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Globalization: Fleshing Out the End of an Age

“In his latest note to clients, Morgan Stanley head of global economics Joachim Fels relays an idea he says has him increasingly worried these days, even though, in his words, it is “no more than a tentative thesis that still needs to be fleshed out and checked for robustness.”

“In short, I wonder whether just as 1913 marked the end of first Golden Age of globalisation that had begun in 1870, 2013 may mark the end of our age of globalisation, which accelerated since the 1980s and 1990s after many emerging markets opened up to international trade and capital flows,” says Fels. “To be sure, I’m not predicting the world wars, mass sufferings and economic depressions of the three dark decades following 1913, but I do worry about a creeping trend towards a de-globalisation of economic activity and capital flows.”

Fels points to the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies following the financial crisis, which caused investors to scramble into investments in emerging markets, a trend that is now reversing.

The economist envisions problems down the road as a result, as he explains in his note….”

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