"We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all see the same horizon."
More than a million people flee from the Middle East to Europe in search of a new and better life. This human tragedy overwhelms many countries in humanitarian, economic and social terms. And it won’t be long before climate refugees also start looking for a better place to live.
War and peace is one of the big themes of our time. Global warming is another. In November 2015 the international community decided on a global climate program at the World Climate Summit in Paris. Barack Obama said: “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”
Money rules the world and central banks control the money. Fed chair Janet Yellen sets the tone for the world economy with US dollar interest rate policy. And the ECB under Mario Draghi also plays the great game.
The ECB’s key interest rates have been at around 0% for 7 years, and since March 2015 Draghi has been pumping up to 60 billion a month – more than 1,000 billion in total – into the economy in an attempt to breathe some life into it. But ultimately Draghi can’t factor politics into his calculations. He had hoped that governments would use the period of central bank support to carry out the long-overdue structural reforms that would fuel recovery. But little has happened on this front, so the zero interest rate policy is punishing savers and pension funds and affecting consumption.
The bill for this government failure remains to be paid. Ultimately the money needed for the further repair of state finances will be taken from whoever has it. From successful global companies that have already been asked to pay for their more or less dramatic sins of omission in a modern equivalent of the medieval indulgences system. And once again from wealthy private individuals in the form of additional taxes and new forms of expropriation.
In 2005 – i.e. ten years ago – I persuaded former US vice president Al Gore to formulate nine global drivers of change for the next ten years – i.e. up to today – and to discuss these with a select group of interested people on the “Private Wealth Council”, which was one of my initiatives at the time. Looking at the list of drivers and the papers from our workshop today, I’m impressed with how good our assessment was. The list of the “9 drivers of global change” is published at www.kaiserpartner.com/gore-en.
"Look up and you won’t see any boundaries."
Here are some of the things that we can very probably expect in the next ten years.