UK’s Insurance Institute Report Sees ‘Shallow’ U.S., Asia Recovery

January 9, 2009

The UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute has released its latest Thinkpiece report, the first of a series of six international articles in association with the London-based think tank Chatham House.

It concludes that the “current global economic recession was brought about by a rapid and unusually synchronized global slump, predicting that it will be longer and more painful than previous slowdowns, taking at least a year to recover, and that the ‘old’ world needs to re-evaluate its position as global regulation and governance change.”

Dr. Vanessa Rossi, senior research fellow at Chatham House, which the CII pointed out is “ranked by Foreign Policy magazine as the top non-U.S. think tank,” notes that the “damage to confidence and jobs will take time to repair, whilst the loss in wealth will also make consumers more cautious in their spending habits,” and that, “the so-called ‘great moderation’ of the last fifty years has finally ended, not with a whimper but a bang.”

Rossi also predicted that the “U.S. will likely be the first out of the recession, driven by a mix of policy efforts and rapid financial sector restructuring, whilst Asia will be quick to benefit from any upturn in demand and could emerge as a dominant user as well as supplier of consumer goods.”

She indicated that “these and other trends could well challenge the U.S. and Europe’s current dominance both as consumer and trend-setter of manufactured goods as well as a major player in global governance,” and concluded that “the ‘old’ world needs to come up with both new solutions and a clear role for itself if it wants to preserve its leadership in global governance and its key functions in financial services.”

Dr. Sandy Scott, CII Group Chief Executive, commented: “We are excited that the CII Group is bringing the success of its Thinkpiece series launched last year to a new international level, reflecting the group’s continuing global reach, and this analysis of the current economic crisis is a significant way to begin this series.”

This series of six papers will be published monthly and cover a range of themes, including the rising influence of the Gulf in global finance and business, global property-related sectors, changing migration trends, and the impact of outsourcing on national economies and insurance trends.

David Thomson, CII Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs, added: “As we begin 2009, Chatham House has provided for us a timely and thought-provoking examination of the recession and where it will lead – particularly for the financial services industry. As people are finding out dramatically, the credit crunch has global reach and few if any are immune from its consequences, hence the reason to look at the implications as we begin 2009, which is likely to be a watershed year.”

This Thinkpiece entitled “Coming up for air after the recession: Which countries and sectors will lead the recovery?” can be found at www.cii.co.uk/thinkpiece.

Source: Chartered Insurance Institute – www.cii.co.uk

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