McKinsey have published an article that I think provides a good understanding of how our economy will be functioning in the near term. Entitled “Globalizations Critical Imbalances” it talks about the necessary adjustments in world trade and their implications. Coming from the point of view of the energy industry, I think this document shows the demand for energy will continue to increase substantially in the near term. Prices will be the means of allocating these finite energy resources and therefore the rewards to the innovative oil and gas producer will be substantial. McKinsey notes.
To some extent, the rebalancing of global economic activity from developed to emerging markets simply reflects economic laws of gravity. In a world where ideas can flow freely and countries are at different stages in adopting modern modes of production, communication, and distribution, less developed nations should grow more rapidly than their counterparts in the West as they catch up.China, India, Brazil and others are providing substantial increases in the quality of life for their citizens. This naturally imputes greater volumes of energy will be consumed by these countries. Competition for energy resources will be extreme. How much of an increase in consumption and energy pricing is reflected in this next quotation.
The structural issue facing developed-world nations is that the amount of high-quality, high-productivity labor that will be mobilized over the next decade in Brazil, China, and India (not to mention Mexico, the Philippines, and Thailand) is likely to be measured in the hundreds of millions of people. By comparison, the entire US labor force comprises 150 million people. This is a wonderful trend for humankind and would be a boon for everyone in the world if emerging-market employment were directed largely toward production for domestic consumption. The challenge for developed-world governments and citizens seeking jobs, however, is that a significant fraction of this emerging-world labor displaces jobs that would otherwise be created in Europe, Japan, and the United States. This may be the underlying reason why unemployment in Europe, Japan, and the United States is becoming more structural rather than cyclical and may get worse over time no matter how much public stimulus is provided. Certainly, the job losses of the Great Recession look quite different from those of past recessions.We are clearly not out of the woods in terms of the Great Recession. One of the best indicators of the world economies health has been the Baltic Dry Index. The costs to ship dry goods has fluctuated wildly during the last few years. Although the index has stabilized over the past few quarters, it remains substantially below the highs recorded prior to the beginning of the recession. (Note the recent decline in the index has been substantial.) McKinsey notes the difficult situation these global imbalances will cause various governments.
It is very difficult to say how these issues will play out. The global rebalancing that is needed is obvious: developed-world countries need to save more, consume less, become more fiscally disciplined, and run current-account surpluses (or at least be neutral). Emerging-world countries need to let their currencies rise until PPP rates are closer to financial-exchange rates. They need to consume more, save less, run current-account deficits (or at least be neutral), and continue investing, with some of the capital provided by outsiders. If major national governments work proactively together to rebalance and coordinate their fiscal, monetary, trade, and foreign-exchange policies, the adjustment process could be gradual.The implications of this “rebalancing” may appear dire to those in the developed economies. I think the opportunities will be substantial and the challenges significant. Those that are able to innovate, and particularly the oil and gas producers, will realize many benefits. Realization that we are no longer in the “low cost” era of the energy industries past. Changing from this past mindset to one that can profit from these types of economic forces requires the changes that are contemplated in the Draft Specification.
The underlying global economic processes under way are very powerful, and the profit opportunities will be enormous as four billion people in emerging markets triple or quadruple their incomes and wealth over the next 20 years.McKinsey are specific on how companies should position themselves for these changes. Oil and gas firms need to adopt these and other recommendations. It is foolhardy to think that these economic challenges and opportunities can be handled by the existing bureaucracies. Innovative oil and gas producers need to begin the process of addressing these opportunities by acquiring the software development capability of People, Ideas & Objects and begin the development of these software applications.
These suggestions represent specific applications of the more dynamic management approach I have urged companies to adopt in the past. The hallmarks of that approach—heightened awareness, greater resilience, more flexibility, and the timely alignment of leadership around needed adjustments—will be invaluable for companies as they navigate the choppy waters of global economic rebalancing. This process will continue and perhaps even accelerate in the years ahead, not despite, but because of the structural adjustments that are needed to put the global economy on a more sustainable trajectory.Society is put in peril when world oil production declines. There is evidence that the world's oil production has declined. Therefore the world needs to have the energy industry expand its production. To do so requires that we reorganize to enhance the division of labor and specialization within the industry. As has been proven, this reorganization could achieve far greater oil and gas production. Management of the industry is conflicted in expanding the output of the industry. The less they do, the higher the oil and gas prices and the better they appear to perform. This managerial conflict must be addressed and the performance of the industry unleashed. To do so requires the current management of the industry to fund People, Ideas & Objects and build the systems as defined in the Draft Specification. Please join me here.
Technorati Tags: People's McKinsey Economics Change China Innovation Strategy