This Time it is Different. No graphs, no charts and no data. Just some food for thought questions. Answers welcome
on a postcard in the comments section.
1. Which generation had better economic conditions? The one with high interest rates, high inflation, low asset prices, few travel opportunities and (mostly) a job for life [OR] the one with low interest rates, low inflation, high asset prices, ample travel opportunities and many jobs and flexible working conditions during the work life?
2. Can Nations really continue to borrow money indefinitely without having to ever pay it back in full? Can the Debt to GDP ratio continue growing for Nations?
3. If data and customer insights have significantly improved (with big data, the apparent power of the cloud and other things) then why have customer service standards gone the other way?
4. If Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to really drive most vehicles does it mean people won’t learning driving? Will AI powered cars have ethics? Will they stop if a person steps in front of them? Will they stop if a balloon blocks their path?
5. If AI can translate languages with great accuracy, then does it mean fewer people will learn new languages? Does it mean nations with a language advantage (in the form of a language being spoken more commonly) will lose their advantage? Does it mean more languages will survive?
6. Fuel efficiency aside, why are commercial airplanes slower than they were two decades ago? And while on the topic of aircrafts, why are airline seats getting smaller if generally people are getting bigger?
7. Has human intelligence peaked? Or are the next generation more connected, smarter and intelligent? Has common sense peaked?
8. Why do Nations with the highest proportion of those aged 65 or over have low (and in most cases zero or negative) interest rates? Do they want people to invest in riskier assets?
9. Do you believe inflation and wage growth numbers?
10. If wearing an electronic device to track physical activity was mandatory for health and life insurance, then would fewer people take insurance? If all cars were to be fitted with telematic devices for insurance purposes, then would road safety improve or become worse?
11. If employers insisted on embedding an electronic device or chip to track employees, then would more people become self-employed? Or would the entire population have embedded electronic chips?
12. If the world does become cashless then which asset class will replace cash as a safety net?