Signals: The Breakdown of the Social Contract and the Rise of Geopolitics
SIGNALS is the story of the world economy, told in the language of everyday objects, places and events - from magazine covers and supermarkets to public protests.
Pippa Malmgren argues that by being alert to the many signals around us, we can be empowered to deal with the varied troubles and treasures the world economy inevitably brings. Economics is not just maths and data. Perfume and makeup are part of the world economy too. Signals will help you understand why the size of chocolate bars, steaks and apartments are shrinking. It explains why the government says we face deflation yet everyone feels their cost of living is rising and their standard of living is falling. Rising protein prices are felt not just during your weekly shop but by the leaders of emerging markets who are obliged to reach for food and energy assets to feed their people. The increasing near misses between America's spy planes and the fighter jets of China and Russia are no coincidence.
Malmgren reveals how our daily lives are affected by the ongoing battle, created by central bankers, between inflation and deflation. The fallout of this battle is evident in the rise of anti-establishment voting, the return of social unrest to emerging markets, the movement of manufacturing jobs back to the West, and by pressure from mass immigration. Economic forces are breaking the social contract between citizens and their states. If the only real solution is innovation, then the key question becomes whether governments are hostile or hospitable to efforts to build tomorrow's economy today. Malmgren shows us who is already building the future and how to be part of it.
With its wonderful range of examples, from a Vogue magazine cover to a protest by a Tibetan monk, Signals demonstrates that although we can't predict the future of the world economy, we can better prepare ourselves for it. Far from being the concern of only a privileged few, Malmgren shows that economics is a hot topic that touches every life.
Dr Pippa Malmgren is a former presidential advisor and has served as the chief currency strategist for Bankers Trust and the deputy head of global strategy at UBS. She co-founded H Robotics, a firm which manufactures aerial robots, and DRPM, a consulting business. She serves on boards at the UK Department for International Trade, Indiana University and the Ditchley Foundation. In November 2016 she was named a non-executive director of the Department of International Trade. Malmgren is a frequent guest on the BBC, including Newsnight and the Today programme, and is a popular commentator and public speaker with the Financial Times, the Economist, Intelligence Squared and others. She lives in London. Find her on Twitter @DrPippaM