The world economy began 2016 on a pessimistic note. Oil prices fell to US$30 per barrel on the back of oversupply and waning Chinese demand, and the oil recession triggered sharper retrenchments in other markets. Bearish commentators are citing financial upheaval in China, a deepening emerging market downturn and dollar appreciation weighing on US balance sheets. There are even fears of a second world financial crisis. Deflation (representing falling demand for goods, services and assets) is hurting many sectors, and the onus is once again on central banks to deliver solutions – if they can. Question is, will the ‘global recession’ take place as, from the warning signs, the markets talk themselves into a sharper-than-anticipated slowdown?