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David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then,[…]

Rubinstein, on a flat world.

Well the first thing you have to recognize is that anybody predicting what’s gonna happen 10 or 15 years down the road is most certainly gonna be wrong, because nobody would have predicted 10 or 15years ago the kind of things we have today. But that said, my own view is that with globalization; with the advent of the Internet; with the advent of instant communications, the world has really become much smaller in many ways; “flat” in the words of Tom Friedman. And as a result what you’re going to see is increasingly large population countries which no longer have technological disadvantages because they have all the technology and the knowledge that they need because it’s instantly available to them. They will increasingly pull away from the rest of the world in terms of wealth, in terms of power. So I think China and India will become the giants of the 21st century. I don’t think you’ll find situations in the 21st century where a small country like England could rule a large country like . . . like India with 2,000 troops in India. The idea that a small country can have the economic wealth, or the political power, or the military strength to control large countries I think is a thing of the past. I think large countries by population will ultimately become large countries by wealth. So I think the largest countries in the world will ultimately become the most powerful countries in the world – a bit of a reversal of what we’ve had. But I think in the 21st century, you’ll see China and India becoming very, very important to the world. And I think the United States will probably not be as significant a factor in the world at the end of the 21st century as we’ve been at the beginning of the 21st century.Recorded on: 9/13/07