“2015 was one of the worst years in the century”, remarked Prof. Joseph Stiglitz at the recent Sri Lanka Economic Forum when I asked him for his take on the health of the global economy. He may sound more bleak than a lot of people, but he isn’t far off the reality. The global economy is certainly in a period of alarming volatility.
One of the original ‘BRIC’ country touted as a growth superstar – Brazil – is now in recession. An unprecedented monetary policy divergence has begun between the US and Europe. China is in the midst of a tricky economic rebalancing and growth moderation, and Chinese authorities appear to be struggling to keep up. Meanwhile, we are yet to see how global markets adjust to a new era of steadily rising US interest rates, outflows from emerging markets, and oil dipping to between $30 and $40 a barrel.
I was invited by Ambassador Pamela Dean, the head of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI), to deliver a guest lecture on these issues to the students of the ‘Diploma in Diplomacy and World Affairs’ programme. I wanted to keep the lecture to a story, capturing – what in my opinion – are the key issues unfolding and the trends to watch moving forward. Given the diversity of backgrounds and expertise in the group, I kept it fairly non-technical. Here are the slides.