Financial TimesFinancial Times

Glimmers of light in a terrible year

By Martin Wolf

20 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

2022 was my many measures a terrible year defined by war and economic uncertainty. But columnist Martin Wolf of the FT believes there are some reasons to remain positive.

Few will regret the passing of 2022. It has seen a brutal onslaught on a peaceful neighbour by a vile despot. It has seen soaring inflation and falling real incomes in a global “cost-of-living” crisis. It has seen rising interest rates, a strong dollar and widespread difficulties over debt: according to the IMF, 60 per cent of low-income countries are in debt distress or at high risk of being so.

It has seen falling asset prices and heightened volatility in markets. It has seen important moves towards uncoupling between the US and China and the formation of competing blocs centred on the two superpowers, with Russia firmly in China’s camp. It has seen the failure of the COP27 conference to bend the curve of emissions of greenhouse gases downwards. It has not even seen full recovery from the dire outcomes of the Covid pandemic, especially among the world’s poorest people.

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