The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes imagined a world where countries worked constantly to weaken each other. At the end of World War II, many states decided they'd seen enough of Hobbes' nightmare. They created the UN, the EU and NATO as ways to wake from it.
That consensus is now cracking. The weapons of choice to disrupt it are tariffs and currency.
Businesses must respond by analysing their trade chains for currency and tariff risk. They may need to adjust those chains, e.g. source goods from other countries, buy or make them at home or put in place contract and indemnity protection.
They will also need to develop more sophisticated hedging strategies. Anyone caught in a currency war without a hedge, will get their garden shredded.
Mispricing and currency-play opportunities will also appear. The UK real estate market is a good example, with prices 25% lower for many non-sterling buyers.
The world economy is moving into a meteor shower of events. Businesses must plan now to seize the good and deflect the bad.
The prospect of a currency spat between the US and the eurozone has pushed the euro up against all major currencies.