BEIJING -- China's 100 million retail investors, while a relatively small percentage of the country's total population, make up the largest investing masses by head count the world has ever seen. China's investing public, connected via social media such as WeChat, is highly susceptible to crowd thinking and herd mentality.
ATHENS -- The IMF and Greece's other creditors have assumed that massive fiscal contraction has only a temporary effect on economic activity, employment and taxes, and that slashing wages, pensions and public jobs has a magical effect on growth. This has proved false. Indeed, Greece's post-2010 adjustment led to economic disaster -- and the IMF's worst predictive failure ever.
ISTANBUL -- A new social contract is needed to account for the increasingly important role that individual preferences, and individual responsibility, play in today's world. Each citizen should feel empowered, not isolated and abandoned, in the face of globalization and technological transformation.
SHANGHAI -- From China's perspective, sustained domestic economic growth seems unlikely within the existing global system -- a challenge that Japan and the other East Asian economies did not encounter during their economic rise. Indeed, the only country that has encountered it is the U.S., when it replaced the U.K. as the world's dominant economic and financial power before World War II; fortunately, that precedent is one of accommodation and a peaceful transition.
Connections are changing the world. The connectivity enabled by the Internet has huge implications for the very structure of the global economy. While estimates of the Net's contribution to economic output vary, it's generally thought that it exceeds individual industry sectors like education, agriculture, and energy.
In 2035, the youngest boomers will be 71. The oldest will be 89. What is it going to be like to look back from that vantage point? Hopefully, most of us will have figured out how to keep working as long as possible -- certainly to 70, when the maximum Social Security benefits kick in, but probably longer.
HONG KONG -- Xi might be the first major world leader to admit that on a finite planet, infinite and unrestrained growth, especially in the world's most populous country, will prove not just unsustainable but downright catastrophic. Could Xi be tapping into a global awakening to the fact that we have been in denial for too long about the unintended consequences of unfettered growth?