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Barack Obama Is the New Jimmy Carter: Niall Ferguson

CNBC.com
Monday, 14 Mar 2011 | 7:17 AM ET

The current inflation scenario is reminiscent of the 1970s and the transition of economic dominance from the United States to China is already well under way, Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson told CNBC Monday.

Geopolitical events all add up "to a pretty bearish scenario because of all the inflation implications we're seeing right now," Ferguson said.

Ferguson: History Does Not Repeat
"It's quite striking how complex civilizations can fall apart really, really quickly... we seem at the moment, bombarded by shock events," Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard University and author of 'The Ascent of Money' told CNBC on Western civilization.

"You already had massive deficits and money printingin the developed world," he said. "On top of that you had enormous demand-side pressure from Chinarelative to commodities."

"Now you've got the prospect of massive geopolitical disturbance in the great oil-producing centers of the world," he added. "That has to be a pretty inflationary scenario."

"At best case, we're going to re-run the 1970s, only with Barack Obama instead of Jimmy Carter in the White House," Ferguson said.

Globally, Western dominance peaked in the 1970s and the rise of Eastern dominance is evident with China taking over the top spot as world's biggest manufacturer, he said.

The dollar will likely keep its status as a reserve currency for a while, but there is "a sense around the world that exposure to the dollar has higher risk in it," Ferguson said.

Contact Europe: Economy

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