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

The Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Agenda

The Challenges of the Post-Pandemic Agenda

The pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of human societies and fortified support for urgent climate action. But while the small government, free-market template of the last four decades suddenly looks terribly outdated, history suggests that transitions between phases of capitalist development can be harsh and uncertain. Continue Reading

Mask Wars

Mask Wars

The pandemic and the protests of recent months should serve as a reminder of a simple truth: a mask is always just a mask. What matters for democracy is not whether people cover their faces in public, but which people do so, and why. Continue Reading

A Note from a Quaran-teen

A Note from a Quaran-teen

July 17th will mark my 17th birthday. It will also mark the 138th day since I have come within six feet of anyone outside of my immediate family. Here is how our world in crisis looks to someone in Generation Z. Continue Reading

United States of Despair

United States of Despair

America finds itself in the grips of two epidemics, each of which has exposed deep inequalities across races and levels of educational attainment. Between rising “deaths of despair” among working-class whites and higher COVID-19 mortality rates among African-Americans, the stunning secular decline in US life expectancy will continue. Continue Reading

The Human-Capital Costs of the Crisis

The Human-Capital Costs of the Crisis

Unlike a hurricane or earthquake, the coronavirus pandemic has caused no damage to physical capital stock. But firm-specific skills have no value when the firm that uses them goes out of business, which is one reason why US productivity, wages, and economic growth are likely to be affected for years to come. Continue Reading

The Coronavirus Infects the Markets

The Coronavirus Infects the Markets

Global risk assets sold off heavily last week on concerns that the coronavirus pandemic may significantly dent growth and corporate earnings. Global equity indices suffered their largest weekly losses since the financial crisis. Continue Reading

Rising Uncertainty

Rising Uncertainty

Markets have suffered a hiccup in recent days, with stock prices dipping at the end of the past week. Long-term interest rates are once again moving lower. Continue Reading

The Reality of Wyoming’s Fiscal Future

The Reality of Wyoming’s Fiscal Future

Few images better capture the Wild West’s by-gone era of adventure and lawlessness than ‘most wanted’ posters adorned with the grimacing miens of bank robbers like Butch Cassidy or Jessie James. Today’s residents of Wyoming might soon fear another ‘heist’, but this time the image may portray the smiling face of the tax collector. Continue Reading

When Protection Does Harm

When Protection Does Harm

Yellowstone is America’s first national park. Today, after almost 150 years in existence, it is one of the largest nearly intact ecosystems on the planet. Teams of park rangers and ecologists carefully guard it from damaging invasive species and it is a great example of how humans can draw a boundary around something for its… Continue Reading

How To Meet The Davos Challenge

How To Meet The Davos Challenge

DAVOS – The World Economic Forum’s annual flagship meeting this year will focus on how to build a more cohesive and sustainable world. As always, the topic is timely, but also a little abstract. To help give it more concrete form, we have a few proposals to put the prevailing economic model on a better… Continue Reading

Restoring Central Banks’ Credibility

Restoring Central Banks’ Credibility

The old central-bank playbook of slashing interest rates to spur consumption, investment, and employment has become less effective since the 2008 financial crisis. Yet without effective tools and the public’s confidence, central banks will be unable to rise to the occasion when the next recession arrives. Continue Reading

Dystopia Is Arriving in Stages

Dystopia Is Arriving in Stages

Originally published at Project-Syndicate.org | December 31, 2019 Science fiction has a warning about developing mind-reading technology without any proper framework for how to control it. It should be heeded. Continue Reading

The Trade Leadership Deficit

The Trade Leadership Deficit

Originally published at Project-Syndicate.org | April 17, 2018 Even if Donald Trump’s protectionism proves to be a short-run aberration, US global dominance is likely to continue to decline. To ensure that US hegemony gives way to a peaceful and prosperous global balance of power, the European Union must step up. ZURICH – For all the… Continue Reading

What I learned at Davos

What I learned at Davos

Originally published at Project-Syndicate.org | January 29, 2018 Davos man must change. But that cannot mean rejecting the core commitment to the view that human ingenuity, fostered by open societies and rewarded by markets, remains the sturdiest foundation for the advancement of humankind. DAVOS – The World Economic Forum’s annual flagship meeting in Davos has… Continue Reading

Europe’s Central Bank Is the World’s Most Important

Europe’s Central Bank Is the World’s Most Important

Originally posted to Bloomberg.com | June 7, 2017 Over the next two weeks, investors will focus on monetary policy ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on June 8, which will be followed by the Federal Reserve on June 13-14. After a disappointing U.S. jobs report for May and amid signs of a regulatory crackdown… Continue Reading

Will politics trump economics?

Will politics trump economics?

Originally published at CNBC | February 7, 2017 President Donald Trump has inherited an economy that is in much better shape than his predecessor did eight years ago. Nonetheless the new president has ambitious plans for his first 100 days in office. Just how much can he achieve and what will be the likely impact on… Continue Reading

The Fed’s Gamble on Surplus Labor

The Fed’s Gamble on Surplus Labor

Originally posted on Project-Syndicate.org | April 21, 2016 In recent weeks, the US Federal Reserve has adopted a more gradual approach to policy normalization, causing commodity and emerging markets to surge. While these developments may not make sense at first glance, there is a logical thread that explains them – and it centers on a… Continue Reading