The Changing Dynamics of Global Dominance: China's Influence on Nickel and Goldman Sachs' Transformation Challenges

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Nov 19, 2023

3 min read


The Changing Dynamics of Global Dominance: China's Influence on Nickel and Goldman Sachs' Transformation Challenges


In a rapidly evolving global landscape, two distinct narratives have emerged - China's dominance in the world's largest nickel source for electric cars and Goldman Sachs' struggle in transforming its business model. While seemingly unrelated, these stories shed light on the complex interplay between geopolitical dynamics and the challenges faced by financial institutions. In this article, we will explore the commonalities between these narratives and delve into the implications they have for global industries.

China's Mastery of Indonesia's Nickel Ore:

China's rise to become the world's largest consumer of nickel has been fueled by its ability to unlock Indonesia's vast nickel ore reserves for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. By mastering a unique process, Chinese firms have gained a significant advantage in the global supply chain of EV battery production. This not only secures China's position as a major player in the EV market but also highlights the potential risks of relying on a single country for crucial inputs.

Goldman Sachs' Transformation Challenges:

Goldman Sachs, on the other hand, has been grappling with its transformation into a steadier bank, less reliant on the volatile nature of Wall Street. The second quarter of the year proved to be particularly challenging as deal making stagnated and capital markets remained subdued. However, what made matters worse was a series of markdowns related to real estate investments. These losses underscored the firm's ongoing struggle with mark-to-market adjustments, which continue to create unpredictability in its financial results.

Connecting the Dots:

On the surface, the narratives of China's dominance in nickel and Goldman Sachs' transformation may seem unrelated. However, a closer examination reveals several common themes. Both stories highlight the risks associated with relying on a single source for crucial inputs or revenue streams. China's control over Indonesia's nickel ore and Goldman Sachs' dependence on mark-to-market adjustments demonstrate the vulnerability that arises when companies are at the mercy of external factors beyond their control.

Implications for Global Industries:

The dominance of Chinese firms in the EV battery supply chain raises concerns about the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of other countries in the electric vehicle market. As China solidifies its position as a major player, it becomes imperative for other nations to develop strategies to secure their own sources of crucial raw materials. Additionally, the risks faced by Goldman Sachs in its transformation journey serve as a cautionary tale for other financial institutions seeking to adapt to changing market dynamics. The need for diversification and resilience in business models becomes evident in order to navigate unpredictable circumstances.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Diversify supply chains: Industries heavily reliant on a single source for crucial inputs should actively seek alternative suppliers to mitigate the risks associated with overreliance. This applies not only to the EV industry but also to other sectors that depend on specific raw materials or components.
  • 2. Embrace adaptability: Financial institutions must focus on building adaptable business models that are resilient to market volatility. This involves finding alternative revenue streams, reducing reliance on unpredictable factors, and embracing innovative approaches to stay ahead of changing trends.
  • 3. Foster collaboration and innovation: Countries and companies alike should foster collaboration and innovation to ensure long-term sustainability and competitiveness. By working together, nations can develop strategies to secure their own sources of crucial inputs, while companies can leverage partnerships to drive innovation and adapt to evolving market dynamics.


The narratives of China's dominance in nickel and Goldman Sachs' transformation highlight the importance of understanding the interconnectedness of global dynamics. As we navigate an increasingly interdependent world, diversification, adaptability, and collaboration emerge as crucial pillars for success. By acknowledging the risks associated with overreliance and actively seeking innovative solutions, industries and institutions can position themselves for a more sustainable and resilient future.

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