29 February 2020

Jeffrey Frankel

Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard University
  • A man wearing a face mask crosses a street in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province on Monday. Photo: Reuters

    Will the coronavirus trigger a global recession?

    - Feb 25, 2020 2:23pm
    At the start of this year, things seemed to be looking up for the global economy. True, growth had slowed a bit in 2019: from 2.9 percent to 2.3 percent in the United States, and from...
  • 'Get tough' trade policies are not a solution to the problem of inequality, Jeffrey Frankel writes .Photo: Bloomberg

    The case for old-fashioned tariff cuts

    - Nov 28, 2019 12:04pm
    The “bicycle theory” used to be a metaphor for international trade policy. Just as standing still on a bicycle is not an option – one must keep moving forward or else fall over – so it...
  • The US government has exploited the currency’s global dominance in order to extend the extraterritorial reach of US law and policy. Photo: Bloomberg

    How a weaponized dollar could backfire

    - Oct 24, 2019 10:33am
    The language of international monetary policy has turned militaristic. The phrase “currency war” has now been popular for a decade, and the United States government’s more recent “weaponization” of the dollar is generating controversy. But ironically,...
  • Chinese authorities’ recent decision to let the renminbi break the 7 yuan barrier against the US dollar may have been a deliberate response to Trump’s latest tariff offensive. Photo: Bloomberg

    The currency manipulation game

    - Aug 12, 2019 10:00am
    The trade war between the United States and China is heating up again, with US President Donald Trump abruptly announcing plans to impose a 10 percent tariff on the US$300 billion worth of imports from China...
  • Most people pay little attention to the inflation rate when price growth is as low as it has been in recent years. Photo: Bloomberg

    Central banks should forget about 2% inflation

    - Jul 26, 2019 10:14am
    The US Federal Reserve has some reasons to cut interest rates at its July 31 meeting, or subsequently if the US economy weakens. (There is also a case for holding rates steady, if growth remains as...
  • If higher tariffs remain indefinitely, the US and the global economy will be worse off. Photo: AFP

    The real cost of Trump’s tariffs

    - May 24, 2019 8:00am
    Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump suddenly revealed that a trade agreement between the United States and China was not imminent after all. On the contrary, on May 10, the Trump administration raised its previous...
  • Stephen Moore, Trump’s likely pick to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, may do whatever the president wants, rather than what is best for the economy, critics say. Photo: Bloomberg

    Moore problems for the Fed?

    - Apr 29, 2019 10:47am
    One of US President Donald Trump’s two intended nominees to fill vacancies on the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors – Herman Cain – has now withdrawn. Trump’s other potential pick, Stephen Moore, is also under...
  • It is not easy to detect a coherent rationale in US trade policy under Trump, writes Jeffrey Frankel. Photo: Reuters

    Xi and Trump miss their chance

    - Mar 22, 2019 9:55am
      President Donald Trump has postponed until at least April the supposed deadline for concluding the United States’ current trade negotiations with China. A good outcome for both sides would be reached if China agreed to...
  • If eurozone leaders learn from past mistakes, the monetary union can survive, and even thrive, in the future, writes Jeffrey Frankel. Photo: Bloomberg

    The euro’s first 20 years

    - Jan 28, 2019 11:06am
      Since its introduction two decades ago, the euro has faced serious challenges. So far, it has survived intact. Yet, on the common currency’s 20th anniversary, it is worth identifying problems that have been encountered and,...
  • US President Donald Trump will meet with his Chinese counterpart at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend, but the summit is unlikely to yield a breakthrough in their trade dispute. Photo: Reuters

    A trade war is no reason to ease monetary policy

    - Nov 27, 2018 12:34pm
    The world is in a trade war, and there is no sign of peace breaking out anytime soon. By now, the disruption to trade appears extensive enough to factor negatively into forecasts for economic growth. Does...
  • 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...