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John Authers

John Authers’ View to 2022: Regime Change for the Global Economy?

The return of inflation could force a different way of doing things. Plus a selection of the columnist’s best work from 2021.

President Richard M. Nixon shook up the established economic order.

President Richard M. Nixon shook up the established economic order.

Photograph: Bettmann/Getty

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What to Expect in 2022:

This could be the year when the global economy enters a new regime. No longer driven by minimal inflation in prices, negligible interest rates, steadily falling bond yields, growing inequality, and fantastic returns on asset prices, it’s possible that the return of rising prices in 2021 will at last force a new way of doing things. With inflation a serious practical problem for the first time in a generation, the assumptions that “there is no alternative” to stocks, or that independent central banks can defend confidence in the currency, finally come into question. But nothing is certain in the exceptional circumstances that follow the pandemic, and as markets still try to digest the unprecedented interventions to deal with it. In theory, the explosion of inflation this year should have driven a big rise in bond yields, and might well have dragged down share prices. Nothing of the kind has happened. Will the market regime finally change in 2022?

From the Year Behind Us: