17 June 2019

Simon Johnson

Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the co-author of White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, And Why It Matters To You.
  • Prototypes for US President Donald Trump's border wall are seen behind the border fence between Mexico and the United States, in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Reuters

    Five lessons from the US government shutdown

    - Feb 1, 2019 9:53am
    Last Friday, a wave of relief spread across the United States. A completely pointless and highly damaging partial government shutdown was over. Unfortunately, what we learned from the episode was extremely worrying about both what is...
  • Despite all the political theater and dramatic rhetoric, Britain’s impending exit from the European Union really does not matter for the world, argues Simon Johnson. Photo: Reuters

    Brexit does not matter

    - Jan 2, 2019 9:44am
    The contours of the nineteenth and early twentieth century were defined in part by a series of consequential British foreign policy and economic decisions. As recently as 2007-2009, British policy affected global outcomes: whereas deregulation of...
  • Starbucks has positioned itself to play a major role in upending not just how payments are made but also the business model of established banks. Photo: AFP

    The First Bank of Starbucks

    - Oct 3, 2018 8:31am
    On August 3, Starbucks made an announcement which, though little noticed at the time, amounts to a potentially massive shift in the organization of finance. How did an international chain of coffee shops position itself to...
  • US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed “to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods”. Photo: AFP

    Europe’s trade victory in Washington

    - Jul 31, 2018 9:15am
    On July 25, when US President Donald Trump appeared in front of the White House with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, their joint statement and spoken remarks surprised many. The two sides agreed...
  • Addressing technology issues by means of tighter regulation at the federal level seems premature. Photo: Reuters/AFP

    Should tech companies be more tightly regulated?

    - Apr 4, 2018 9:09am
    In the wake of recent high-profile tech scares, such as a fatality involving an Uber self-driving car and Facebook’s alleged mishandling of users’ personal data, stricter regulation of the industry – along the lines of, say,...
  • US authorities want to prevent a recurrence of what happened in September 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a cascade effect that nearly destroyed the financial system. Photo: Reuters

    The making of Lehman Brothers II

    - Feb 27, 2018 10:13am
    Last week, with some fanfare, the US Treasury Department released a report on what to do about the Orderly Liquidation Authority. The OLA, created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, was intended to prevent...
  • Notwithstanding his bragging about deregulation, the total economic impact of Donald Trump's regulatory repeals has been trivial relative to the size of the US economy, critics say. Photo: Reuters

    Trumponomics is failing on growth

    - Feb 1, 2018 10:21am
      US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, have promised an economic miracle. They argue that when the United States adopts their policies, it will consistently achieve annual economic growth above...
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan says that the tax plan's  estimated output effects appear to be limited in size and possibly negative. Photo: Reuters

    America’s tax-cut Peronists

    - Nov 1, 2017 9:06am
    Name the country. Its leader rails against foreigners, erects various import barriers, and pushes for low interest rates and lots of cheap credit for favored sectors. Government debt is already high, but the would-be strongman in...
  • President Donald Trump is threatening to shut down the government unless Congress provides funding for a wall that he promised would cost US taxpayers nothing Photo: AFP

    The rising price of Trump’s border wall

    - Sep 4, 2017 9:33am
    As a candidate, Donald Trump insisted on one signature issue above all: the United States will build a wall along its border with Mexico, and Mexico will pay for it. Seven months after taking office, however,...
  • French President Emmanuel Macron (right) wants to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel halfway on European integration but everything hinges on the success of French reforms. Photo: Reuters

    A European economic miracle?

    - Jul 3, 2017 4:00pm
    A couple of years ago, the eurozone – about one-sixth of the world economy – appeared to be in serious trouble. Beginning in 2010, an unexpected sovereign debt crisis contributed to and was compounded by serious...
  • The multitude of narrow AI applications that could affect jobs in sectors such as healthcare, education, and construction will take much longer to spread. Photo: Reuters

    Jobs in the age of artificial intelligence

    - May 31, 2017 10:14am
    The world has no shortage of pressing issues. There are 1.6 billion people living in acute poverty; an estimated 780 million adults are illiterate. Serious problems are not confined to the developing world: “deaths of despair,”...
  • Grassroots activism is gaining momentum in congressional districts that would not have seemed competitive just five months ago. Photo: Reuters

    The People vs. Donald Trump

    - May 2, 2017 11:08am
    In American politics, the next election is all that matters. Despite the Republicans’ big win in November 2016, US President Donald Trump’s ability to pass legislation still depends on what congressional Republicans expect to see happen...
  • The key question now is whether Donald Trump will be able to move forward on other items on the Republicans’ economic agenda. Photo: Bloomberg

    Lessons from Trump’s healthcare debacle

    - Apr 3, 2017 4:38pm
    US President Donald Trump’s domestic economic agenda suffered a major setback last week, when the House Republican leadership decided to withdraw their hastily drafted bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)....
  • Gary Cohn, head of President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, suggests banks’ capital requirements be reduced in order to boost the economy.Photo: Reuters

    How the next financial disaster will strike

    - Mar 1, 2017 10:25am
    In early 2007, the worst financial crisis in almost 80 years began to unfold, coming to a head 18 months later with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and shock waves felt around the world. Desperate government...
  • The central theme of Trumponomics so far has been swift and sharp tax cuts. But Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s pick to run the Office of Management and Budget is a prominent and articulate deficit hawk. Photo: Reuters

    Trump’s extreme oligarchy

    - Dec 30, 2016 10:18am
    US President-elect Donald Trump is filling his cabinet with rich people. According to the latest count, his nominees include five billionaires and six multimillionaires. This is what is known as oligarchy: direct control of the state...
  • Nothing in Donald Trump’s policies or the broader Republican program will address the underlying issue of technological change, which is key to the loss of middle-income jobs. Photo: Reuters

    Why Donald Trump’s policies won’t bring back middle-class jobs

    - Nov 28, 2016 8:50am
    A core problem in the United States today — reflected in Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election earlier this month — is that too many Americans feel helpless and insecure in the face of the...
  • Investors in the stock market regard a Donald Trump presidency as a relatively low-probability development. Photo: Reuters

    What happens in a Trump shocker?

    - Oct 31, 2016 9:03am
    With the United States’ presidential election on Nov. 8, and a series of elections and other political decisions fast approaching in Europe, now is a good time to ask whether the global economy is in good...
  • Older Britons living outside large urban areas voted to build barriers and – to a significant extent – attempt to close off their country from the rest of the world. Photo: AFP

    Will America win or lose from Brexit?

    - Jun 27, 2016 8:58am
    The British vote to leave the European Union has shaken world financial markets. The immediate and medium-term prospects for economic growth in Britain are severely diminished, and the impact on the rest of Europe will be...
  • Donald Trump’s rise represents the most profound challenge to American democracy since Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Photo: CNN

    Donald the Destroyer: Why America must reject Trump

    - Jun 1, 2016 9:54am
    Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee to contest the United States’ presidential election in November, is clearly not a standard Republican. The party’s leaders and elected officials fought against him during the primary and many...
  • The world still looks to the Federal Open Market Committee in the United States for direction on interest rates. Photo: US Federal Reserve

    The US still runs the world

    - Aug 31, 2015 8:55am
    Reports of the death of American power have often been greatly exaggerated. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union was thought to have surpassed the United States; today, the Soviet Union no longer exists. In the 1980s,...

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