GE’s Immelt Says Brexit Shows “the Failure of Bureaucracies”

We live in a world that is volatile, and the economy is uncertain. Economists have lowered global growth projections every year since 2010. The value of government bonds with negative yields has surpassed $12 trillion in the wake of the U.K. vote. There is geopolitical unrest, and Europe in particular has been rocked by fragmentation and has struggled to grow. The recent wave of terror attacks has exposed security challenges. While I believe in the European Union, it’s tough for me to see how Brussels can drive growth. Europe is not alone. Populist pressures are rising everywhere. China—long the engine of global growth—is actively promoting Chinese commercial interests at home and abroad. Elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, we have seen a steady increase in trade and investment barriers. Many people feel that the global trading system is failing them. Some workers have been displaced by outsourcing, and income inequality has risen to unacceptable levels. As technology and globalization race forward, people understandably fear their impact on jobs and incomes and distrust the motives of companies and government.

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