Abu Dhabi: As part of its efforts to encourage knowledge-sharing and exchange of ideas, which contribute to the development of the banking sector and the economy, UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, organised a lecture by economist and best-selling author Stephen D. King, Senior Economic Advisor at HSBC Banking Corporation (HSBC), on global economic developments and their effects on the banking industry.
The lecture was held on the 8th of June 2023 at Mashreq Bank headquarters with the participation of His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, UBF Chairman, who welcomed Mr. Stephen D. King and Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC, along with other HSBC executives and a large number of CEOs from the member banks of the federation. The lecture delved into the effects of rising inflation in mature economies on the global economy and the banking sector and ways to address them, followed by a Q&A session wherein Mr. Stephen D. King answered many of the questions raised by the audience.
Mr. Stephen D. King highlighted essential lessons from his popular book, “We Need to Talk About Inflation: 14 Urgent Lessons from the Last 2,000 Years”, released in April this year and elicited broad interest from global economic circles. The Financial Times described his book as “indispensable for policymakers around the world.”
Mr. Stephen D. King presented a comprehensive overview of the causes and effects of inflation, noting that “the biggest challenge is knowing the nature of inflation, as it can be temporary or continue to persist.” He further explained the many reasons that have led to the current wave of inflation, such as quantitative easing to reduce interest rates through buying government bonds on a large scale. He noted that monetary expansion during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in cash surpluses without any direct action being taken to address high inflation rates; for example, the UK inflation rate rose from 0.3% to 10% in two and a half years because no action was taken to curb it.
Mr. Jamal Saleh, Director General of UBF, said: “There is no doubt that inflation is one of the most significant issues concerning the global economy today. Therefore, we are keen to educate the sector and organise expert sessions, such as this lecture by Mr. Stephen D. King, who is distinguished by his comprehensive view in addressing economic issues with his deep knowledge of the banking sector, to deliberate and discuss his take on the effects of inflation.”
He added, “We at UAE Bank Federation continue our initiatives and efforts to enhance knowledge on ways to address the effects of inflation on the banking sector and the economy, in general. I would like to point out the importance of proactive measures taken by Central Bank of the UAE in dealing with high inflation and rising interest rates, which ensured there was no negative impact on the banking sector’s stability, liquidity, and growth in credit demand from various customer segments. These measures have even contributed to strengthening the banking sector in the country and its ability to deliver a solid performance.”
According to the Central Bank of the UAE, inflation rates are expected to fall to 3.2% this year from 4.8% last year (2022) as economic growth continues and is poised to reach 3.9% this year.
It is worth noting that economist Stephen D. King’s books are of great interest among professionals and people interested in the world economy as he provides specialised insights. His analyses address the dynamics of global trade and the impact of globalisation on economies, the challenges facing policymakers and individuals in the global economy, which is marked by constant change, and the development of innovative approaches to face economic challenges.
One of his most important books is, “When Money Runs Out: The End of Western Wealth”, which was published in 2013 and examines the long-term economic impact of excessive debt, demographic changes and resource scarcity, and argues that Western economies have relied heavily on debt-driven growth, which has led to unsustainable debt levels that, in turn, slow down economic growth and require major monetary policy adjustments.
He also published “Losing Control: Risks to the West’s Prosperity”, which was published in 2010.