A new study released by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum meeting shows that just 57 billionaires in India now have same wealth ($ 216 billion) as that of the bottom 70 per cent population of the country. Globally, just 8 billionaires have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50 per cent.
As 2017 dawns, in a great many ways, modern industrial civilization has flung itself forward into a darkness where no stars offer guidance and no echoes tell what lies ahead… We’re not discussing the end of the world; events like those that can be found repeated many times in the histories of other failing civilizations.
What lies ahead for the economy this year? Will there be a global economic collapse as predicted by many or will the early positive signs in stock markets around the world continue? While focused on the U.S., this compilation by Daisy Luther of forecasts by 12 leading experts has implications for the entire global economy.
Steve Keen, Professor of Economics at Kingston University London, is a long time critic of conventional economic thought, and is also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. In this interview with Steven Sackur on BBC HardTalk, he tackles the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally.
Live Mint reports: The richest 1% of Indians now own 58.4% of the country’s wealth, according to the latest data on global wealth from Switzerland based Credit Suisse Group AG. In the last two years, the share of the top 1% has increased at a cracking pace, from 49% in 2014 to 58.4% in 2016.
Nagraj Adve writes: In any economy primed to continuously expand, technological improvements alone can only help so much. While being stunned by Trump’s victory, let’s neither underestimate nor render invisible the inherent, long-term economic tendencies that prevent greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide from declining as the science demands they should. In fact, they may well rise again.
When we get our story wrong, we get our future wrong. Much like the Trans-Pacific Partnership “trade deal”, everything we’re told about capitalism and our economy is a pack of lies. Time for a new story, says preeminent scholar and critic of corporate globalization, David Korten, the best-selling author of ‘When Corporations Rule the World’.
Michael T. Klare writes: Nationalistic exceptionalism could become something of the norm if Donald Trump wins, or other nations put the needs of a fossil fuel-based domestic growth agenda ahead of global climate commitments. In its latest report, the Norwegian energy giant Statoil outlines a chilling scenario focused on just this sort of dystopian future.
We will soon have artificial intelligence that can accomplish professional human tasks. Our lives will be totally 100% tracked by ourselves and others. Much of what will happen in the next 30 years is inevitable, driven by technological trends already in motion, and are impossible to halt without halting civilization, says Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly.
Kurt Cobb writes: It used to be that oil prices and economic growth were somewhat like distant cousins who disliked each other rather than a happily married couple always seen nuzzling together in public. Nowadays, as the oil price dips into the low $40 range again and global economic growth weakens simultaneously, we must re-evaluate.
In this four part series titled No Economic Bullets Left?, former investment banker Satyajit Das sets out why it will be difficult for the world economy to get back to previous levels of growth. The first part looks at the failure of fiscal policies of governments around the world, and why available policy tools cannot address the underlying problems.
The essential argument of Satyajit Das’ new book is: “The 2008 crisis showed that perpetual growth is an illusion. It exposed the high debt levels, credit-driven consumption, global imbalances and excessive financialisation that underpinned an unsustainable economic model, coinciding with an emerging scarcity of energy, food and water, and increasing evidence of climate change impact.”
It is a peculiar combination of technological, economic and geopolitical factors that has led to the present crash in oil prices, lulling many observers into dismissing peak oil. Through it all, the fact remains that the production of ‘conventional oil’, drawn mostly from established oil wells, has not gone up since its peak in 2008.
Investment banker turned author Satyajit Das writes: There are a number of potential triggers to a new crisis, but it will not be a single factor but an unexpected concatenation of events that result in a financial crisis. With existing political elites seen as captured by the wealthy elite, electorates are turning to political extremes.
Klaus Schwab writes: A technological revolution is fundamentally altering the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, its unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but the response to it must involve all stakeholders of the global polity.
Ugo Bardi writes: Something like Trump was unavoidable. He is best defined as the visible effect of the ongoing social phase transition. A symptom of the ongoing breakdown of the social pact in the West. A discrete change in our path in the direction of collapse, in turn precipitated by depletion of resources, especially energy.
George Dvorsky writes: Last year, SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk warned that Artificial Intelligence could “take over the world”. The day when machines become smarter than humans has never appeared closer— yet we seem no closer in grasping the implications of this epochal event. Indeed, we are clinging to some serious—and even dangerous—misconceptions about artificial intelligence.
William Robinson writes: The celebrated economist Thomas Piketty has argued for a global tax on capital and redistribution through tax reform. This reformist approach to global inequality is entirely inadequate because it bypasses the questions of power and of corporate control over the planet’s productive resources that are at the very heart of global capitalism and its crisis.
We have identified two different limits to globalization. One has to do with limits on the amount of goods and services that developed countries can absorb before those imports unduly disrupt local economies. The other occurs because of the sensitivity of many developing nations to low commodity prices, because they are exporters of these commodities.
Charles Hugh Smith writes: If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power free of constraint (like taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power, but its only possible output.