As the last of the delegates attending the 2019 annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, headed home on Friday, the skies began to clear, shining bright sunlight on the snow-capped mountains around the small town. It was a sight so glorious one could easily forget the decidedly gloomy mood at this year's event. While global CEOs and policymakers made it clear that the outlook for the year ahead is a reversal from 2018's optimism, it was the WEF’s global risks report 2019 that gave detailed insights into the reasons. Even more frightening is the realisation that the antidotes to those risks are also in recession, putting long-term prospects for political stability and global peace — and therefore inclusive economic growth — in the “worry” basket.

The risks demonstrate how political leaders and policymakers globally find it difficult to fashion policy responses that address these risks. Instead, we continue to see outmoded, isolationist response...

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