Twelve months ago, 2021 was named the year of ‘The Great Dislocation’ (retrospective below). Demand had picked up, supply was in disarray, inflation was starting to rise beyond comfort, and monetary policy was out of sync. No economist in the world could draw an LM-IS chart without risking ridicule. But there was a sense that, somehow, 2022 would allow for a return to normal, pre-pandemic dynamics.
It did not. Worse, 2022 has compounded all the challenges that emerged on the back of the health crisis. It has had the impact of a powerful punch ‘Kill Bill’s Pai Mei would have been proud of. The blow struck the world economy before it could recover from COVID and exposed all the structural vulnerabilities of the prevailing operating system related to energy, food, and defense. The presumed secured base of Maslow’s pyramid has been under intense assault.
Even the concept of sustainability has been under attack by those arguing it is not… sustainable. If sustainability is used as an argument against unsustainability and unsustainability is used as an argument against sustainability, it proves one thing: everything revolves around sustainability. The rest is semantics.
There is a much-welcome year-end break ahead, but as ‘Kill Bill’s Beatrix Kiddo (played by Uma Thurman) reminded Bill (David Carradine) ahead of one Tarantino’s best movie scenes, ‘you and I have unfinished business.’
2022 in Perspective
2009 – The Great Recession (MSCI index for global equities +27% after a terrible ‘08)
2010 – The BRIC Hope (+10%)
2011 – The European Meltdown (-8%)
2012 – The ‘Whatever-It-Takes’ Moment (+13%)
2013 – The Hypocenter of the ‘Lower For Longer’ Syndrome (+24%)
2014 – The Oil Price Crash (+3%)
2015 – The (Nitro) China Wobbles (-3%)
2016 – The Industrial Recession (+5%)
2017 – The Global Synchronized Recovery (+20%)
2018 – The Geopolitical Attack On Economics (-11%)
2019 – The Wager on Sustainability (+25%)
2020 – The Advent of Virtuality (+14%)
2021 – The Great Dislocation (+20%)
2022 – The Punch (-14% YTD)