I was recently at a private event where participants were asked Peter Thiel’s favourite question
, what important truth do you very few people agree with you on?
My answer was that over the next thirty years at least five of the 20 richest countries in the world will see regions or cities secede from the state.
One of my favourite anecdotes on this is that once I was speaking to a very senior Singaporean government figure and commented on Singapore’s strong performance across a range of indicators. He replied, “Ah, but London’s numbers would also look very strong if it could simply re-label the rest of the UK, ‘Malaysia’”. I think about this often. It wouldn’t be so surprising if several megacities succumb to the “re-labelling temptation” in the decades ahead.