“[T]he combination of energy and food shocks are a tipping point that will push Western societies over the edge”, warned an anonymous source at a top US financial institution. “[W]e are anticipating dangerous levels of civil unrest that could spiral into an unprecedented social crisis.”
Recently, the Byline Times reported that Global banks and investment firms are bracing themselves for an ‘unprecedented upsurge in civil unrest in the US, UK and Europe’ as spikes in energy and food prices are set to dramatically drive up the cost of living.
Contingency planners at top financial institutions believe that ‘dangerous levels’ of social breakdown in the West are now all but inevitable. He noted that major banks all over the world including in the US, UK and Western Europe are instructing their top managers to begin actively planning how they will respond to the impact of financial disruption triggered by potential civil unrest.
Data from reputable sources suggests that increasing civil unrest across many of the world’s most industrialised nations is entirely possible and even likely. According to the Global Peace Index, 2022 has seen a decline of 0.07% in global peace and this is the ninth successive year that this has been observed. In 2021, violent demonstrations and riots were reported in a staggering 158 countries, over 80% of the world. Moreover, reports of increasing autocracy and a decline in the quality of democracy across the Western world has made headlines over the last several months.
Many Britons are certainly feeling the squeeze. Petrol prices are reaching record levels, staple food products are rising in cost dramatically, inflation is growing at an alarming rate and rail strikes are in full force. In fact, squeeze doesn’t quite capture how some working families are seeing their entire disposable income wiped out by monthly energy direct debits. This trend is set to be exacerbated as fuel prices continue to climb and winter draws in.
It seems as though financial institutions see no way out of this crisis and are preparing some quite serious contingency plans to manage it. However, is this the wrong type of thinking? Instead, could this be an opportunity for new visions and ideas for economic transformation
and an opportunity for banks to introduce new schemes and new economic systems that are capable of coping with the problems of the twenty-first century? Rather than fighting it, perhaps big financial institutions should embrace it.