A plea to policymakers: we can’t risk another year of delay: For the last three years the world’s biggest economies - the US, eurozone and China - have been living up to the infuriating euphemism so beloved of policymakers: ”kicking the can down the road”…. [P]olitical constraints - the approaching elections in the US and leadership transition in China at the end of 2012, and the inability of the eurozone’s 17 governments and coalitions to coordinate policies coherently while staggered elections and changes of government take place – have led leaders to avoid the short-term pain and political costs of tough decisions that will yield benefits only over the medium term.
It will become clear in 2012 that this game of “kicking the can down the road” is a zero-sum game…. If the world’s biggest economies continue to play the same game and try to kick the cans further down the road for another year, the cans will become bigger and heavier and eventually hit a brick wall. By 2013 at the latest, but possibly already in 2012, a perfect storm of a double-dip recession in the US, a disorderly scenario in the eurozone and a hard landing in China could materialise.