Following the economic crisis of 2008, government debt levels in many advanced economies rose as governments sought to rescue the financial system and boost demand, but the underlying issues of employment and stagnant incomes have remain unresolved creating a backlash against globalisation and international trade. Housing affordability has declined due to excess liquidity causing property values to rise. The inability of governments to deliver on promises to restore growth and prosperity is a factor causing the rise of populist movements and nationalism. Brexit, for example, is symptomatic of these pressures. Looking ahead, these same forces will be in the background for the US presidential election, and the German and French elections in 2017. Even if they are unlikely to gain power in their own right, far-right and far-left political parties or movements are reshaping agendas. The United Kingdom Independence Party (which has a single elected member in the U.K. House of Commons) was influential in June’s EU referendum.
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It’s known as the historic reversal, and it appears irreversible: Places where the old outnumber kids.
What began in 1995 in a single country, Italy, will spread to 56 nations, economies as diverse as New Zealand and Georgia, by 2030. These are the findings of Joseph Chamie, who spent a quarter of a century studying population patterns at the United Nations in New York and now is an independent researcher.
The UK’s momentous decision to leave the European Union brings long-lasting political and economic consequences. It is expected that European leaders will focus on fending off domestic populist movements emboldened by the British exit and on preventing the entire EU edifice from falling apart. This points to a tough negotiating stance toward the UK and less focus on much-needed structural reforms. It is expected attitudes on immigration to harden, and the risk of a protracted standoff feeding uncertainty.
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