Looking back through history may not seem like a good way to determine our future, but it’s all we have. We can reasonably guess that if all the trends continue the current Depression will run its course by 2017, give or take a few years or a major meltdown. We can also be pretty sure that this current period of evening out between the developed and developing world will be followed by relatively low growth as working age populations flatten across the planet.
Where this gets tricky is the realization that Western finance, including stocks and bonds and constant price inflation, is not remotely set up for a low-growth world. Something has to change. The best recommendation any of us can make is what is working in economies built around sustainability and resilience today as well as strategies that functioned well before the great wave of industrialization. And that’s where I’m going to start with a few suggestions and predictions as to how finance as we know it could change.