22 August 2019

Project Syndicate

  • 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...
  • Governments must address the root causes of inequality by identifying and eliminating discriminatory laws. Photo: Bloomberg

    Tackling inequality is a political choice

     The world has made impressive strides in reducing extreme poverty, but that progress has slowed considerably in recent years. The problem is clear: eliminating extreme poverty requires tackling inequality. The good news is that inequality between...
  • G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs pose for a group picture after a meeting in Fukuoka, Japan last month. Maintaining central bank independence has become all the more important now in the era of populist leaders. Pool photo via Bloomberg

    How to keep central banks independent

    The global financial crisis that erupted in 2008 transformed the role of central bankers and the scale and scope of their policy toolkit. Today, financial stability is once again at the core of central banks’ missions,...
  • The ECB should seek to replace the bank’s relatively narrow inflation objective with a broader target range, an economist argues. Photo: Bloomberg

    The ECB needs new inflation rules

    - Jul 3, 2019 9:56am
    The upcoming change of leadership at the European Central Bank represents an opportunity – if not an obligation – to review the Bank’s policy framework. The ECB can take credit for major achievements during Mario Draghi’s...
  • The value of Facebook's Libra currency will be fixed in terms of a global basket of currencies and 100 percent backed – presumably by a mix of government treasuries. Photo: Reuters

    Thumbs down to Facebook’s cryptocurrency

    - Jul 3, 2019 9:54am
    Facebook and some of its corporate allies have decided that what the world really needs is another cryptocurrency, and that launching one is the best way to use the vast talents at their disposal. The fact...
  • Automation means labor costs become less important when considering where to build new plants. But a corollary is that such manufacturing will be much less labor intensive than in the past. Photo: Bloomberg

    Build your own talent magnet

    - Jul 2, 2019 10:51am
    Around the world, the creation of good new jobs is increasingly concentrated in some of the largest cities. Innovative people want to work and live in close proximity to one another. This process of talent agglomeration...
  • After 2012, the euro crisis started to look more manageable only after the euro began depreciating against the dollar. Photo: Reuters

    A future without currency wars?

    - Jul 2, 2019 10:39am
    The terrible experience of the 1930s should remind us that trade and currency wars go together like a horse and carriage. Now that US President Donald Trump’s administration is fully implementing his protectionist “America First” agenda,...

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