An investigation of the limits to world economic growth from an
environmental and economic perspective. Will inflation caused by rising
primary product prices be likely to be the key constraint on economic growth?
Douglas McWilliams, Thras Moraitis and Mike McWilliams consider whether
this constraint will bite at a sufficiently slow rate for the impact of the
extra growth in emerging economies to mean that the West will have to grow more
As well as being the Professor of Commerce at GreshamCollege,
Douglas McWilliams is chief executive and founder of Cebr, one of the UK’s leading
specialist economics consultancies.
McWilliams has had a career specialising in economic forecasting and analysis.
He currently advises 25 of the FTSE companies, most of the UK’s top retailers, four out of the UK’s top ten legal firms and some of the leading
firms of accountants, as well as being the economic adviser to the Institute of Chartered
Accountants in England
and Wales (ICAEW).
has received five awards for best forecaster for the UK in 2011. In addition to this, an
analysis by CityWire has concluded that Cebr and the OECD have had the best
forecasting track record over the past eight years, a period which, of course,
includes the financial crisis.
McWilliams’ interest in international economics has led to his launching
quarterly economic insight reports for ICAEW for the Middle East in early 2011,
South East Asia in autumn 2011 and the first quarterly report for China in Beijing
in March 2012.
career has focussed on making economics relevant to commerce, first with the
Confederation of British Industry, then as Chief Economist for IBM UK. He then
returned to the Confederation of British Industry as the Chief Economic Adviser
which he followed by setting up his own economic consultancy, Cebr, in 1993.
Cebr is now one of the most highly respected sources of business advice
forecasting, his interests have ranged widely – from being the first to apply
option pricing theory to the economics of safety, to new approaches to economic
impact assessment for transport which have now been incorporated in the
official Department for Transport guidance. He is also famed for his
communication skills, and is one of the most regularly quoted of the leading
The industrialisation of much of the world’s
previously dormant economy is the greatest transformation since the Industrial
Revolution. The changes that follow will have an enormous and frequently
unwelcome effect on the West, and the phenomenal pace of these changes means
that they are happening more quickly than can easily be absorbed. But despite
this, we in Europe seem to be sleepwalking
These lectures will seek to understand the
momentous nature of these changes, their developing impact on the global
economy, and what can be done to influence or at least mitigate these effects
in the West.
Although some of the effects of these changes
are beyond our control and indeed difficult to mitigate, we will at least face
them with more equanimity if we understand them. And many of them could be
mitigated if we think intelligently about how to run our economy, rather than
arrogantly believing that we can press ahead regardless of all that is
happening elsewhere in the world.
Michael McWilliams is the Divisional Directorof Hydropower at Mott McDonald UK.
Thras Moratis is the Executive General Manager of Group Strategy & Corporate
Affairs, Member of Executive Committee, and Director of key Falconbridge Ltd., at Xstrata PLC.