A Billion Here, A Billion There

A Billion Here, A Billion There

The United States comprises 4% of the world’s population but consumes over 16% of its energy. It is high time for the United States to once again step up to the challenge of climate change. How should we evaluate what a President Biden might do? Continue Reading

The Public’s Business

The Public’s Business

By promoting behavioral norms that balance market and society, “stakeholder capitalism” is supposed to enable private firms to fill the vacuum created by the decline of traditional forms of regulation by national governments. Ultimately, though, the only viable solution is to make business itself more democratic. Continue Reading

The Stock-Market Disconnect

The Stock-Market Disconnect

The best explanation for why stock markets remain so bullish despite a massive recession is that major publicly traded companies have not borne the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout. But having been spared by the virus, they could soon find themselves squarely in the sights of a populist backlash. Continue Reading

Reopening the Peace Factory

Reopening the Peace Factory

Some regard the United Nations as one of the greatest achievements of the so-called liberal international order that was conceived at the end of World War II, while others argue that the organization has never been very liberal, international, or ordered. Both positions have become clichés, but the second is closer to the truth. Continue Reading

The Coming Global Technology Fracture

The Coming Global Technology Fracture

Today’s international trade regime was not designed for a world of data, software, and artificial intelligence. Already under severe pressure from China’s rise and the backlash against hyper-globalization, it is utterly inadequate to face the three main challenges these new technologies pose. Continue Reading

Rings of Impact

Rings of Impact

Today, there is an important opportunity for businesses to engage in a “Race to the Top” as they re-design their practices to be attractive not only to investors, consumers, and employees, but also to the communities in which they participate. Continue Reading

Board Games

Board Games

For long periods of economic history, societies have built walls to defend themselves, relying on local suppliers to a domestic marketplace. Today, economic, public health and political factors are driving a similar trend toward self-reliance again, with all that it implies. Continue Reading

The Robot Question

The Robot Question

Although robots that can perform human labor will put downward pressure on wages in the short term, they also will increase the rate of profit, encouraging more investment and a recovery in the wage rate. It is not so much the economics of new technologies that should worry us, but rather the politics and ethics. Continue Reading

The Long Run

The Long Run

The long run is a forecaster’s biggest challenge. But it yields substantial rewards, among them recognition of future challenges and possible solutions. Continue Reading

The Spectre of Inflation

The Spectre of Inflation

We may now need to reconsider the possibility of a shift into a highly inflationary environment. It may emerge slowly, but the tail-risk is that an unforeseen event catalyzes a sudden shift for which we are not prepared. Continue Reading

Should Governments Spend Away?

Should Governments Spend Away?

With sovereign-bond markets still showing little concern for the massive levels of borrowing and spending across advanced economies, it is tempting to think that there is effectively no limit to further stimulus. But we owe it to future generations to recognize how spending today could affect investment tomorrow. Continue Reading

Saving Generation COVID

Saving Generation COVID

During the COVID-19 crisis, lockdowns and other social-distancing rules have forced schools worldwide to shut their doors, locking out a peak of 1.6 billion children. Unless the international community acts now, the consequences for this generation – especially its poorest members – will be severe and long-lasting. Continue Reading

Training for the Pandemic Economy

Training for the Pandemic Economy

The transition to the world being created by COVID-19 was always going to be difficult for workers in the worst-affected sectors. The main question now is whether policymakers will take the steps – including apprenticeship programs and expanded funding for community colleges and technical schools – that are most likely to make it easier. Continue Reading

Private Equity and Build Back Better

Private Equity and Build Back Better

Boston Consulting Group’s latest ‘state of the nation’ on the asset management industry is a data-rich confirmation of the seemingly irresistible rise of private equity and its private asset brethren in real estate, infrastructure and private debt. Continue Reading

The View From Argentina

The View From Argentina

Argentina is in crisis. The pandemic had turned a bleak story into something worse. The country may shortly default on its national debt for the ninth time in its history, with far-reaching consequences. But there is still hope. Continue Reading

A Mountain of Debt

A Mountain of Debt

The latest data on US government borrowing are very impressive. The Federal deficit in April alone was $738 billion. For the first four months of 2020 the red ink amounts to $1.13 trillion, equivalent to the annual GDP of Florida. Continue Reading

The Deadly Urgency of Now

The Deadly Urgency of Now

The consequences of lapses in international cooperation in combating COVID-19 over the last few months can now be counted in lost lives. Having failed to stop the first wave of the pandemic, we must not make the same mistake again. Continue Reading

What the Stock Market Is Really Saying

What the Stock Market Is Really Saying

The seeming confidence expressed by global equity markets in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has surprised many – including many market participants. But a closer look reveals an unambiguous message: The global economy is facing a long, deep malaise, followed by a “new normal” of reduced earnings and profitability for all but a chosen few. Continue Reading