Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Exploring alternative pathways

Tom Healy: With my colleague Rory O'Farrell we have reviewed the evidence about the impact of 'Plan A' and 'Plan B' over the coming 6 years. The paper was recently given at the Dublin Economic Workshop and is available online here.

1 comment:

Brian Woods said...

I'd be a tad less concerned if there were a Plan C: no global economic (in aggregate) growth for forseeable future.

This situation is probable - not in the short-term, but by the end of this decade. The probem lies with the major oil producers. These have to get their domestic consumption toned down. If they fail to do so (and they are making negative progress on this) the nett available oil for export will decline very rapidly, with dire consequences for western developed economies.

Alternative energies and gas are not substitutes for liquid hydrocarbon fuels (they're complements). It would take approx a decade to build out the new energy infrastructure needed to deal with a shift from conventional liquid htdrocarbon fuels to alternatives (which are less energy dense than liquid fuels) and road and air transport would come under awful pressure.

OK. So who is going to 'fund' this infrastructure investment?

If we do not reduce our day-to-day state expenditure to equal the tax income, then debt defaults are guaranteed. That will be very unfunny. However, if aggregate incomes (private, commercial and state) all decline - then we are really up s**tcreek.

I hope you guys have Plan D available for immediate deployment.