January 21, 2011
For Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, the 130 year-old American industrial behemoth, the financial crisis marked the end of the age of America’s economic dominance.
“I came to GE in 1982,” Mr. Immelt told me this week in Washington. “For the first 25 years, until the bubble crashed in 2007, the American consumer was the definitive driver of the global economy.”
But Mr. Immelt said the future will be different. For the next 25 years, he said, the American consumer “is not going to be the engine of global growth. It is going to be the billion people joining the middle class in Asia, it is going to be what the resource-rich countries do with their newfound wealth of high oil prices. That’s the game.”