Paul Saffo: A Crazy, Turbulent Economy Is the New Normal
Commonwealth Club - SF Club Office
Futurist Paul Saffo believes we have entered a new economic order characterized by great volatility and turbulence. The 2008 crash was more than a downturn: It marked the end of the "Great Moderation," a two-decade period of mild business cycles and growth. Now many fear we are headed toward a prolonged recession (or worse), while others predict a new boom just around the corner. Who's right? Saffo, with over two decades of experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change, thinks that both groups miss the point. Rather, he foresees that we have entered a new era defined not by boom or bust, but by a new kind of volatility. The global economy has entered what he calls the "Great Turbulence," a decade-scale new order that will be characterized by high amplitudes, short cycles and scarce equilibrium, which may transform politics and policy globally, threaten incumbents and create both challenges and opportunities for individuals and institutions alike.