Ehsanophobia is the fear of spending money and is usually triggered when people realise that they are running out of money to spend and fear the future after that tragedy occurs.
This might not sound like a problem for the world, but when your economy is built on the foundation of consumerism, and on the assumption that people will just carry on spending money on new things ad infinitum, you've got some serious problems when widespread ehsanophobia manifests in the population.
A drop in consumer demand for goods has a profound knock-on effect on all businesses because you have less money flowing through an economy, which means fewer people get employed, investment returns fall in value and individual sentiment to actively engage in the sale and purchase of goods and services evaporates.
Modern economics relies heavily on optimism.
If people fear the future they find lots of reasons to stop spending their money and that fear literally creates the conditions under which that morbid fear will then manifest.
Evidence seems to suggest that in South Africa and the 'Western world' at least - consumer spending is very much down, but in China the reverse is happening.
- Retail sales in China reached US$6.2 trillion last year, and Beijing is switching its focus to its domestic economy to support the economy
- The figure puts China around US$200 billion shy of American consumer spending in 2019.
So the problem is fear.
Fear of the future, pessimism about what the future holds, worry that jobs will disappear and money will dry up.
With levels of trust at an all time low, a lot of work needs to be done at the global leadership level to turn this situation around; where that new hope will come from is obviously unclear.