The blog has now been running for 12 years since the first post was written from Thailand at the end of June 2007. A lot has happened since then:
- There was the 2008 subprime financial crisis, one of the blog’s early forecasting successes
- This led to the publication of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: How the Western BabyBoomers are Changing Demand Patterns, Again’
- Co-authored with John Richardson, this explained the causes of the crisis and described the challenges of the approaching New Normal world
Sadly, although central banks and commentators have since begun to reference the impact of demographics on the economy, they refused to accept the fundamental issue – namely that economic growth is primarily driven by the needs of the Wealth Creator 25-54 age group:
- Their numbers are reducing because Western fertility rates have been below replacement level (2.1 babies/woman) for nearly 50 years
- Central bank attempts to effectively “print babies” via stimulus policies have therefore only increased debt to record levels
As a result, the world has become a much more complex and dangerous place. None of us can be sure what will happen over the next 12 months, as I noted last week. But clearly, the risks are rising, as UK Justice minister, David Gauke, has highlighted:
“A willingness by politicians to say what they think the public want to hear, and a willingness by large parts of the public to believe what they are told by populist politicians, has led to a deterioration in our public discourse. This has contributed to a growing distrust of our institutions – whether that be parliament, the civil service, the mainstream media or the judiciary.
“A dangerous gulf is emerging, between the people and the institutions that serve them. Such institutions – including the legal system and the judiciary – provide the kind of confidence and predictability that underpins our success as a society.
“Rather than recognising the challenges of a fast-changing society require sometimes complex responses, that we live in a world of trade-offs, that easy answers are usually false answers, we have seen the rise of the simplifiers.
“Those grappling with complex problems are not viewed as public servants but as engaged in a conspiracy to seek to frustrate the will of the public. They are ‘enemies of the people’.”