What to expect from 2019’s ‘post-peak’ economy

by | December 9, 2018

Originally published to CNN Business | December 9, 2018

Twelve months ago, investors were giddy.Markets were buoyant, supported by synchronous global growth and market-friendly US policies, including freshly minted corporate tax cuts and deregulation.What a difference a year makes. As 2018 draws to a close, investors are unsettled, volatility is spiking and most portfolios are in the red. Large setbacks in global equity and emerging markets, coupled with lackluster performance from bonds, credit and most hedge funds, have left investors unhappy this holiday season.

In 2019, the market environment is likely to remain challenging as growth slows and returns on capital struggle to meet still-lofty expectations.

Households, on the other hand, may fare somewhat better, as their share of the pie grows, courtesy of moderate wage increases. But even so, those gains are likely to be incremental and gradual. Global economic fundamentals explain why.

At first glance, the world economy looks to be in pretty good shape. Not since the 1980s have as many advanced and emerging economies enjoyed a simultaneous expansion like the one now underway. Today, those countries in recession or worse are few in number and small as a percentage of world output (e.g., Venezuela or Argentina).

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Filed Under: Economics

About the Author

Alex is the co-founder of Jackson Hole Economics, LLC, a private research organization which provides analysis of key topics in economics, politics, the environment and finance, and develops actionable ideas for how sustainable growth can be achieved.

Alex has two decades of experience growing and transforming organizations in the financial and non-profit industry. He served as CEO and CIO for a number of publicly listed financial services companies and also as the Chief Financial Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he managed a range of day-to-day operating functions, was a member of the management committee and created the program-related investments group.

Alex served as a White House Fellow in the Clinton Administration and as an assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Resources, Inc., a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Chair of the Advisory Board of Project Syndicate and a board member of the American Alpine Club. Alex also writes regularly for various news outlets and is the author of The Big Thing: Brave Bea and Babu's Bindi, both children's books.  He is an avid mountaineer and rock climber and led the first major climb to raise money for charity through an ascent of Mt. McKinley.

Friedman holds a JD from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a BA from Princeton University.

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