In last week’s Fortune magazine Muhtar Kent from Coco-Cola made a very interesting observation, trying to explain his optimism despite all the brutally negative comments about our global economy. He says that one billion people will enter the middle class between now and 2020 and an additional one billion people will get urbanized. He quotes this fact as a tremendous positive impact that will accelerate our economy and global well being despite all the negative signs about today’s trouble.
I haven’t been able to verify the fact but it sounds pretty reasonable. We tend to forget that over the last 20 years we were able to lower the percentage of extremely poor people on this planet (income of $1 per day) from over 30% to around 20%.
Warren Buffet sounds similar optimistic. Over the last days he has said that 2009 and potentially 2010 will be difficult years but that his overall feeling is still optimistic about the economic future of the United States. He continues to believe that the US has the most enterprising and innovative culture in the world. The worst in our recession is definitely not yet over but it’s healthy to get for once in a while a broader perspective with a larger timeframe as Kent is trying to do.