U.S. Political Economy Scenarios: 2022-2024

The long hot summer of 2022 feels like one of the most pessimistic moments in modern history. With reason — we’ve living through a multi-faceted crisis that combines inflation and low economic growth, gun violence at home and a brutal land war in Europe, acute signals of climate change and spiking energy costs, and a political system that seems frozen and polarized to the point where civil war is being openly discussed.

Which is why it’s such an important moment to take a step back and assess the uncertainties ahead. Because the picture is more complicated. July brought surprising signals, including bipartisan legislation on strategic investments in technology and climate, along with a partial recovery in equities and a still-robust labor market.

We’ve built four scenarios that seek to capture, describe, and organize in logical ways the most critical uncertainties facing the United States over the next 2 years.  The slide deck here describes these four scenarios and — importantly — how the interface between business and politics would change in each case. We draw some general conclusions about the overall risk landscape for that interface on the final pages. Spoiler alert: the least likely outcome, in our analysis, is that the future looks like ‘more of the same’.

Scenarios are tools for better strategic conversations. We’d love to have that conversation as you and your organizations grapple with the uncertainties that lie ahead.