Author: Edward Fennell
First published: New Legal Review, 13/05/2010
Pre-eminent economist George Magnus predicted the financial crisis a year before it hit. Now there’s a new enemy at the gate: a people recession, caused by an ageing population coupled with a declining birth rate. How can law firms prepare for the new socio-economic landscape and thrive?
A procession of assorted bankers, hedge fund execs and politicians were paraded on our TV screens as the recession bit back in autumn 2008, making a sorry spectacle as they tried to explain, justify and eventually apologise for the financial mess they had created.
Few emerged with any credit and virtually none with any credibility. The sole exception in the UK was George Magnus, the senior economic adviser at UBS. To all those following the financial news, he seemed the only man in the City of London to truly understand the predicament facing the global economy.
Not that UBS itself was spared embarrassment. It was one of the first to announce lay-offs. But at least it had been told the financial crisis was coming, because George Magnus had predicted in a UBS newsletter to clients, as early as March 2007, that the US sub-prime mortgage finance crisis was heading for what economists call a ‘Minsky moment’ – in other….more