A Scan of Critical World Developments
Prelude to the Next Crash?
After the twentieth century ended with the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the twenty-first began with a hollow recovery financed largely by growth in public and private debt. Driven primarily by a huge increase in home mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, global debt rose by a whopping $55 trillion between 2000 and 2007. This set the stage for the severe crash in 2008/2009 that threatened the very stability of the global financial system. Although the role of excesses in credit markets in driving the Great Recession is by now widely acknowledged, the lesson has not been learned. Between 2007 and 2014, global debt increased by another $57 trillion, growing faster than GDP. In the context of a still lax regulatory regime, the current expansion of debt portends a time of financial risk ahead. We may be witnessing the prelude to the next crash.