Six ways to bring the American Dream back from the dead

Six ways to bring the American Dream back from the dead

Originally published at The Guardian, August 16, 2019

It is time to admit that the “American Dream” is dead. Its underlying conditions – strong, consistent economic growth and a meritocracy structured to keep the rich from gaming the system – no longer hold true.

Nonetheless, an American Dream 2.0 is still possible, and it will be up to those now contending for the White House to offer a blueprint for making it a reality. For starters, America’s leaders need to explain the problem clearly. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed the “pursuit of happiness” a central feature of American life. Since 1776, each generation has sought upward social mobility; and for a long time, many – though not all – met with prosperity.

For over a century after the American civil war, breakthroughs in energy, medicine, telecommunications, and transportation reshaped America (and the world). Economic productivity grew dramatically, as did the average lifespan. And for most of this period, a rising tide really did lift most boats. Politicians from both parties embraced the national ethos that anyone could get ahead through hard work and gradually, if imperfectly, made it accessible to immigrants, non-whites, women, the disabled, and others who had historically been excluded from the promise of American life. Continue Reading.

China should scrap its growth target

China should scrap its growth target

Originally published at CNBC | January 9, 2014 Last October, the acrobat Adili Wuxor walked, without safety nets, 100 meters above the Great Wall of China. His feat emulated what Chinese officials achieved in 2013: balancing the economy by alternately tightening and loosening economic policy ahead of the flagship Plenary meeting in November. So far,… Continue Reading

Active managers—reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated

Active managers—reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated

Originally published at CNBC | December 15, 2015 Reports of the demise of active investment management are widespread, with passively managed products surging in popularity. But while many market participants appear ready to write off the industry, we are actually on the cusp of a golden age for active investing. This may seem counter-intuitive given… Continue Reading

What bubble? We are still buying US stocks: UBS

What bubble? We are still buying US stocks: UBS

Originally written by Leslie Shaffer at CNBC | November 26, 2013 While many analysts fear that quantitative easing is blowing a bubble in U.S. stocks, UBS is increasing its allocation, citing earnings expectations. “While there are some concerns, ultimately, long-term investors should only care whether sentiment has pushed valuations beyond reasonable levels,” said Alexander Friedman,… Continue Reading