Articles by Shaun Riordan

About the Author

Shaun Riordan
Shaun Riordan is a former British diplomat who served in New York, Beijing and Madrid, as well as the Departments of Counter-Terrorism and Yugoslavia in the Foreign Office. He is president of BideDao International Consulting, as well as a senior visiting fellow of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague and advisor on public diplomacy to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund. He is author of "The New Diplomacy" and "Cyberdiplomacy".
Trump unchained: Danger ahead for Europe

Trump unchained: Danger ahead for Europe

Shaun Riordan | President Trump is in trouble. He lost control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections. But Trump is not like most US Presidents. Moreover, he knows that moderating his position will lose his base and consequently the 2020 election.This is all bad news for Europe. Germany’s economy is already teetering on the edge of recession. Tariffs on car exports to the US (not to mention a no deal Brexit) would push it over the edge, dragging the rest of Europe down with it.


Strategic plans: Stalin is back - in the board room

Strategic Plans: Stalin Is Back – In The Board Room

Shaun Riordan | It now appears obligatory for major companies to issue strategic plans explaining what they will do over the next two or three years, at least in Spain. Market analysts scramble to evaluate them, inventing “objective prices” on the basis of these evaluations. What neither the companies nor the analysts seem to understand is that “strategic plan” is an oxymoron. It is either a plan or it is a strategy. It cannot be both.


5G: the real reason behind US attacks on Huawei

5G: the real reason behind US attacks on Huawei

Last night the US Justice Department announced criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. These focus on the theft of intellectual property from the US and evading US sanctions against Iran. Also the US government has launched a ferocious campaign to persuade allies not to adopt Huawei’s 5G mobile phone technology.


May's Brexit strategy: avoid becoming the new Ramsay Mac

PM Theresa May’s Brexit Strategy: Avoid Becoming The New Ramsay Mac

Theresa May wants to secure an orderly withdrawal from the EU (she was a lukewarm remainer in the Brexit referendum). But she also wants to hold her political party together. She does not want to be the Prime Minister which breaks the Conservative Party. Above all she does not want to be the new Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister in 1924, who saved the national economy, but split the party.


Do companies understand the dangers of Big Data?

Do Companies Understand The Dangers Of Big Data?

BBVA has announced that it is creating a team of 2,000 data scientists to develop new digital products and services. It is only one of the many companies jumping on the Big Data waggon. But do these companies understand the dangers of Big Data analysis, and in particular the algorithms that underlie them?


Geopolitical risks for 2019

Let’s Get Real About The Geopolitics Of 2019 Markets

Shaun Riordan | I have been reading a whole series of market forecasts for 2019. While it is relieving that at last they include political or geopolitical factors, I was struck by those factors, which could have dramatic impact on companies or markets which were left out, or misinterpreted.



The Geopolitics of Turkey’s Currency Crisis

Shaun Riordan | The currency markets seem to have given the Turkish Lira a temporary respite. But the underlying problems remain the same: an unsustainable current account deficit; excessive dependence on foreign currency denominated (especially dollar denominated) debt; and high inflation.


Trump Kim Summit aimed at mid-term elections

After Singapore, Europeans Must Take Responsibility For Their Own Future

Shaun Riordan | Trump’s behaviour at the Singapore Summit with Kim Jung Un has little to do with foreign policy, or indeed North Korea. Like his attacks on allies at the G7 Summit last week, it is aimed at the mid-term elections for Congress. Long-time US allies count for little compared to Trump’s domestic political needs. Europe must take responsibility for its own future.


Spain Is Not Italy

Shaun Riordan | The motion of censure against Spanish Prime Minister and the election of socialist leader Sanchez as his successor has briefly spooked markets. But in the end it may make less difference than it seems at first sight.