Alan Greenspan, United States, Ted Salon discussed on TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This Ted talk features author and policy analyst Michelle Walker recorded live at Ted salon. Imagine if twenty nineteen. So what if there were a highly obvious problem right in front of you one that everyone was talking about one that affected you directly? Would you do everything within your power to fix things before they got worse? Don't be. So sure we are all much more likely than any of us would like to admit to miss what's right in front of our eyes. And in fact, we're sometimes most likely to turn away from things precisely because of the threat that they represent to us in business life in the world. So I want to give you an example from my world economic policy. So when Alan Greenspan was head of the Federal Reserve his entire job was to watch out for problems in the US economy and to make sure that they didn't spin out of control. So after two thousand six when real estate prices, Pete, more and more and more respected leaders and institutions started to sound the alarm bells about risky lending and dangerous market bubbles, as you know in two thousand eight it all came tumbling down banks collapsed. Global stock markets lost nearly half their value. Millions and millions of people lost their homes to foreclosure, and at the bottom nearly one in ten Americans was out of work. So after things calmed down a little bit Greenspan, and many others came out with a postmortem and said, nobody could have predicted that crisis. They called it. A black swan something that was unimaginable unforeseeable and completely improbable. A total surprise except. Wasn't always such a surprise, for example, my Manhattan apartment nearly doubled in value in less than four years. I saw the writing on the wall, and I sold it. So a lot of other people also saw the warning spoke out publicly. And they were ignored. So we didn't know exactly what the crisis was going to look like nothing exact parameters, but we could all tell that the thing coming at us was as dangerous visible and predictable as a giant gray rhino charging right at us. The blacks one lends itself to the idea that we don't have power over our futures. And unfortunately, the less control that we think we have the more likely we are to downplay it or ignore it entirely. And this dangerous dynamic masks, another problem that most of the problems that we're facing are so probable and obvious there things that we can see, but we still don't do anything about. So I created the gray rhino metaphor to meet what I felt was an urgent need to help us to take a fresh look with the same passion that people had for the black swan. But this time for the things that were highly obvious highly probable, but still neglected. Those are the gray rhinos lets you start looking for gray rhinos. You see them in the headlines every day. And so what I see in the headlines is another big gray rhino in a new highly probable financial crisis. And I wonder if we've learned anything in the last ten years. So if you listen to Washington or Wall Street, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that only smooth sailing late ahead, but in China where I spend a lot of time. The conversation is totally different. The entire economic team all the way up to president Xi Jinping himself talk very specifically and clearly about financial risks as gray rhinos and how they contain them now to be sure China, and the US have very very different systems of government, which affects what they're able to do or not and many of the root causes for their economic problems are totally different. But it's no secret that both countries have problems with debt with inequality and with economic productivity. So how can the conversations are so different? You could actually ask this question. Not just about countries. But about just about everyone. The the auto companies that puts safety first and the ones that don't bother to recall their shoddy cars until after people die. The grandparents who in preparing for the inevitable inevitable. The ones who have the eulogy written. The menu for the funeral lunch. My grandparents did. And everything, but the final date chiseled into the grains, brave stone. But then you have grandparents on the other side who don't put their final affairs in order. Don't get rid of all the junk. They've been hoarding for decades and decades and leave their kids to deal with it. So what makes the difference between one side and the other? Why do some people see things and deal with them? And the other one's just look away. So the first one has to do with culture society, the people around you if you think that someone around you is going to help pick you up when you fall you're much more likely to see danger as being smaller and that allows us to take good chances. Not trust the bad ones, for example, like risking criticism. When you talk about the danger that nobody wants to talk about or taking the opportunities that are kind of scary. So in their own way are gray rhinos. So the

Coming up next