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When the rulebook is torn up by populists, the whole world loses

First published: The Times 24/08/2019

At the last count Germany, the UK, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Russia have all had economic contractions recently and stalled. Fear of a global recession by 2020 is ubiquitous. Financial markets are stressed, with equities nervous, the US yield curve inverting, skinny long bond or negative yields elsewhere and gold higher than at any time since 2010-12. In the words of the Buffalo Springfield song: “There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” But it ain’t good.

When you watch the tide roll in and out, you are observing something you can’t see: gravity. Similarly, as we contemplate economics and finance, whether along the US-China continuum, in the context of Brexit, or elsewhere, we see many developments. The deeper…Read on….