Pessimistic, if not terribly surprising, 2009 predictions from the World Bank:
- Global economy will shrink for first time since World War II
- Global trade will shrink for the first time since 1982
If 2009 turns out the way that the World Bank predicts, it will be the year which illustrates both the success and failure of 20th century globalization. The success was in stitching the world’s economies together, so that a rising tide would lift all boats. The failure was either of imagination of or of will. Either we couldn’t conceive that all boats might sink at once — or we couldn’t muster the political will to create a mechanism for effectively responding to a global economic meltdown. Politicians will likely claim it was the former, but I think it was the latter.