The Expectations Game

Investment is a tricky thing. You put up a lot of money in the expectation that you’ll have a small return year over year. Currently, the expected rate of return is historically small in the developed world, on the order of a few percent. It has to be weighed against the risk that the initial investment will never be paid back, winding up in default.

The slowdown in the global economy is not actually a decline in output all over the world, but a pause in the rate of growth. It wasn’t expected, either, which is the real problem. The developed world is largely stagnant, save some hope in the US for better times ahead. The developing world need to catch up, but appears to be taking a breather after a tremendous run.

As we consider the next few years and the potential for a genuine boom ahead, it is becoming clearer that we aren’t ready for anything more than muddling through until there is a reckoning and a realization of how the next economy will work – for everyone. That will take some patience and public investment all over the world.

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