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Revolution: How Things Will Change In The Next 20 Years
  • SocGen has published a fantastic, must read big picture report, which compares the world in the 1980/1985-2000/2005 time period and juxtaposes it to what the author, Veronique Riches-Flores predicts will happen over the next two decades years, the period from 2005/2010 to 2025/2030. Unlike other very narrow and short-sighted projections, this one is based not on trivial and grossly simplified assumptions such as perpetual growth rates, but on a holistic demographic approach to perceiving the world. At its core, SocGen compares the period that just ended, one in which world growth was driven by an expansion in supply, to one that will be shaped by an explosion of demand. And, unfortunately, the transformation from the Supply-driven to the Demand-driven world will not be pretty. Summarizing this outlook: "Over the last three decades strong growth in the working-aged population across Asia and the opening-up of world trade have led to considerable expansion in global production capacities. These factors created a highly competitive and disinflationary environment of plentiful supply, which was characterised by low interest rates, a credit boom and, in the financial markets, exuberant appetite for risky assets. As the demographic cycle progresses, we are seeing the emergence of an aging population, which is less favourable to productive investment. Meanwhile the rise in living standards among the emerging population heralds an unprecedented level of growth in demand. The world supply/demand balance is dramatically changing against a backdrop of resource shortages which are likely to favour shorter cycles, increased government intervention in economic affairs and inflation." In other words, contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the future is about to get ugly. And topping it all off is a Kondratieff cycle chart: what's not to like.

    Interesting read.
    You can find it at
  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • I am not a prophet nor the analyst only descendant of a family of peasant worker who likes to ask questions and willing to listen to other opinions than those of television. In 1989, no analyst was not able to predict that the USSR would collapse, and it happened two years later. When I talked to the mid 90's with people from the music industry that I would like to use the computer as a multi-track recorder and sampler, they were knocking on his head and said that a PC can, at most, use auto cad. This article contains a lot of sad truths with which it is difficult to disagree, but no one is able to predict the wars, the development of African or Arab or or visit the UFO :-). Who knows ?
  • If there's an explosion of demand, that's a fantastic opportunity. People have been predicting doomsday for as long as there have been people, so I'm not so worried about that. This is just another way of talking about Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb (cerca 1968); those predictions of doom have never been bourne out and these concerns are nothing new. Essentially, the only solution to the posed problem above is to reduce the human population. It's just the 1970's overpopulation scares redone for the 21st Century.
  • Yes, I'm always skeptical of these kinds of things because there are always Black Swan events. What if we crack the cold fusion puzzle? what if a new plague decimates the planet? What if a terrorist manages to Nuke Philadelphia? What if you learn to extend life to 200? too many variables. Cannot predict such a gigantic random system. I do wonder however what will happen when fossil fuels run out, some are predicting it by 2050.
  • >I do wonder however what will happen when fossil fuels run out, some are predicting it by 2050.

    Problem is not "run out" state. We have coal for that.
    main problems is that consumption and population are growing and fuels production have problems with that.