16 September 2019

Real Insight

  • Although America is still the world’s leading economic, technological, and military power, it increasingly must share that status with China, the author says. Photo: Reuters

    Preventing Cold War II

    - Sep 12, 2019 10:28am
    When world leaders gather in New York later this month for the annual United Nations General Assembly meetings, they will have much to discuss besides climate change and sustainable development. In particular, the escalating superpower rivalry...
  • The eurozone economy is in a much better shape than it was in March 2015, when the European Central Bank introduced quantitative easing. Besides, interest rates can hardly be cut much further. Photo: Bloomberg

    It’s time for ECB to put quantitative easing on hold

    - Sep 10, 2019 9:53am
    With economic sentiment in the eurozone worsening rapidly, the European Central Bank is widely expected to announce a robust package of additional stimulus measures at its next meeting on Sept. 12. But although the ECB’s monetary...
  • US President Donald Trump’s trade war and Twitter threats are fueling economic uncertainty. Photo: Reuters

    Money for nothing

    - Sep 5, 2019 9:50am
    A monetary policy regime centered on quantitative easing (QE) and zero or even negative interest rates has created an extraordinarily permissive environment for politicians of a certain disposition. Those who are willing to exploit current conditions...
  • A woman shouts during an anti-Brexit protest in London on Aug 31. Britain has faced some serious crises over the past century, but the current problem is something different altogether. Photo: Reuters

    Brexit, the novel

    - Sep 2, 2019 11:33am
      The best way to think about the United Kingdom’s political predicament and presumed imminent exit from the European Union is to read the Slough House spy novel series by Mick Herron (the sixth installment, Joe...
  • Hong Kong’s leaders have been so thoroughly out of touch with ordinary people that the protest movement took them by surprise. Photo: Reuters

    Hong Kong’s real problem is inequality

    - Aug 28, 2019 10:19am
    Since China regained sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, the city has prospered economically, but festered politically. Now, one of the world’s richest cities is engulfed by protests, which have blocked roads, paralyzed the...
  • The negative supply shocks from the US-China trade and technology war would be more or less permanent, as would the reduction in potential growth. Photo: Reuters

    The anatomy of the coming recession

    - Aug 23, 2019 10:38am
    There are three negative supply shocks that could trigger a global recession by 2020. All of them reflect political factors affecting international relations, two involve China, and the United States is at the center of each....
  • US President Donald Trump’s unpredictability has heightened risks for exporters and anyone else responsible for making long-term investment decisions. Photo: Bloomberg

    Trump’s one-way economy

    - Aug 14, 2019 10:25am
    Nowadays, when people ask me how I am, I answer, jokingly, that I’m doing great, so long as I ignore Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States, Brexit, the crisis of the United Kingdom’s major political...
  • If, under US President Donald Trump, it takes trillion-dollar annual deficits to keep the economy going in good times, what will it take when things are not so rosy? Photo: Bloomberg

    Trump’s deficit economy

    - Aug 12, 2019 10:25am
    In the new world wrought by US President Donald Trump, where one shock follows another, there is never time to think through fully the implications of the events with which we are bombarded. In late July,...
  • 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...
  • As automation shapes the future of work, life-long learning will determine the future of workers. Photo: Bloomberg

    Making technology work for workers

    Aug 7, 2019 10:15am
    As technological innovation transforms our economies, workers all over the world are doing whatever it takes – whether crossing borders, changing jobs, or starting businesses – for a chance to thrive. Yet, social safety nets have...
  • Christine Lagarde, the ECB's incoming chief, will need to pursue reforms at a time of deepening polarization among member-state governments. Photo: Reuters

    Lagarde’s ECB must modernize

    - Aug 5, 2019 11:45am
    As the nominee to succeed European Central Bank President Mario Draghi in November, Christine Lagarde may be hoping that her job will be somewhat easier than that of her predecessor. Yet the opposite is likely to...
  • There is a strong case for public investment in research and development when there are sufficiently strong spillover effects – for example, through the creation of new knowledge and techniques. Photo: Xinhua

    Economic growth and the US presidential election

    - Aug 1, 2019 9:53am
    Economic growth in the United States was just 2.5 percent in 2018 and, according to the latest “advance” estimate, may have slowed to only 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019. The economy is growing...
  • Christine Lagarde should kick off a long-overdue review of the ECB’s policy framework. Photo: Bloomberg

    Lagarde’s ECB checklist

    - Jul 29, 2019 10:38am
    The surprise nomination of Christine Lagarde to serve as the next president of the European Central Bank has pleased many observers, including me, and disappointed others. Those who are pleased feel that Lagarde’s eight-year term as...
  • 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...
  • Europe must lead by example and project its values everywhere, including in its dealings with the US and China, writes Kemal Dervis. Photo: Reuters

    Which way now for the EU?

    - Jul 26, 2019 10:06am
    With the main European Union institutions preparing for a change of leadership this autumn, now is a good time to reflect on the EU’s priorities for the coming years. The EU’s new top team is all...
  • Small, portable, electric transportation options are a tremendous opportunity to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and alleviate traffic woes. Photo: Reuters

    Don’t fear the scooter

    - Jul 24, 2019 10:10am
    Electric bicycles and scooters are taking a lot of heat. Concerns about traffic fatalities, terrorized pedestrians, and urban lawlessness have led a growing chorus of politicians and media commentators to conclude that the technology should be...
  • Poor fiscal management means that developing countries – particularly in Africa, home to 27 of the world’s 28 poorest countries – are often plagued by debt crises and inflation. Photo: UNSDN

    How can developing countries pay for the SDGs?

    Jul 23, 2019 9:39am
    With objectives as far-reaching as ending poverty in all its forms and delivering quality education to all by 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are highly ambitious – much more ambitious than their predecessor, the Millennium...
  • As the eurozone is at risk of being destabilized by asymmetric shocks, a larger, cross-border capital market can help mitigate the threat, the authors argue. Photo: Bloomberg

    What’s next for Europe capital markets?

    - Jul 19, 2019 9:41am
    When the United Kingdom eventually leaves the European Union – assuming it does – it will take Europe’s biggest capital market with it. The loss of the City of London could drive the EU’s 27 remaining...
  • Cryptocurrencies are routinely launched and traded outside the domain of official financial oversight. Photo: Reuters

    The Great Crypto Heist

    - Jul 17, 2019 10:25am
    There is a good reason why every civilized country in the world tightly regulates its financial system. The 2008 global financial crisis, after all, was largely the result of rolling back financial regulation. Crooks, criminals, and...
  • A proposal being explored by the transition team of Boris Johnson, Britain's likely next prime minister, could lead to the loss of the country's soft power. Photo: AFP

    Boris Johnson and the threat to British soft power

    - Jul 16, 2019 9:44am
    Since the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) was created 22 years ago, it has lifted millions out of poverty, sent millions of children to school, and saved millions of lives through vaccination programs and...