Global Tectonic Shifts

The global financial meltdown, which emanated in the United States in late 2007, has caused global economic, financial, political, and social tectonic shifts. The world has yet to settle down from these shifts. This is without doubt the worst financial crisis in over eight decades. It has not only distressed global economies that were once deemed immune from such financial, social and political predicaments (Italy and France) but the magnitude and impact of the crisis has left relatively few national arenas unaffected be it pensions, long-term joblessness, health care, income disparities igniting tax wars on the wealthy, technocratic unelected governments, national security, etc.

These global tectonic shifts have exposed some disturbing trends. One such trend is that our global "common systems" are seemingly failing us in our hour of need. Common systems, be they global or country-based, such as, financial systems, health care, management of resources (oil-gas, food and water), climate change, and political (i.e., dysfunction in which governments are failing to deliver effective policy and governance), are failing to deliver as they once did. There is clearly a need to re-invent these global common systems. Another trend is the seismic global shifts in the movements of international capital which creates super economies such as China in record time and fractures others like Greece and Portugal overnight by denying access to private capital (by raising the cost of borrowing).

Yet another trend is the drop in the general public's "confidence" of western economic and political systems and the financial markets evaluated anxiety due to government execution risk (i.e., national elections removing incumbents all over Europe due to pain from agreed upon austerity programs). This lack of confidence is deeply rooted in the fact that Western governments appear not to function much beyond reelection bids and appear to be out of sync with its people and markets. All of this is compounded by the most profound dilemma facing all countries (developed, emerging, and developing) in the 21st century; the ever increasing income gap between the rich and the other 99 percent. There is a growing disquiet on the issues of fairness and justice of open markets economies. All are impacted and must find strategies to deal with this dilemma be it the U.S., China, France, India, Brazil, Indonesia or Russia.