Viswanathan Iyer, has worked predominantly with large global banks. From a lender’s lens he spoke about the current economic landscape and touched on the tepid economic global growth, exhaustion of monetary tools, little fiscal headroom for major economies, the two major economic blocs battling a structural decline, slowing down of the of the engine of global growth in the 21st century, commodities looking weak, disruption by technology and geopolitical tensions.
Economic boom requires a propeller. The major drivers for economic boom till now have been the first two industrial revolutions, post war conditions like increased globalization, internet and communication. What could be the next driver for an economic boom? Potential drivers could be rise of substitution for the lack from China; the possibilities being India, US and Africa. Technological drivers like robotics, renewables, smart grid, energy storage, big data, IOT and additive manufacturing (3D printing).
He spoke about the challenges in the new world being the liquidity factor, complexity due to integrated markets, increased disruption due to technology, the quantum and frequency of data being high, shorter business cycles and geopolitics.
He touched on the newer themes being transportation vs. communication, aggregators vs. owners, intangibles (ideas) vs. tangibles ( hard assets), valuation appearing to be more of an art than science.