Major price realignments in crude oil and currencies that are "consequential and durable" will be key in 2015, Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser of financial services giant Allianz, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday morning.
"Put these two things together and they threaten the low-volatility paradigm that markets have enjoyed and that central banks have delivered," he said.
The plunge in oil price reflects a fundamental shift in supply, with no one playing the roll of the swing producer, he said. The absence of an actor that can balance out prices will have major consequences, he added.
The realignment in currency dovetails with increasing divergence in economic performance and monetary policy in countries around the world, he said.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to allow interest rates to rise this year. Meanwhile, investors anticipate the European Central Bank will drive down rates by buying sovereign debt. Japan has also launched economic stimulus measures.
The realignment of prices and subsequent end of low volatility does not mean everything will fall apart, but markets do face a tipping point, El-Erian said.
"Either we tip to genuine growth and central banks being able to cope with this change in the global paradigm, or we tip to something worse, and I think the probabilities are pretty equal right now," he said.