15 October 2018

Jeffrey Frankel

Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University
  • Donald Trump speaks on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on October 1. Photo: Bloomberg

    The new and not improved NAFTA

    - Oct 10, 2018 10:07am
    US President Donald Trump acts as if he has pulled off a smashing victory by replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – supposedly “the worst trade deal ever” – with the new United States-Mexico-Canada...
  • Trump thinks import tariffs will improve the US trade balance, but he doesn’t seem to understand that if foreign exporters are cut off from the US market, they will not have the dollars to buy American goods, notes Jeffrey Frankel. Photo:Reuters

    Trump’s currency confusion continues

    - Sep 21, 2018 11:03am
    Next month, the US Department of the Treasury is due to submit to Congress its biannual report detailing which countries, if any, are manipulating their currencies to gain an unfair trade advantage. For his part, President...
  • The White House and Congress have been acting to gut the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which strengthened the financial system. Photo: AFP

    The depth of the next US recession

    - Aug 28, 2018 9:36am
    The United States economy is doing well. But the next recession – and there is always another recession – could be very bad. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that GDP growth in the second...
  • US President Donald Trump’s demolition of the rules-based, truth-based, pro-trade world order hurts everyone. Photo: Bloomberg

    My apology tour

    - Jul 24, 2018 10:24am
    American presidents are supposed to take America’s side when dealing with other countries. When Barack Obama was (falsely) accused of starting his term with a Middle East “apology tour”, it was understood that apologizing to foreigners...
  • The rate of return on stocks is likely to be substantially lower over the next 15 years than it was over the last 15 years. Photo: Reuters

    The economic message from equity markets

    - Feb 26, 2018 9:30am
    The recent stock-market correction – the first in the United States in two years – has invited substantial commentary about what investors should do, the role machines have played, and the implications for the real economy....
  • Trump's tax law, which emphasizes big cuts, especially for corporations and the highest-income earners, will widen the US budget deficit and, in turn, increase the current-account deficit, say critics. Photo: Reuters

    Making America’s deficits great again

    - Jan 16, 2018 9:44am
      US President Donald Trump and congressional Republican allies have succeeded in passing their big tax legislation. While it lacks many of the desirable attributes of true tax reform, it amounts to a success for Trump,...
  • The expectation that trade would reduce inequality in the countries with the most unskilled workers has not been borne out. Photo: Bloomberg

    Does trade fuel inequality?

    - Jan 3, 2018 9:57am
    Inequality has become a major political preoccupation in the advanced economies – and for good reason. In the United States, according to the recently released World Inequality Report 2018, the share of national income claimed by...
  • In an effort to rally support for his tax bill, Donald Trump recently sought to invoke Ronald Reagan's tax initiatives of the 1980s. Photo: Reuters

    Reagan’s tax reforms revisited

    - Nov 27, 2017 8:40am
    Congressional Republicans must, President Donald Trump has commanded, pass their sweeping US tax bill by Christmas. Otherwise, they will have no major accomplishment to show for an entire year during which they have controlled the legislative...
  • Good central bankers would make decisions based on what they believe is best for the economy, relying on evolving data, not on evolving political imperatives. Photo: Bloomberg

    The next Federal Reserve chair

    - Oct 27, 2017 9:24am
    US President Donald Trump’s administration is expected, by Nov. 2, to announce its choice, subject to Senate approval, to succeed Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve Board in February 2018. The White House has...
  • Major stock-market indices hit record highs in September, in the United States and elsewhere, and equity prices are high relative to benchmarks like earnings and dividends. Photo: Reuters

    Why financial markets underestimate risk

    - Sep 26, 2017 10:41am
    During most of 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX) has been at the lowest levels of the last decade. Recently, the VIX dipped below nine, even lower than in March 2007, just before...
  • US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has asked the International Monetary Fund for a “frank and candid analysis” of member countries’ exchange-rate policies to determine whether China is a currency manipulator. Photo: Reuters

    Mnuchin’s mission

    - Mar 23, 2017 10:39am
    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is hemmed in on all sides. Domestically, he is trapped between the promises he has made (such as the “Mnuchin rule” that taxes wouldn’t be cut for the rich), the actions...
  • Barack Obama will be leaving office with substantially higher approval ratings than most presidents achieve in the United States.

    Looking back on Barack

    - Jan 16, 2017 10:11am
    Any assessment of Barack Obama’s eight-year US presidency should start at the beginning: his first inauguration, on January 20, 2009. The US economy was in free-fall: financial markets had seized up, GDP was shrinking, and employment...
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last month that 500 and 1,000-rupee bills would no longer be considered legal tender by the end of the year. Photo: Reuters

    Demonetization on five continents

    - Dec 23, 2016 10:06am
    Around the world, several countries are currently undergoing “demonetization,” or currency reforms in which the government removes banknotes of a certain denomination from circulation and replaces them with new notes. Governments pursue demonetization for a variety...
  • A review of the last eight times a president from one party was succeeded by one from the other party shows that when a Republican took over, GDP growth slowed; when a Democrat moved in, the growth rate went up. Photo: internet

    Does the US economy do better under Democratic presidents?

    - Jun 23, 2016 9:48am
    Hillary Clinton has repeatedly claimed in recent months that the US economy does much better when a Democrat is in the White House. Coming from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, that probably sounds like political spin....
  • G7 leaders, who will hold a summit in Ise-Shima, Japan, should discuss fiscal policy as a tool to boost economic activity. Photo: JapanGov

    Rediscovering fiscal policy at G7

    - May 25, 2016 9:00am
    As G7 leaders convene in Ise-Shima, Japan, the global economy’s fragility is a top concern. But instead of focusing on currency wars, the leaders of the major developed economies should be discussing fiscal policy, which under...
  • An employee works at a garment factory in Anhui province. China’s once seemingly inexhaustible surplus of rural labor willing to migrate to urban areas has largely disappeared, causing wages to rise. Photo: Reuters

    Here’s what will ultimately decide the fate of China’s economy

    - Jan 20, 2016 8:34am
    With the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down more than 40 percent since last June, investors worldwide are watching the decline with growing concern — but not because they are invested in the plummeting market (China’s...
  • The average American still accounts for 10 times the emissions of the average citizen of India. Photo:

    A fair, efficient and feasible climate agreement

    - Dec 18, 2015 8:58am
    How should one evaluate the agreement reached in Paris this month at the United Nations climate change conference? No sooner was the deal announced on Dec. 12 than the debate erupted. Some avid environmentalists were disappointed...
  • Chinese authorities have been deploying every piece of policy artillery they can muster in an attempt to moderate a plunge in equity prices. Photo: Reuters

    China confronts the market

    - Sep 7, 2015 9:41am
    China’s current economic woes have largely been viewed through a single lens: the government’s failure to let the market operate. But that perspective has led foreign observers to misinterpret some of this year’s most important developments...
  • Alexis Tsipras (left) could follow the lead of Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (middle) and South Korea's Kim Dae-jung (right) in tackling far-reaching reform. Photos: Agencies

    Can Greece learn from previous emerging market crises?

    - Jul 20, 2015 12:06pm
    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has the chance to become to his country what South Korea’s Kim Dae-jung and Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were to theirs — a man of the left who moves...
  • Trade agreements are not the right way to address currency manipulation issues, says an expert. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why it’s a bad idea to link trade pacts with currency issues

    - Jun 11, 2015 11:01am
    US President Barack Obama is still pressing to obtain Trade Promotion Authority and use it to conclude negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union. But...

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