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12/03/2013

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Steve Bannister

After finally having time to digest this, I agree with Brad and Paul regarding techno-optimism.

First a point on GDP growth. It is time to separate total level from per-capita growth. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution and assuming current trends, it appears we are transitioning to a negative second derivative on the global levels curve. I have a model, I think credible, suggesting that global GDP will peak in 2080. Yet, the same model has per-capita growth continuing, though at slower rate than the last Chinese-fueled decade. If this holds, it will have a great institutional impact.

Second, beyond techno-optimism, I am increasingly physics-optimistic in this sense: Einstein's general relativity is being completed with correct maths; beyond finally putting the Universe together on paper (in the maths), the implications bear greatly on the real world in terms of energy sources. If this all holds, we could start anticipating a several orders-of-magnitude positive supply shock, possibly exceeding the great shock that was the Industrial Revolution.

And of course, most bets, economic and institutional, will be off at that point, including the one I made in my first point.

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