Strengthening the global balance sheet

Olivia White, Jonathan Woetzel and Jan Mischke  |  19 June 2023

In recent decades, the world’s wealth has soared – at least on paper – as low interest rates drove up asset prices. But the global balance sheet remains rife with fragilities, which recent financial-sector turbulence has exposed. Now, how the world borrows, lends, and creates wealth may be set to change fundamentally.

From 2000 to 2021, asset-price inflation created about $160 trillion in paper wealth. But while asset valuations grew rapidly, investment and growth remained sluggish. Moreover, every $1 in investment generated $1.90 in debt. But, recently, headwinds have confronted t...

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