As a Global Futurist, a Wave Theorist and a trend-spotter, I feel that the worst of economic and sociological times (in terms of the very foundations of civilization are not behind us -- they are lying out about a year or so in the distance, and will be more horrifying and more crippling for all but the very wealthiest of the world's citizenry (dynastic families and corporations blessed by and inextricably intertwined with government -- the true nobility that holds the fate of Humankind in its collective and frightfully avaricious hands) and some of those well-placed politicians who have access to pools of public or treasury funds and the protection of executive security.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund), a combination of a developmental bank and a center for American and allied intelligence has even downgraded (albeit gently) its projections for worldwide economic growth [please see below]. I watch the IMF very carefully -- they give subtle but meaningful cues as to the longer-term economics of the real world, as opposed to the treasuries and central banks of countries, which are largely mainstream media servers of propaganda-flavored beverages. The article brief which follows, a study in mature understatement, comes to us courtesy of SmartBrief Newsletters, and excellent source of information on an industry-by-industry basis:
IMF scales back prediction for global growth
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its forecast for 2013 growth of the world economy by 0.2 percentage point, to 3.1%, the same rate of expansion experienced last year. Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard says emerging markets are entering a slowdown. The IMF has downgraded forecasts for emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (7/9), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Money & Co. blog (7/9), USA Today/The Associated Press (7/9)
Here are the tactless truths regarding the forces that are driving this financial and social bulldozer in the direction of the entire world as we've come to know it:
1) The fall of the U.S. dollar in terms of its perceived value internationally, as well as the actual prospect of it being replaced in the not-too-distant future as the world's reserve currency for all banks within the world's countries' respective central banking systems. The US has already incurred too much indebtedness, printed too much fiat currency, and lost its edge in terms of innovation and productivity;
2) The decline of the U.S. educational system, as well as the decline of other industrialized nations' educational systems;
3) An increase in the percentage of the world's impoverished and working poor versus the total population, as well as a significant growing disparity between real wages and real prices of the goods necessary for survival and consumerism;
4) The growing instability and endless wars in the Middle East, and the continuing spread of radicalized Islam throughout the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Asia, the former Eastern Bloc Nations, and in metastasizing cells throughout the non-Islamic world and the West, in general;
5) The slowdown in the rate of reproduction amongst educated, highly skilled persons (as well as a decline in marriages and later unions), versus the unabated and increasing rate of reproduction amongst the poorest, neediest and least-skilled groups of people worldwide. This makes for a frightening demographic.
I think I've said more than enough, and with all due respect to Paula Dean, I must apologize for my failure to vet this article and redact things which may be construed as "Politically Incorrect" (gasp), or blatantly truthful.
Douglas E Castle for The Global Futurist Blog and CFI Business Growth.