The prospect of a Donald Trump return to the White House in 2024 poses a “fundamental” challenge to Europe, the leader of the world’s largest investment company warned Tuesday.
The Daily Telegraph reports BlackRock vice chairman Philipp Hildebrand issued his caution from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
In doing so he added his voice to the swelling chorus from Europe that fears a Trump return to the world stage.
The veteran Swiss banker said the re-election of the former U.S. president “would challenge Europe fundamentally” given Trump’s determination to embrace America First in matters from trade to diplomacy, NATO funding, and climate policy.
Hildebrand, a member of the firm’s Global Executive Committee, was responding to recent comments by Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), who said Trump posed a “clear threat” to Europe because his divergent views set him apart from the European mainstream, the report sets out.
Lagarde last week warned history showed Trump’s “manner in which he carried out the first four years of his mandate… is clearly a threat.”
For his part, Hildebrand urged Europe to seize the opportunity to transform itself into a technological superpower that was less dependent on America. He added Europe’s capabilities on defence were “just not there” and required a rethink. Hildebrand said:
I see it as an opportunity for the construction of Europe.
Clearly, if [Trump’s election] were to lead to a rupture, which I think is what President Lagarde has in mind as a risk, then that would challenge Europe fundamentally.
Hildebrand helps to oversee more than $9 trillion of assets at investment giant Blackrock, which is the largest money manager in the world.
He spoke within hours of Trump’s stunning victory in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, as Breitbart News reported.