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February 2, 2017 | Global Equity
Immigration: The Final Frontier of Globalization

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The recent rise in populism, which represents a substantial departure from nearly seven decades of globalization, is a key near- and medium-term risk to any outlook.

As supply chains have been liberalized, goods, services, and even capital have been able to move freely across borders. The final frontier of globalization is the movement of labor—that is, immigration. To this, the social reaction has been the strongest so far.

Sometimes change can move too fast for societies to digest, and a pause is warranted. We collectively have celebrated creative disruption for so long that it is easy to forget its impact on those being disrupted. Some of the backlash we are seeing may be a response to this. And the near-term backlash is a risk.

I’ll discuss the continuum of globalization and the potential political impact in more detail in a future post.

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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