The world economy in 2020: heading for a crash?

Since the shock of the global financial crisis, the world economy had been slower than expected but unevenly recovering. Now there are reasons to fear that a recession, or worse a crash, could hit in 2020. Trade wars, on-going banking instability, ballooning balance sheets, the rising cost of fuel, and slowing growth in China could combine to threaten the recovery.

Last month, Regent’s University London and the Senior European Experts (SEE) Group convened a high-level panel from academia, business, economics and diplomacy to discuss the potential threat and how it might be averted.

Dr Elias Boukrami, event panellist and Regent’s Head of Finance, Energy and Investment Programmes and Principal Lecturer in Banking and Finance, commented:

‘In today’s era, there are many factors that could be a source of crisis – trade wars, deglobalisation, disintegration (like what we’re seeing with Brexit), and tensions among global superpowers. Every one of these things can disturb trust and serenity and cause anxiety. But there are some things we can think of now to avert an economic crash,’ he said.

‘One, we have to keep economic inequality in check. No one wins when there’s inequality – not even the people who are more intelligent or wealthier.

‘And two, we need to make artificial intelligence and roboticization work for us – not the other way around. Both technologies have the potential to shape human enterprise, but only if we keep them under control, and use them in the right way. AI must be at the service of our real, human intelligence,’ he said.

He also commented on the importance of the event for Regent’s students.

‘Events like this expose students to experts in global economic and financial debates. They encourage them to develop a critical approach to their studies, and see how to apply theory in the real world – that’s a key attribute of modern education. The younger generation already thinks differently. With the right tools they’ll be the ones to develop solutions to the problems we face today,’ Dr Boukrami finished.

Dr Boukrami was joined on the panel by Dr Rebecca Harding (CEO Coriolis Technologies and an economist); and Lord David Hannay (a crossbench member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Senior Experts Group.

Find out more about Regent’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate Business & Management programmes.