As one of the keynote speakers at CSOFT’s 11th annual summit, Bill Powell struck a much different tone than others. While his peers spoke of the bright future of globalization, he opened with a much darker tone. “I would like to be a bubbling cauldron of optimism about the world, about the global economy. I’d love to talk about disruptive technologies and the positives of the sharing economy. But alas, I’m a journalist,” quipped Powell.
Powell introduced the “curse of pig pen,” a trend that he has observed in his travels and assignments across the world. Powell has given himself the moniker “pig pen,” a reference to the messy character form the cartoon strip peanuts, who always seems to have trouble follow him. He noted that each country he has spent time in has faced some sort of economic or political downturn during his time there. He then went on to say that the only exception to this trend so far was China. Powell wrapped up his presentation at last year’s summit by predicting that China would continue to be free from the curse.
It looked for a while like the curse might have finally caught up with China in January 2016, when the stock market fell almost 7%, prompting authorities to halt trading. Many worried that this might trigger a great recession in China and have a disastrous impact on the world economy. In the end, these fears proved unfounded. While there was a great amount of volatility in the global markets in the weeks afterwards, things eventually stabilized, and China’s economy continues to grow.
In June of 2016, there was another large shake-up in the global markets following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This shows that China is not alone in its periodic instability, and that many other nations are also struggling to adjust to the increasingly globalized world economy.
Bill Powell will once again join CSOFT’s annual summit to discuss these and other global trends. With the theme “Thriving in a Global Economy,” we will discuss these recent economic trends and what China must do to continue to avoid “the curse of pig pen.” Be sure to visit summit.csoftintl.com for the latest information on this year’s summit and to register if you hope to attend. See you there!