shutterstock_503862976_1600x420.jpg

Risks

Discounting geopolitics, we see nine risks that may hamper recovery.  

Political risk
European instability The heavy defeat of Italy’s constitutional reform referendum was a blow to those seeking positive momentum for the European project and reform of the EU post-Brexit. While mainstream parties are expected to prevail in a series of upcoming elections, there is a risk that Eurosceptic parties could come to power, particularly in France or Italy.
A more insular US and increasing opposition to globalisation President-elect Trump’s promise to shake-up world trade poses considerable risk to emerging markets—particularly those in Asia, reflecting a high share of manufactured exports to the US and integration into global supply chains. Domestically-driven economies like India, Indonesia and the Philippines look less exposed.
Political risks in emerging markets Weaker growth could stoke authoritarianism in Turkey and Thailand. Voter dissatisfaction could weigh on much-needed reforms in Brazil, South Africa, Korea, Argentina and Malaysia. And populist policy shifts in the Philippines could deter investment and growth. Backlash against President-elect Trump’s proposed reconsideration of the ‘One China’ policy could also cause political tensions in China.
Financial/banking risk
Tighter financing conditions USD strength in 2017 will derive from fiscal stimulus and expectations of higher US interest rates. This will drag on the select few emerging markets with large external financing needs or large foreign portfolio holdings—like Turkey and Indonesia. The drag could be exacerbated by more protectionist US trade policies. 
Rising leverage in China Chinese policymakers will probably continue to support rapid credit-fuelled growth in the run up to the 19th National People’s Congress in October. So high and rising corporate leverage and weak profitability will continue to challenge China's banks. While China retains the financial firepower to address its debt problems and avoid a downturn—the capacity to do so could quickly diminish were there to be a financial crisis.
European banking system fragilities Uncertainty caused by any prolonged political instability could exacerbate vulnerabilities in Italy’s banking sector. This could have contagion effects across the euro zone banking sector. The lasting low growth and low yield environment has dented the profitability and asset quality of EU banks.
A collapse of asset prices Currently high valuations for global equities and house prices have been supported by extraordinary monetary policies. But a shift in emphasis from monetary to fiscal stimulus could lead to a sharp fall in asset prices—and potential systemic upsets in the financial and real economy.
Policy risk
Underperformance of the US infrastructure agenda President-elect Trump has proposed that a tax credit-assisted program could help finance up to a US$1 trillion worth of infrastructure projects over ten years. While this has helped propel US stocks to record highs, caution over the success of the plan rests on the fact that most US infrastructure is unsuitable for private investment—given that it fails to produce revenue.
Self-perpetuating and debilitating cycles of stagnation Potential growth rates in advanced economies are generally lower than their long term average because of slower growth in the working-age population, productivity and investment, plus legacies associated with the global financial crisis. Yet given the outlook for weak trade and populism, advanced economies could struggle to implement crucial reforms.