If 2008 was the year of the financial crisis, 2009 is set to be the year of the real economy fallout. According to the latest IMF projections, world economic growth is set to fall to its lowest rate since the Second World War.
World trade is contracting. Capital flows to emerging markets are drying up. Commodity prices have crashed. Unemployment is climbing. Public protests are on the rise and governments have started to topple.
Mark Thirlwell takes a look at how the world economy will cope with what's turning into its biggest stress test in decades.
Mark Thirlwell, Program Director International Economy at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, is a graduate of Cambridge University and has an MPhil degree in economics from Oxford. He has a postgraduate qualification in applied finance at Macquarie University.
Thirlwell began his career as an economist in the Bank of England's international divisions, where he focused mainly on emerging market issues. He also spent some time in the Bank's UK structural economic analysis division. Thirlwell subsequently joined JP Morgan, where he was a vice president in the economic research department with responsibility for Central and Eastern Europe. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Mark was senior economist at the Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation from 1999 to 2003, where he worked on country risk issues, with a particular emphasis on East Asia.
Thirlwell became an Australian citizen in November 2001.