and it's actually gotten to the point that really smart people have critical mass. That's awesome.
28:02 IB: And I now see... I now see, in 20-30 years time, that yes, it's gonna have gotten a lot worse than it should have gotten, but we, as humanity, are up to the challenge of dealing with climate change. I think that's tremendous. I think we'll do... Well, we'll have the same... I think we'll have breakthroughs on batteries, storage, and on transmission. I think it's gonna come. Again, a lot of people are gonna be hurt, and obviously they'll be the ones that are in the places that are most susceptible to climate change, so none of us. But this is good news. The biggest good news is that technology now creates the opportunities for human beings to do things that, before, we only dreamed of in terms of food production, and in terms of dealing with disease, and in terms of cleaning our water, and all of these extraordinary things that we really need, but also are gonna be wonderful for helping us to educate ourselves and helping to raise people out of poverty. In the last 20 years, we've taken a billion people out of poverty. It's the most extraordinary thing humanity has done in our short time on this planet, and we're living in it right now. What a wonderful time to be alive.
29:03 IB: The reason why all of this comes across as negative in my first 30 minutes is because my expertise, the one thing I really bring to the table, happens to not be on climate or on technology. It happens to be on geopolitics. And Bill Gates, who I love, wrote this big letter, annual letter to his people a year ago, and said, "Look, we have all of this capacity. No one should be living in poverty anymore. We have the money and the technology to ensure that doesn't happen. The only thing I worry about is the politics." I'm like, hello? Which is, the part that I'm actually really good at, is the part that right now is falling apart. I mean, Sallie's known me for a long time. I was not nearly as concerned about the geopolitical outcome over the last 10, 15 years. Now I am. And so... It's not that you should go away feeling depressed.
30:02 IB: And finally, one final thing. And that is that, sometimes, I get emails from friends. I got one from an old friend of mine who used to be the Chief Risk Officer at Bear Stearns. And he's watching what's happening in the world right now, what's happening in the US. And he said, "I just get filled with despair, and I don't know what to do." And he said, "Do you have any advice for me as someone that really... How do you handle this?" And I'm like, "I've got great advice for you." I'm like, "You have absolutely no right to be filled with despair. No one in this room gets to be filled with despair. We're the solution, right? We're the incredibly fortunate ones that aren't being negatively affected by all this stuff. It's precisely because of us that this problem has gotten to where it is. It's because we've been comfortable and haven't proactively addressed it. So if we are filled with despair, that clearly means we're not actually doing enough to make a difference, and you know what the answer is. Because in the same way that climate has not been solved by Washington, the climate's been solved by us, and people like us. We're gonna solve this, and we're gonna be a part of this."
31:08 IB: And that's a wonderfully uplifting message. It means that we actually have some purpose. And we don't do very well when we're purposeless. We don't sleep as well. We act stupid. That's when we do things that we regret. When we have purpose, that's when we actually get down to it and make a difference, right? So that's the uplifting news.
31:25 SK: Very well said. Thank you so much for being here with us again this evening.
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