Here we are, counting 100 editions of our bulletin and 10 years of an incredible GEAB adventure.
Let me tell you this story:
The GEAB was born in January, 2006, out of a fierce desire of independence for our think-tank, LEAP : an intellectual independence, essential to the relevance of our work on European democratization and on Europe’s global place and role, requiring financial independence. Until 2005, the traffic of our websites was telling us with what interest our work was being followed. Therefore, we decided to make this bold bet: increase the quality and quantity of our content, and, at the same time, deliver part of it upon paid subscription … in order to test its relevance each month and ensure its sustainable independence. The GEAB by LEAP was born … but would the bet actually be won?
“Very well, but what was his lucky star?”
Beginning with the second edition, the term “global systemic crisis” was coined, an anticipation presented under the shape of an « alert » and combined with an expression that analysts of the crisis will often use again : « the end of the world as we knew it ». Yet, what does luck have to do with all this? Our luck was that the “end of the world” phrase soon became viral on the internet. The notoriety of the GEAB was born… on February 15, 2006.
Yet, the real glory days were still ahead of us.
In fact, we were announcing a crisis of systemic nature and of global scale as early as the beginning of 2006, two years before the generally accepted beginning of that crisis; two years during which we didn’t withdraw, despite the attacks and offensive messages we were receiving, but fortunately offset by even more numerous messages congratulating our work.
Forward-looking and constant as we were, amid the general blindness concerning the miracle of financial algorithms, supposedly benefiting from all situations, we maintained the course of an anticipation relentlessly finding evidence of the up-coming crisis. Then, the Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in the explosion of the subprime crisis, which we had anticipated in detail.
Then the whole world started talking about the GEAB…
And when I say “the whole world”, it really means the entire world. Our public announcements were being translated into dozens of languages, reproduced on hundreds of websites, and the GEAB was sold on the sly on pirate websites. Some websites were even translating the whole of GEAB into their language, trying to sell it themselves; aggressive or praise emails were falling down like rain showers, subscriptions were accumulating, and the political anticipation method, which had been used to produce this work, became more and more attractive…
Moreover, there were those touching moments, when members or relatives of our team, while traveling in Turkey, or ending up on some professional missions in cocoa plantations in Brazil, or in diving classes in Thailand, got connected to people of all nationalities and of unexpected profiles … who knew the GEAB readers and loved to talk about it.
The big challenge: the sustainability of this success.
“Our” crisis became