Chilling economic report strikes fear into CEOs
Over an early-morning coffee with the chief executive of a FTSE 100 business last week, talk turned to the outlook for 2013. Where I had expected some guarded optimism, instead I heard a chilling analysis.
By Kamal Ahmed, Sunday Telegraph Business Editor
22 Dec 2012
The CEO said he had been reading a new paper from Boston Consulting Group headed “Ending the era of Ponzi finance”. The lessons he had taken from it were miserable.
The West was not going to find its way to the right economic path with a little tweaking at the edges, the CEO said. What is needed is a wholesale overhaul of the economic system to tackle record levels of public and private debt. Was anyone brave enough to do it, he wondered aloud.
I asked him to send me the report. He did.
The BCG study by Daniel Stelter which is doing the rounds of corporate C-suites does not pull its punches. In fact, its punches are really just a softening-up exercise for a barrage of kicks and painful blows aimed at anyone who thinks that kicking the can down the road is a suitable substitute for radical action.
At the heart of the analysis is the issue of debt. A report by the Bank of International Settlements, the study notes, found that the combined debts of the public and private sector in the 18 core members of the OECD rose from 160pc of GDP in 1980 to 321pc in 2010.
Keep on reading @ telegraph.co.uk