The ubiquitous population ageing in developed countries could become one of the decisive processes in the world economy in future decades. The study points out that the ageing process, exacerbated by the retirement of the “baby boom” generation, has long-term effects not only on the real economy, but on long-term tendencies in capital markets. It is essential for money-market employees and economic policy-makers alike to attend to these demographic processes. The signals from them show that money-market tendencies in the coming decades will differ from those of the last 20-30 years. Taking demographic considerations into account, it is possible the rapid expansion of the world's great stock markets will be interrupted and the very low rates of real interest on the developed markets will start to rise. The theoretical backing for these assumptions is the hypothesis of shrinking wealth. The study looks at the main arguments for and against this and then at the consequences within the pension system, while touching also on the demographic background to the present world economic crisis. For as the 'baby boom' generation steadily becomes inactive, so the risk of an unfavourable crisis scenario, of protracted stagnation, increases.
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