One Finite Planet

One Finite Planet

Economic Cost Of Peak Population: Market Crash in Japan, China, The World.

Date Published:

The world has reached peak child, and is headed towards peak population. Many economic metrics collapse between peak child and peak population, resulting in bear stock markets and even collapses, all if the real economy and outside their investment portfolios, most people are relatively unaffected.

  • Economic Ponzi Scheme Metrics.
    • Peak Child and National Economies.
    • Market Indexes.
    • Real Estate.
  • Japan And Peak Population.
  • China: The Looming Crash?
  • Other countries: Germany, Korea, USA, Canada.
  • GFC: The Global Round.

Economic Ponzi Scheme Metrics.

Global vs National ‘Peak’ Child or Population.

While birth rates globally with very few exception such as Niger and Afghanistan would be expected to be at or near peak child, most many countries will continue to see population growth for many decades, and this will result in ‘boosts’ to economic indicators. The impact beyond boosting indicators will be wealth gains for the richest 1% or 2%, and erosion of wealth for the majority of the population. (I will explore this in more detail in another page soon.) The key point of this page is the impact on approaching ‘peak population’ on indicators which gain a Ponzi scheme driven boost from population growth, not on the well being of the people, and these are not closely connected.

There three groups countries:

  1. Countries where reaching people population will have or has had significant impact on global financial markets.
  2. Countries that appear decades away from peak population.
  3. Select countries that have have quietly already reached peak population.

Japan and China are in category 1, which is where the Ponzi schemes are coming to an end.

Market Indexes.

I have written previously on how indicators can be misleading, and market indexes focus only on the big end of town, and even in detail how stock market indexes in countries with rising populations can create an illusion of growth, even in the absence of per capita growth. The result of the Ponzi scheme nature of stock market indexes within any country, is that many shares gain a boost in value while the working age population is increasing, which collapses as the population peaks. This triggers a downturn in company results which can trigger a collapse in share values.

Real Estate.

The same Ponzi scheme effect that boost share prices, also ensures escalating growth in property prices. Since the same trigger removes the driver for inflated real estate prices and inflated share values, both real estate and shares, particularly in real estate development and finance, collapse at the same time, compounding the effect.

Japan And Peak Population Market Crash.

Japan in 1989 experienced an 80% market crash in the 1990s, and three decades later, the market has still not fully recovered to pre-crash levels. Perhaps perplexingly, if you visited Japan anytime in the past 20 years, there is no evidence of a society in decline, or a population living in a new poverty. Reality is, Japan for the average citizen feels as prosperous as ever.

So what has happened in terms of population numbers:

  • In 1985, pre-crash, peak child in Japan has already been reached, but the working population is still growing as the largest age band had not yet reached 40.
  • In the crash, peak child now covers all children, and the working population has past the peak, with the largest band about to turn 50, and the shadow band, the peak bands children, in their 20s.
  • 2020 and the population is now starting to fall, and now the shadow band is about to turn 50.

China: The Looming Crash.

Now consider China. The gap between graphs can vary, partly because ideal dates would not be exactly in 5 year intervals, but data is, and partly because years between generations differ between the two countries as well as over time. But the pattern is very close, and very different from what you see in countries such as the USA.

  • In 2005, pre-crash, peak child in China has already been reached, but the working population is still growing as the largest age band had not yet reached 40.
  • Set up for the crash, peak child now covers all children, and the working population has past the peak, with the largest band turning 50, and the shadow band, the peak bands children, in their 30s.
  • 2035 and the population is now starting to fall, and now the shadow band is about to turn 50.

Of course, while this pattern led to an 80% market crash in Japan, it may not lead to the same market crash in China. However, when I search to find either corroborating or contradictory opinions, I found some people had other, completely unrelated reasons to reach the same collusion impending collapse in China, similar to what happened in Japan.

The next question becomes will it also happen elsewhere? While Japan and China are not quite unique, they are unusual, in that both had an economic boom without immigration that very often is drawn to an economic boom. Are there other candidates for the same outcome? First, while all the preconditions are present, and the crash will happen without some rabbit being pulled out of a hat, it is hard to see what is inside that hat. If China does, crash then yes, South Korea will likely follow.

Other countries: Germany, USA, Canada, India.

An important factor is that from an economic perspective, traditional “1st world” developed nation have not had the same population growth as Japan or China experienced. There is a difference between “economic population” and “population”. Until nations transition from “developing” nations, a large part of the population may not significantly participate in economic activity, and as people make this transition, the population participating in economic metrics grows, producing the same growth effect a rapid population growth.

Countries can be broken into categories:

  1. Old world countries, who have mostly transitioned without a collapse into “peak population”.
  2. New world countries, with population growth continuing through immigration.
  3. Developing nations, with economic population growth even the absence of actual population growth.

In these lists, Germany would be category 1, and its problem with the car industry transitioning to electric vehicles is a far greater hurdle for the German economy than any factor related to population. The US and Canada are category 2 “New World” countries with continued population growth, and India fits category 3, so even as as the population reaches a plateaux, the economic population will grow for decades past that point. In summary, there is no obvious repeat of circumstance with the possible exception of South Korea, and although population will also have an impact on other economies in future, the situation with China is the standout likely to impact the world over the next few years by replicating what happened with Japan in the 1990s.

GFC: Global “Peak Population” Round 1.

to be continued.

Table of Contents


Flawed Australian voice of Indigenous People referendum: The irony of a voice campaign that failed to listen.

A tragic lost opportunity. Why didn’t those proposing the voice make changes to remove ambiguity and eliminated enough of the negative perception to win over enough support instead of simply declaring” “No, if that is how you see it you are either racist or stupid!” Was it just that there was no willingness to listen?

Australians had an opportunity in a constitutional referendum to righteously shout loudly “I am not a racist” by voting for a proposition that, at its core, could be seen as fundamentally flawed, divisive and even potentially racist, in the hope even a risk of moving in the direction of apartheid is still better than nothing.

The referendum resulted in a huge setback for action on indigenous disadvantage and while it did seem unlikely to do anything to unify Australians and offer more than some possible affirmative action, the division resulted with even sometimes “yes” voters being encouraged to also be racist.

This is a deeper look trying to see each side from the perspective of the other, with the reality that both sides had a point, and a vast majority of people do want equality and unity.

Perhaps it little more work could bring things together and offer a fresh enough perspective to move beyond just another well-intentioned patronising racism failure like the stolen generations?

Read More »

Population: Our greatest achievement may cause our demise.

Arguably mankind’s greatest achievement, the near eradication of infant mortality, has resulted in a population explosion resulting in overpopulation that we prefer not to mention, even though it may yet kill us. Technically we would not die from overpopulation itself, just as people don’t really die from “old age”, and the real risk is that an already present threat will be exacerbated and become fatal because through our greed we ignore overpopulation.

Unlike old age, the overpopulation risk factor could be avoided or reversed, we may be influenced by economists dependant on Ponzi schemes, the worlds’ largest corporations and billionaires who thrive off the resultant increases in inequality into believing that living conditions required by ever increasing population levels benefit everyone and not just those living in mansions.

Read More »

Crime: A litmus test for inequality?

Around the world, many countries have both a battle with equality for some racial groups and minorities and also a battle with crime-rates within and by those same groups.

Should we consider crime rates the real sentinels of problems and a solution require focusing on factors behind crime rates? Or is the correct response to rising crime rates or crime rates within specific groups an adoption of being “tough on crime”, thus increasing rates of incarceration and even deaths in custody for oppressed minorities and racial groups?

This is an exploration of not adjusting the level of penalties and instead focusing on the core issues and inequalities behind crime-rates. It is clear that it is “damaged people” in general rather than specific racial groups that correlate with elevated crime rates, so why not use crime rates to identify who is facing inequality?

Read More »

Ideal population of humans: How many people can, or should, each country, and the whole planet support?

It seems like the human population has forever been growing, but any analysis makes it clear growth must stop eventually at some level. The question becomes at what level should growth stop?

Do we go for the maximum possible people just before everything collapses, even if average living standards could be far better with a smaller population? With caged hens being farmed for eggs people advocate for a lower free-range population instead of denser living caged hens as it provides a better existence, but does anyone advocate against multinationals and politicians pushing for denser and denser housing for humans in order to allow bigger populations of humans for them to farm?

It seems to be accepted that global population growth should stop but claimed that countries who end population growth face economic disaster.

Read More »

Influence: There’s no free lunch and they use your data to make you pay.

It can seem all those tech companies are so dumb giving away services for free.

I recently read another comment containing the “I don’t want Google getting more of my data to sell” and it reminded me of the question, ‘why is your data valuable?’ people too rarely ask. The common myth is that Facebook and Google etc want your data so they can sell it, but even with companies that do sell your data, it still requires someone to turn data into money, and enough money to fund the “free” services of the tech companies and allow them enough spare to make profits beyond anything seen in the world previously. So how does the data turn into so much money?

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Google and Facebook etc make their money from advertising, not from selling data, and unless they use can the data to persuade you to buy products at prices inflated by advertisers paying part of the sale price to Facebook/Google etc, they would lose money.

Your data is used to inflate the cost of living and earn votes for politicians with an agenda that gives them a budget to spend. They (Google/Facebook etc) don’t want to sell your data, but the reality, is more sinister: they use it to have to change your thinking, so more of your money will go to make them richer.

Read More »