Economic Dilemmas: Deep Structural Issues Don’t Quickly Disappear


Worthwhile questions asked in this video interview with HSBC’s Steven Major.

In summary: Central banks and politicians don’t have an immediate solution for demographics (they can’t make old people young), there is not an instant cure for a lack of productivity, and the debt overhang can not quickly and magically vanish.  Economic growth may help to start to reverse these structural issues, but it’s not an instantaneous process; it’s a lengthy and arduous one — especially given the extremes of global over-indebtedness (i.e. high levels of unproductive debt*).

Major addresses the severe dilemma that governments, central banks, and citizens are facing when he says — in more delicate terms — “there’s a bit of a challenge here and it’s not something that mainstream economics or the consensus forecasting community is able to capture in their methods, so actually this idea that we could see yields going up and then down later isn’t out of the question at all.”

*Unproductive debt — defined by Hyman Minsky, as debt that doesn’t create an income stream to repay the principal borrowed amount and interest on the debt.