After the crisis of 2008-2009, and the recovery begun in 2010, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Japan, and the European sovereign debt crisis were the big events in the world economy in 2011. The Arab Spring showed us how the young, the voiceless, the outraged and often unemployed are demanding to be taken into account in the economic choices made in their countries. The Fukushima catastrophe, for its part, demonstrated the considerable economic consequences of new risks, such as natural catastrophes, in world that has become super dependent.
Lastly, there is the sovereign debt crisis: the vanishing AAA ratings, and the financial markets seeming to dictate the composition of governments and their austerity policies – reminding us just how much formulating economic policy is a long-term undertaking, and a question of taking responsibility for your choices.
So the year 2011 has ended on a sour note. The slowdown in emerging economies is confirmed, the risk of another credit crunch is palpable in countries that are ‘underwater’ – due to their public deficits and sovereign debt – and, lastly, the lack of visibility and lack of solutions for a strong European economic union continues to frighten the markets, businesses and households.