Not so good for the rest of the world

January is that time of the Year when world leaders in business, government and think tanks meet in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to discuss the prospects and challenges facing the global economy.

Prime Minister John Key is expected to attend the World Economic Forum meeting from January 21 to 24, 2015.

According to the Forum Secretariat, complexity, fragility and uncertainty are potentially ending an era of economic integration and international partnership that began in 1989.

“What is clear is that we are confronted by profound political, economic, social and, above all, technological transformations. They are altering long-standing assumptions about our prospects, resulting in an entirely “new global context” for decision-making. Leaders are looking to strengthen their situation awareness and contextual intelligence.”

Mixed Bag

According to the Economist, the world in 2015 may look something like this: A financial crash in Russia; falling oil prices and a strong American Dollar; a new gold rush in Silicon Valley and a resurgent American economy; weakness in Germany and Japan; tumbling currencies in emerging markets from Brazil to Indonesia; an embattled Democrat in the White House.

“Is that a forecast of the world in 2015 or a portrait of the late 1990s? Recent economic history has been so dominated by the credit crunch of 2008-2009 that it is easy to forget what happened in the decades before. But looking back 15 years or so is instructive, in terms of both what to do and what to avoid.”

Elections will be held this year in Argentina, Britain, Canada, Greece, Israel, Myanmar, Nigeria, Spain and Sudan.

Monumental Elections

The Economist said, “The coming fight in Britain will be crowded, with five national parties expecting at least 5% of the vote and the Scottish National Party enjoying a post-referendum bloom. The result will be Britain’s third hung Parliament.”

In Myanmar, more than 60 political parties are fielding their candidates for 664 seats a quarter of which will be filled by military appointees. With Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s most famous prisoner (who was on house arrest for 15 years), seated in Parliament, 2015 could well determine the country’s future.

Time characterised 2014 as the ‘Year of monumental elections that ushered in new political regimes in India and Tunisia and solidified or extended others in places like Egypt, Brazil and Japan.’

Respite from chaos

“Year 2015 is shaping up to be a respite from the chaos of democracy, with the electorate of some of the world’s largest countries sitting on the side-lines. But a spate of political developments has infused global importance in to elections around the world and prompted two previously unexpected votes in Greece and Israel that will have major repercussions for their respective regions,” the publication said.

The general prediction is that while the economics of 2015 may be similar to the late 1990s, but the politics will probably be rather worse.

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