Hero of the Week: January 23, 2020 – Herman Gref

~ Herman Gref, Sberbank President & CEO, “Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t waste time

– And what do you foresee for this year that just got underway?

Nothing optimistic.

– Only for Russia or for the whole world?

We all live in one single and very fragile building.

This is a very sensitive subject… You know, macroeconomics can be likened to a large animal. An elephant or rhinoceros. It may long stay patient, pestered by flies, mosquitos and birds. Such a giant is too lazy to react to every trivial thing, but there comes a certain point when it may lose temper, get up and shake it shoulders causing everyone to run helter-skelter, and vanish in an instant.

The same goes for macro-economics. It is very hard to tear down the current trend, but if it starts to budge, whole system may go out of control. Nobody knows when this may happen, it could occur at any moment.

Humanity has accumulated a very large negative potential, and it is beginning to systematically destroy the condition it has been moving towards for the past half a century. I don’t believe that this hocus-pocus won’t have consequences. Regrettably, we will be inevitably confronted with something like this. We should brace for the collapse of the existing world order. It will be very painful.

On expectations, de-dollarization, SWIFT, personal savings, plans and leisure time

– Horror stories from Herman Gref?

I’m just sharing my impressions. However, it depends on us in what condition we will approach the forthcoming upheavals. It is obvious that neither the existing world order, nor the national managerial and administration models will last much longer. The key contradiction today is between the existing pyramidal decision-making systems and the exponential growth in the speed of change. The amount of change as it is, the capacity of pyramidal decision-making systems is rather limited. It is unable to maintain the adequacy of the system as such. In the meantime, politicians with their actions have been making these disproportions even worse. Moreover, we are obviously moving towards the Thucydides Trap – a confrontation between the dominating world power, the United States, and a booming China.

An explosion will be imminent, unless the international and national institutions are reformatted.

It’s a very sad story. Apparently, humanity will have to live through hard times again and to suffer a lot to realize the preciousness of the world that we once had. The pace of development of modern technologies and the linear development of human mentality are in dramatic conflict. Everything has to be restored to balance.
All the rest is a consequence of this main conflict.

– What is to be awaited?

What’s the point in waiting? We should go on living. You will never guess what the last drop will be like. The crisis strikes later than we expect it and before we are prepared for it, the saying goes.

– Are you telling us that no protection exists?

I’m not. Just support the maximum possible competitiveness and flexibility. Such large entities like countries find this far harder to do, though.

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