The Fitch ratings agency has announced that the latest threat looming over the global economy is the world’s ageing population.
In this article, the company said that the phenomenon could put many countries at risk of a second fiscal crisis. When the financial industry burps, the world gets indigestion. Maybe this is the kind of wake-up call needed to focus attention on the ageing issue.
In Europe, an aging population — along with their demands on the pension system — is in part to blame for the the region’s current crisis, according to TIME. Though as the Fitch statement notes, many countries like Greece, Italy and Portugal have already taken steps to address the issue.
Fitch, which recently threatened to downgrade America’s credit rating over the debt ceiling standoff, joins a chorus of wealthy CEOs warning that without reforms a boost in old people could threaten economies around the world. Robert Benmosche, CEO of bailed-out insurance giant AIG, told Bloomberg from his seaside villa last year that the retirement age in the eurozone will have to go up to 70 or 80 to effectively deal with the debt crisis.
And billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, said in June that raising the retirement age to 70 would help the world’s struggling economies. A group of influential business CEOs offered a similar plan for the U.S. last week, arguing that the age of eligibility for Medicare and Social Security should be raised to 70.