Report: Walking the path to the next global financial crisis

Dr Bryce Wilkinson and Leonard Hong

Foreward by Victoria University Professor Arthur Grimes

New Zealand must prepare for the next global financial crisis

New Zealand’s economy suffered less damage from the pandemic than analysts expected.

But new research warns, however, that just as we are emerging from the COVID-19, a new crisis is already on the horizon.

Walking the path to the next global financial crisis highlights the danger of an economic crash which could see asset prices collapse, businesses fail, and KiwiSaver funds and investment portfolios destroyed. Recent homebuyers may find themselves owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth.

According to the report, governments’ and central banks’ responses to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 laid the groundwork for the next financial crisis.

With zero interest rates and money printing, asset prices have soared, consumer prices have risen, and public debt has reached dangerous levels globally.

The world’s politicians and central bank governors are now struggling to return to more normal policies. The result is an economically perilous future.

Former Reserve Bank of New Zealand chair Arthur Grimes warns in the foreword to the report there may be only a short time before the next financial crisis. “Central bank actions through the pandemic … have placed New Zealand at greater risk of an asset price collapse with ensuing economic pain; the risk is heightened by the unsustainable fiscal and monetary policies globally,” Grimes writes.

The Government must prepare for the next global financial crisis, even though New Zealand is too small to prevent it. The prudent course is to reduce debt, both public and private.

The Covid-19 financial support package has kept Kiwis off of the dole queue and saved many businesses from bankruptcy. However, the government should promptly repay those debts in order to be prepared for the next financial shock.

Failing to prepare now for the next financial crisis could destroy New Zealanders’ nest eggs and threaten their livelihoods.

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