Speaker(s): Stephen King
Chair: Professor Wouter DenHaan
Recorded on 19 June 2013 in Old Theatre, Old Building.
The Western world has experienced extraordinary economic progress throughout the last six decades, a prosperous period so extended that continuous economic growth has come to seem normal. But such an era of continuously rising living standards is an historical anomaly, economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future. Praised for the 'dose of realism' he provided in his book Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. It's not just the end of an age of affluence, he shows. We have made promises to ourselves that are only achievable through ongoing economic expansion. The future benefits we expect - pensions, healthcare, and social security, for example - may be larger than tomorrow's resources. And if we reach that point, which promises will be broken and who will lose out? The lessons of history offer compelling evidence that political and social upheaval are often born of economic stagnation. King addresses these lessons with a multifaceted plan that involves painful - but necessary - steps toward a stable and just economic future.
Stephen King is HSBC’s Group Chief Economist and the Bank’s Global Head of Economics and Asset Allocation research. He is directly responsible for HSBC’s global economic coverage and co-ordinates the research of HSBC economists all over the world. He is currently the top-rated global economist in the annual Extel survey. His new book is When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence.