Five years after the Lehman Brothers collapsed, “fiscal crises in key economies” continues to be a key global risk, according to The World Economic Forum’s latest global risks report.
“Advanced economies remain in danger of fiscal crises. Given the US’s official public debt of more than 100% of its GDP, and Japan’s of more than 230%, investors may at some point conclude that these levels are unsustainable,” according to the report.
“In the short run, the risks are higher for eurozone countries, which lack the option of devaluing their currencies to ease the necessary fiscal adjustment. Although ostensibly in a better position, many emerging markets have seen credit bubbles in recent years that could turn into financial crises, and then fiscal crises, for example, the rapid credit growth in Asia since 2008.1 A fiscal crisis in any major economy could easily have cascading global impacts.”
The report has identified 10 key risks for the new year:
- Fiscal crises in key economies
- Structurally high unemployment/underemployment
- Water crises
- Severe income disparity
- Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
- Greater incidence of extreme weather events like floods, storms, fires
- Global governance failure
- Food crises
- Failure of a major financial mechanism/institution
- Profound political and social instability
Here’s a map of the global risks:
Income inequality is the global risk with the highest likelihood in 2014:
But fiscal crises would have the most impact this year:
And of course these risks are related:
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