Geneva Report: Debt: The Eye of the Storm


February 11, 2022, 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM EST
Virtual Event

Adam S. Posen (PIIE), Laurence Boone (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Moritz Schularick (Sciences Po Paris, University of Bonn, and Centre for Economic Policy Research) and Anna Gelpern (PIIE)

Event Summary

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the International Center for Monetary and Banking Studies, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) will hold an online launch of the 24th Geneva Report on the World Economy, Debt: The Eye of the Storm.

The report explores the geo-economic risks entailed by record-high debt in the world economy. Even before the pandemic, public and private sector debt in advanced and emerging-market economies had surged to unprecedented highs in the past four decades. This debt boom is the flip side of the surge in gross savings and the multiplication of financial wealth experienced in recent decades.

Against this background, the Geneva Report studies the outlook for public, household, and corporate debt. Special chapters deal with the outlook for the Chinese economy and inflationary risks. The overall picture that the report paints is not one of doom and gloom: Fears about zombification of corporates in advanced economies are likely overblown, and households in many rich countries deleveraged after the 2008 crash. With a turn in the global interest rate cycle imminent, the largest risks are concentrated in emerging economies where household and corporate debts have risen sharply. China's transition from financial boom to bust is a particular risk factor. Policymakers in Beijing and elsewhere are facing enormous challenges, and mistakes could happen and spill over onto innocent bystanders in a globalized economy.

Adam S. Posen, PIIE

Laurence Boone, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Moritz Schularick, Sciences Po Paris, University of Bonn, and CEPR

Anna Gelpern, Georgetown Law School and PIIE