Since the global financial crisis in 2008, which began with the failure of the Lehman Brothers, the world has slowly limped on and tried to grasp back the prosperity that people felt beforehand. While as a global economy we are doing better than 4 years ago, some countries are still struggling.
The Eurozone is constantly on the verge of total collapse, with many countries requiring bailouts and harsh austerity measures. Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has declared that Britain is only halfway back to its previous standings before the problems that began with Northern Rock.
Chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Olive Blanchard has said that â€œit will surely take at least a decade from the beginning of the crisis for the world economy to get back to decent shape.â€ It means that world economies can expect to be mostly recovered by around 2018.
It still means another 6 years of debt, cutting and other austerity measures to try and reduce deficits and Mr Blanchard, while aware that austerity measures are needed for these tough economic times, stresses that it should be done without stifling growth. Mr Blanchard uses the metaphor of walking â€œon the narrow middle pathâ€ between stimulus packages and austerity cuts.
For Great Britain and the US, our economies are in our own hands and while there are considerable difficulties to face, it is nothing compared to that facing Japan â€“ who can expect decades of trying to recover from not only the financial meltdown but also the tsunamis that devastated their country and the aftermath of losing many towns and villages and an important nuclear power plant â€“ and Europe, who have to have at least 17 of the 27 countries present to agree on wider issues about bailouts and other economic matters.
The situation certainly looks bleak, and there are champions on either side of the argument about whether more or less cuts are needed to increase spending and boost public growth. However, the world remains optimistic and forward-thinking and before the decade is over we could see a return to the prosperity that we had before the global economic meltdown.