The World's Shifting Balance

The World's Shifting Balance

In The World's Shifting Balance, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, examines the unprecedented state of today's world economy.

The combination of a financial crisis in the US with rising inflation across the globe is astonishing.

In the past a sharp slowdown in the world's biggest economy would have brought lower global demand, a decline in growth and so lower commodity prices and reduced inflation.

We are witnessing the opposite today.

So does this mean that a fundamental shift in global economic influence is under way?

Big emerging countries, like China and India, do indeed seem to have become decoupled from the long-dominant US.

But have they also been transformed into locomotives of the world economy?

In discussion with some of the world's leading analysts - including two former chief economists of the International Monetary Fund and the current chief economist of the World Bank, who is Chinese - Mr Wolf
assesses these hugely important questions.

Mr Wolf concludes that decoupling is real: emerging countries are able to grow quickly even though the US and other western countries are in a slowdown.

The global balance has indeed shifted.

This shift demands a parallel change in the structure of global economic governance.

Yet the emerging countries will not emerge from these troubles unscathed.

The danger now is of slowing growth and higher inflation worldwide - in other words, a mild version of the global stagflation that wrought such havoc in the 1970s.