From the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, a far-seeing guide to the powerful economic forces that will shape the decades ahead.
The economic ground is shifting beneath our feet. The world is becoming more volatile, and people are understandably worried about their financial futures. In this urgent and accessible guide to the crises and opportunities that lie ahead, economist and former Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz maps out the powerful tectonic forces that are shaping our future, and the ideas that will allow us to master them.
These forces include an aging workforce, mounting debt, and rising income inequality. Technological advances, too, are adding to the pressure, putting people out of work, and climate change is forcing a transition to a lower-carbon economy. It is no surprise that people are feeling uncertain.
The implications of these tectonic tensions will cascade throughout every dimension of our lives—the job market, the housing market, the investment climate, as well as government and central bank policy, and the role of the corporation within society. The pandemic has added momentum to many of them.
Poloz skillfully argues that past crises, from the Victorian Depression in the late 1800s to the more recent downturn in 2008, give a hint of what is in store for us in the decades ahead. Unlike the purely destructive power of earthquakes, the upheaval that is sure to come in the decades ahead will offer unexpected opportunities for renewal and growth.
Filled with takeaways for employers, investors, and policymakers, as well as families discussing jobs and mortgage renewals around the kitchen table, The Next Age of Uncertainty is an indispensable guide for those navigating the fault lines of the risky world ahead.
About the author
STEPHEN POLOZ is one of the world’s foremost economists with over 40 years of experience in economic and investment research, forecasting, banking, and policymaking, including seven years as Governor of the Bank of Canada. Today, he is a Special Advisor for Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, a corporate director, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Lawrence National Centre, Ivey School of Business, Western University. Previously, he was with Export Development Canada for 14 years, first as Chief Economist, then Senior Vice-President of Lending, and finally as President and CEO. Stephen is a sought-after speaker for business and investor audiences and is quoted frequently in the news media.
Praise for The Next Age of Uncertainty:
“Engaging and infused with humour, The Next Age of Uncertainty is a breakdown of economic chokepoints by a former Bank of Canada governor who isn’t afraid to let his personality shine. Stephen Poloz has crafted a timely and eminently readable examination and explanation of the major issues that will define monetary policy and its impact on Canadians’ wallets for years to come. If knowledge is power, those who plan for and want to understand the potentially shaky ground ahead would be well-armed with Poloz’s take on the future landscape.”
—Shaughnessy Cohen Prize jury
"There are powerful forces at work that will influence how we live and invest in the years to come. In The Next Age of Uncertainty, Stephen Poloz not only describes what those forces are, but draws a precise road-map for navigating them. The Next Age of Uncertainty isn't just a book for economists, it's a book for anyone who wants to make better decisions."
—Amanda Lang, Anchor, BNN Bloomberg and national bestselling author of The Power of Why and The Beauty of Discomfort
“Stephen Poloz is as classic a Canadian success story as you are likely to find. Rising from middle-class roots in Oshawa to becoming Governor of the Bank of Canada, he has amassed a wealth of experience on how to navigate challenging economic times. In his book, The Next Age of Uncertainty, Poloz distills his four decades of economic and leadership experience to a series of essential insights about how the economy works and where it might go. Using his trademark blend of analysis, anecdote, and humor, this book will become required reading for anyone interested in the forces shaping our collective economic future.”
—David Detomasi, Distinguished Faculty Fellow of International Business, Smith School of Business, and Academic Director, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, author of Between Profits and Power: Navigating the Politics and Geopolitics of the Oil Industry
“Stephen Poloz is one of the most experienced economists, who has never lost touch with the world around him. In The Next Age of Uncertainty he gives an ingenious yet humble account of the economic forces that will define our future and our everyday decisions. Having lived through the major economic crises of the past decades, Stephen brilliantly connects the past with the future and economic theory with real life and personal anecdotes. It is this all-embracing approach that makes this book a fascinating read, not just for policymakers but for everybody who wants to understand what the future holds.”
—Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank and former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
“Stephen Poloz’s The Next Age of Uncertainty combines invaluable historical insights with provocative reflections on the economy of the future—a must read for policy makers wishing to avoid the mistakes of the past and facing the tectonic forces sweeping Canada and the world.”
—Thomas d’Aquino C.M., LL.D., founding CEO of the Business Council of Canada, and author of Private Power Public Purpose: Adventures in Business, Politics and the Arts
“[The Next Age of Uncertainty] calls on business to do what politicians won’t: Save the economy. . . . There’s plenty in Poloz’s book that ought to keep Canada's leaders awake at night. He sees five meta-trends that are about to collide in potentially violent ways that will reshape the economy and society, just like tectonic plates have been reshaping Earth for millennia.”
“[A]n indispensable guide.”
—Next Big Idea Club
“[O]ne of the best political books in the country.”
—The Hill Times