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Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:11:04+01:001 November 2019|

Nouriel Roubini, The Allure and Limits of Monetized Fiscal Deficits (Project Syndicate, October 28, 2019) This is a topic that was widely discussed at the [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:16:26+01:0025 October 2019|

Jeffrey Sachs, Why Rich Cities Rebel (Project Syndicate, October 23, 2019) Why did governments fail to anticipate that a seemingly modest policy action (a fuel-tax [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:16:32+01:0018 October 2019|

Dion Rabouin, Mainstream economists are getting radical (Axios, October 11, 2019) In a world of slow growth and full of economic anomalies, some of the [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:16:38+01:0011 October 2019|

Jim Bianco, Central Banks Can’t Create Negative Rates by Themselves (Bloomberg Opinion, October 9, 2019)This article explains in very simple terms why there is more to [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:16:44+01:004 October 2019|

Lucrezia Reichlin, Adair Turner, Michael Woodford, Helicopter money as a policy option (Vox, September 24, 2019)This article sums up a policy debate on helicopter money that [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-02-19T12:17:00+01:0027 September 2019|

Arvind Subramanian and Dani Rodrik, The Puzzling Lure of Financial Globalization (Project Syndicate, September 25, 2019)The two renowned economists observe that, although most of the intellectual [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:16:56+01:0020 September 2019|

Satyajit Das, Can Banks Survive Negative Rates?(Bloomberg, September 13, 2019)The former banker turned author explains why the spread of unconventional monetary policies threatens to set [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:03+01:0013 September 2019|

Ann Saphir, Trade uncertainty to trim $850 billion global output: Fed paper (Reuters, September 5, 2019)Some robust academic research (it comes from the Fed) has attempted [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:13+01:006 September 2019|

Neil Irwin, A Recession Isn’t Inevitable: The Case for Economic Optimism (The New York Times, September 4, 2019) For those who worry about a quasi-immediate [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:22+01:0030 August 2019|

Ruchir Sharma, Our Irrational Anxiety About ‘Slow’ Growth(The New York Times, August 17, 2019)The economist / columnist argues that the problem with the global economy [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:31+01:0016 August 2019|

Zachary Karabell, The Population Bust – Demographic Decline and the End of Capitalism as We Know It(Foreign Affairs, September/October 2019)The mismatch between expectations of a [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:39+01:009 August 2019|

George Magnus, Yuan’s Slide Is Gold Standard Moment for China (Bloomberg Opinion, August 6, 2019)This is an important read (5-6 min.) to understand the significance of China’s [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:47+01:002 August 2019|

Adam Tooze, Why Central Banks Need to Step Up on Global Warming(Foreign Policy, July 20)The leading economic historian explains why climate change could cause another [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:17:54+01:0026 July 2019|

Jerry Useem, The Stock-Buyback Swindle(The Atlantic, August 2019)US corporations are spending trillions of dollars to repurchase their own stock: over the past nine years, corporations [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:06+01:0019 July 2019|

Susan Lund, James Manyika, Michael Spence, The Global Economy’s Next Winners – What It Takes to Thrive in the Automation Age(Foreign Affairs, July-August 2019)The key [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:13+01:0012 July 2019|

Jeffrey Stacey, Is a Tide Turning Against Populism?(The New York Times, July 10, 2019)Something is happening that challenges the “populist surge” theory – the idea [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:28+01:005 July 2019|

Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom and Davide Furceri, Caution: Trade uncertainty is rising and can harm the global economy(Vox, July 4, 2019)This is an essential read [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:39+01:0028 June 2019|

Michael Schuman, Trump’s Trade War With China Is Already Changing the World (The Atlantic, June 25, 2019)The fact that the US and China are now decoupling [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:46+01:0021 June 2019|

Nicholas Eberstadt, With Great Demographics Comes Great Power(Foreign Affairs, July 2019)This is a very helpful article to understand why and how demographics (the most enduring [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:18:53+01:0014 June 2019|

Jeffrey Frankel, The US Recovery Turns Ten (Project Syndicate, June 14, 2019) Maybe a bit of a dry read, but essential to understand what’s going [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:00+01:007 June 2019|

John Authers, Shelters Are Becoming Rare in This Market Storm(Bloomberg, June 4, 2019)The senior editor for markets observes that when it’s just Treasuries and gold [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:10+01:0031 May 2019|

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Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:22+01:0024 May 2019|

Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, Davide Furceri, The global economy hit by higher uncertainty(Vox, May 11, 2019)Rising uncertainty is the commonality behind all the different reasons [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:33+01:0017 May 2019|

Timothy Garton-Ash, Why we must not let Europe break apart The great historian argues that the European project is in big trouble, but is still worth fighting for. Old and new rifts are everywhere: between the north and south, west and east, two halves of each society, and more (including within countries). In the meantime, right-wing nationalists are peddling the return to an ill-defined “Europe of nations”. For centuries, Europe has torn itself apart, only to then put itself back together again, but this time is different because outside powers are engaged in a scramble for Europe (and not vice versa). Today’s deepest European challenge is this: do we really need to lose it all in order to find it again? (long read – 20 min, but a must).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:48+01:0010 May 2019|

Brad Plumer, Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace The conclusions of the UN report on the decline in biodiversity across the globe are stark. Compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, it concludes that, with the human population exceeding 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history” which is exacerbated by global warming - a major driver of wildlife decline. The report makes obvious the links between biodiversity and issues like food security and clean water (reads in 7-8 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:19:56+01:003 May 2019|

Robert Eccles and Svetlana Klimenko, The Investor Revolution(Harvard Business Review, May-June 2019)The two researchers make the claim that investors are getting serious about investing in [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:06+01:0026 April 2019|

Nouriel Roubini, Bipolar Markets in the “New Mediocre”(Project Syndicate, April 22, 2019)After the global risk-off at the end of last year, the recent central bankers’ [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:26+01:0019 April 2019|

John Duca, Online Retailing, Self-Employment Disrupt Inflation A new paper written by a Fed researcher makes two critical points that we’ve addressed in past Monthly Barometers and that may explain the subdued nature of the US’ otherwise impressive economic outperformance: (1) the US very low jobless rate would be higher if gig economy workers were counted as unemployed or underemployed; (2) gig work (which pays less than traditional full-time employment) is in part responsible for the sluggish wage increase. True for other economies as well, but to a lesser extent (reads in about 5 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:34+01:0012 April 2019|

Eric Schatzker, Ray Dalio Sounds a New Alarm on Capitalism’s Flaws, Warns of Revolution In 2017, the hedge fund manager was the first to raise the alert about the US “two economies” syndrome. In a new report (available in the article), he warns that some deep flaws in American capitalism have created destructive and self-reinforcing gaps in education, social mobility, assets and income that could result in another revolution. In his opinion, treating the wealth and income gap should be seen as a national emergency. He offers some solutions (reads in 4-5 min, the report itself in less than an hour).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:41+01:005 April 2019|

Ruchir Sharma, The Miracle Years Are Over. Get Used to It.(The New York Times, April 1, 2019)The columnist argues that economists have had to downgrade [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:48+01:0030 March 2019|

Adair Turner, What if Zero Interest Rates Are the New Normal?(Project Syndicate, March 29, 2019)This is an important article to understand what has happened since [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:20:56+01:0022 March 2019|

Nouriel Roubini, Understanding the Fed’s Dovish Turn Due to key changes in macroeconomic conditions and the political environment, the Fed has abruptly put further interest-rate hikes on hold for the rest of the year. Roubini offers six different reasons why the new normal in the foreseeable future will be a US policy rate close to or just below 3% (reads in 6-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:09+01:0015 March 2019|

Jeffrey Sachs, The Dangerous Absurdity of America’s Trade Wars Last week, the US trade deficit widened to $621 billion, despite Trump’s promise that tough trade policies vis-à-vis Canada and Mexico, Europe, and China would slash it. This article reminds us that a deficit on the current account is purely a macroeconomic measure: the shortfall of saving relative to investment. Therefore, the US trade deficit is not an indicator of unfair trade practices by Canada and Mexico, the European Union, or China. Rather, it’s been exacerbated by the 2017 US tax cuts (reads in 6-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:34+01:008 March 2019|

Neil Irwin, What if All the World’s Economic Woes Are Part of the Same Problem?(The New York Times, March 5, 2019)This article is music to [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:40+01:001 March 2019|

Raghuram Rajan, A Better Populism The proof that populism can come in many shapes and sizes! This is a rich article that touches upon many different issues. In a nutshell, the former governor of the Bank of India and Chicago professor argues that the only policy that left- and right-wing populists can agree on to address economic decline is trade protectionism, which will make the world poorer. Instead, he says, a new type of “populism” that puts more trust in local communities would have a greater chance of success (reads in 5-6 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:46+01:0023 February 2019|

Diane Coyle, “What Will Succeed GDP?” There is a widespread consensus that GDP is no longer a useful measure of economic progress. Its successor will need to tell a persuasive story of what is happening in our economies, both compelling and consistent with experience. Three broad possibilities exist: (1) ask people how much they value free things excluded from GDP (like the natural environment, leisure, digital goods such as online search and social media) to generate a meaningful economic-welfare metric, (2) the direct measurement of wellbeing or happiness, (3) to measure wealth rather than income (reads in 7-8 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:57+01:0016 February 2019|

Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman, “The Coming China Shock” Recent Chinese macroeconomic developments suggest that the country's exceptionalism is nearing its expiry date. The two economists argue that this could have devastating effects on the global economy. When China is hit by a combination of rapidly decelerating growth and a sharply depreciating exchange rate, there will be a tsunami-like impact on global currencies, with strong deflationary effects on Europe and the US and competitive devaluations in Asia (reads in 6-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:21:54+01:008 February 2019|

Parag Khanna, “America First, meet Asia First” (Quartz, 6 February 2019)This a short essay adapted from “The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict, and Culture in [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:03+01:002 February 2019|

Adair Turner, “Two Cheers for Population Decline” This may seem a counter-intuitive opinion to many, but Lord Turner presents a cogent view on why demographic contraction is in fact beneficial to human welfare. The greatest demographic challenge to human welfare is not low fertility and population aging (a good thing – as the article explains), but rather the high fertility rates and rapid population growth still seen in Pakistan, much of the Middle East, and Africa. It will make it more difficult to achieve the per capita investment required to sustain rapid economic growth or to create jobs fast enough to absorb a rapidly growing working-age population (read in 7-8 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:10+01:0026 January 2019|

Tyler Cowen, “The U.S.-China Cold War Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better” The US and China are “carving out separate economic and political orders,” marked by a “collapse of trust”. This will lead to a bidirectional blockade on travel and investment as national security considerations prevail. What does this mean in practice? There will be two separate internets; US tech companies will be kept out of China, and vice versa; and so on. The winners: lower-wage nations like Bangladesh and Vietnam. The losers: nations like Germany and Singapore that wish to keep strong commercial ties to both the US and China (reads in 6-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:16+01:0018 January 2019|

Alan Blinder, “The Free-Trade Paradox” This is an important article to understand why the idea of free trade is so compelling economically, but so hard to sell politically. The theory of comparative advantage that underpins free trade is counterintuitive: it holds that the gains from trade to a nation as a whole always exceed the losses. The problem is this: the gains from trade are widespread but small for each individual, and as such almost invisible. The losses, by contrast, are concentrated and highly visible because they hit well-defined groups. The bottom-line: mercantilism (I win, you lose: Trump’s anti-trade agenda) has a bright future (reads in about 10 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:22+01:0012 January 2019|

Barry Eichengreen, “Shelter from the Storm in 2019” In the next few months, global economic, financial, and political stability will depend on four things: (1), the trade war between the US and China will have to be placed on hold, (2) the US economy will have to grow by at least 2%, (3) China will have to avoid a significant intensification of its financial problems, and (4) voters in the European Parliament election in May will have to prevent the victory of a right-wing nationalist majority hostile to European integration. What happens on one front is likely to affect the prospects for positive outcomes on all the others (reads in 7-8 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:34+01:004 January 2019|

Kenneth Rogoff, “Central Bankers’ Fiscal Constraints” (Project Syndicate, 4 January 2019)This may be a bit dry for new-year reading, but it’s an essential piece to [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:39+01:0028 December 2018|

Elijah Wolfson, “How the world got better in 2018, in 15 charts” So much goes wrong or in the wrong direction that it’s important to remember that, all things being equal, a lot of improvement takes place in today’s world. This article picks 15 charts to illustrate this point. They range from climate change to poverty and public health. Is it enough to claim that: “2018 was in many ways the best year yet to be a human living on Earth?”(Reads in 5-6 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:49+01:0021 December 2018|

Satyajit Das, “The Bubble’s Losing Air. Get Ready for a Crisis” The former banker turned author argues that the “everything bubble” is deflating. He warns us that the fact that it’s happening relatively slowly shouldn’t blind us to the real threat: the world is dangerously underestimating how hard it’ll be to deal with the fallout once it pops. Investors need to start focusing on how best to respond to a new crisis because policy-makers are constrained and the choices are more limited than many realize (reads in 5-6 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:44+01:0015 December 2018|

Edoardo Campanella, “Making Retirement Work” This is an intriguing idea that, we think, will gain traction. When public pensions were first introduced, younger workers paid into the system while most retirees did not live long enough to collect benefits. With ageing, this is becoming economically and politically unsustainable. To address the issue, this article argues that governments will have to make public pensions partly conditional on community work. This policy of “mandatory active retirement” may be the only way to redress intergenerational social contract (reads in 7-8 min)

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:22:55+01:007 December 2018|

Christine Lagarde and Jonathan Ostry, “The macroeconomic benefits of gender diversity” (VOXeu, 5 December 2018)Massive evidence has shown that the gap between female and male [...]

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:23:20+01:001 December 2018|

Jean Pisany-Ferry, “The Great Macro Divergence” A bit dry maybe, but this is a useful read to understand why all advanced economies are neither structurally nor cyclically aligned. As a consequence, they are unevenly vulnerable to recession, making international policy coordination both more necessary and more difficult. The main risks that could intensify the current slowdown: a more aggressive US monetary tightening; a further escalation of protectionism; a harder-than-expected economic landing in China; and a return of tensions in the Eurozone (reads in 5-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:23:06+01:0023 November 2018|

Adair Turner, “Climate Change, Markets, and Marxism” At a time when some prominent world leaders are hampering progress toward a low-carbon economy, the chairman of INET explains why combating climate change threatens neither prosperity nor private enterprise. In fact, market competition is essential for a zero-carbon economy: once carbon prices and appropriate regulation provide the required incentives, it is the competition among profit-motivated firms that will ensure decarbonization is achieved at the lowest possible cost. The new report published by the Energy Transitions Commission makes this very clear. And it is uplifting! (reads in 6-7 min).

Weekly Selection

2021-01-29T11:25:25+01:0016 November 2018|

Anne Krueger, “Trump’s Protectionist Quagmire” This (very factual) article should be read against the background of increased evidence that China might be winning the trade war with the US. The US President’s tariffs on imported steel are a perfect example of how protectionism raises costs for consumers and producers, destroys jobs, and undermines domestic competitiveness. In short: the deficit reflects the difference between domestic savings and investment; so tariffs will neither reduce the US current-account deficit nor create more net jobs (reads in 6-8 min).

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