The U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union last week, sent shock waves through markets, creating political turmoil and causing enormous amounts of speculation about what it all means.
But contrarians would say, "Slow down, stop speculating and focus on the facts."
Here is what we know for certain: The process to exit the eurozone will take about two years, perhaps longer as the process is largely up to the U.K. Parliament.
We really can't be sure of anything else. A new referendum is unlikely, in spite of gathering more than 2.5 million signatures, requiring Parliament to discuss the matter.
How will corporations react? Will big banks move out of London as some pundits have suggested?
Will this cause a new recession, given the already fragile economic outlook for Europe and the rest of the world?
Perhaps, but then again that could happen regardless of the Brexit vote. The world is changing, and the Brexit vote is just one more, small piece of a very complex puzzle.
Here are some more facts:
- Globally, debt levels continue to rise, by more than $57 trillion since the financial crisis (while household debt has decreased, corporate and sovereign debt are at all-time highs).
- Technology and automation are changing the employment landscape.
- As a result of the sharing economy, measuring economic activity has become increasingly complex and inaccurate.
- 90% of the world's under-30 population lives in emerging-markets countries.
- Demographics are transforming the way the world looks and works.
- The combined gross domestic product of all eurozone members, including the U.K., amounted to roughly 18.2% of global GDP, compared with the U.S. at 17.5%, as of 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.
- China's economy will likely grow about 6% annually over the next 25 years, compared with about 10% annually over the past 25 years, according to the IMF.