19 June 2019

Project Syndicate

  • The European Union is working on a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Photo: AFP

    Europe must answer the climate call

    - Jun 19, 2019 12:31pm
    In early 2015, the European Union became the first major economy to set a post-2020 target for limiting greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. By committing to reducing emissions to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030,...
  • Climbers make their way to the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal on May 22. Photo: Reuters

    Economic lessons from Everest

    - Jun 19, 2019 12:17pm
    Like many others, I was shocked by recent images showing the size of the queue that formed in May to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, from the Nepalese side. The idea that delays caused...
  • Average labor productivity in the United States – and in most other advanced economies – has slumped in the past decade. Photo: AFP

    The US economy’s strange decade

    - Jun 13, 2019 10:10am
    The current US economic expansion is extraordinary. Not only does it rival the longest on post-war record, but, unlike previous periods of sustained growth, it has not unleashed much inflation. Corporate profits have soared to unprecedented...
  • Environmental activists demonstrate during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London on April 17. Small island states are disproportionately affected by climate change. Photo: Reuters

    Islands of climate innovation

    - Jun 11, 2019 10:24am
    To live in a small island state today is to reckon regularly with the cruelest irony of climate change. Islands contribute little to global warming, but they are the first to suffer from its devastating effects...
  • People take to the streets in an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 9. Venezuela owes its plight not so much to Trump-era economic sanctions as to its own populist leaders, writes Kenneth Rogoff. Photo: Bloomberg

    As populists rise, Latin America’s economies will fall

    - Jun 6, 2019 9:54am
    Though US President Donald Trump tends to grab most of the headlines, he is hardly a global exception. Populist autocrats have enjoyed a breathtaking rise to power in countries around the world, and nowhere is the...
  • Swedish Green Party leaders applaud at the party's election night watch party in Stockholm as first preliminary results in the European Parliament elections are presented on May 26. Photo: TT News Agency via Reuters

    Game of EU Thrones

    - May 28, 2019 10:17am
    The European Parliament elections that concluded on May 26 turned out to be a Game of Thrones replay – a long and complex story with a surprising and, for many, unsatisfactory outcome. As with Game of...
  • The Trump administration insists that the only deficit to worry about is the bilateral trade deficit with China. Photo: Reuters

    How will the US-China trade war end?

    - May 28, 2019 9:53am
    Dashing hopes of a quick agreement on trade relations with China, US President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed punitive tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods. Now that the Chinese government has responded with new...
  • 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...
  • Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (left) and French far-right Rassemblement National party president Marine Le Pen share the stage at a rally of European nationalists in Milan on Saturday. Photo: AFP

    A vote for populists is a vote for Putin

    - May 22, 2019 1:32pm
    On May 18, European right-wing leaders assembled in Milan for a rally ahead of the European Parliament election this week. Among the attendees were Marine Le Pen of National Rally in France, Geert Wilders of the...
  • The Sino-American relationship will be the key geopolitical issue of this century, writes Nouriel Roubini. Photo: Reuters

    The global consequences of a Sino-American cold war

    - May 21, 2019 11:47am
    A few years ago, as part of a Western delegation to China, I met President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. When addressing us, Xi argued that China’s rise would be peaceful, and...
  • A fish market in Busan, South Korea. We expect the companies whose products we consume not to contribute further to the overfishing, warming waters, and pollution that are putting pressure on the ocean. Photo: Bloomberg

    The rising tide of sustainable seafood

    - May 17, 2019 11:05am
    McDonald’s. Costco. IKEA. Each of these corporate titans enjoys an enormous customer base. But what most of their customers might not realize is that these companies are leaders in ocean stewardship: they all sell sustainable seafood....
  • In the United States, almost half of the population is unable to access comprehensive mental health care, often owing to financial constraints. Photo: jcomp/

    An intelligent approach to mental health

    - May 16, 2019 2:16pm
    A few years ago, toward the end of his life, my father battled severe depression. As a physician and professor, he did not lack access to mental health care. But he had grown up in a...
  • Development banks help to counteract the pro-cyclical nature of the private financial system, which lends too much in booms and rations credit during crises, the authors note. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why the world needs national development banks

    Support for national and multilateral development banks has grown worldwide in the decade since the global financial crisis. And the continued success of national development banks (NDBs), in particular, will be vital to achieve more sustainable...
  • German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has called for the development of European battery production for electric cars. Photo: AFP

    The case for intelligent industrial policy

    - May 10, 2019 12:34pm
    Earlier this year, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier unveiled his “National Industrial Strategy 2030”, which aims to protect German firms against state-subsidized Chinese competitors. The strategy identifies key industrial sectors that will receive special government support,...
  • French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel converse during an informal meeting of European Union leaders in Sibiu, Romania, on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    More or less Europe?

    - May 10, 2019 11:05am
    On May 23-26, voters across the European Union will go to the polls to elect members of the European Parliament. Much will be at stake. “Never, since World War II, has Europe been as essential,” French...
  • International bodies such as the World Economic Forum now organize their annual meetings around the quest for a new “narrative” to replace neoliberalism. Photo: Bloomberg

    Stories that can’t end well

    - May 8, 2019 1:55pm
    In today’s irrational world of fake news and bad-faith politics, a new mantra has emerged: It’s all about narratives. Power today lies in one’s ability to tell a story. As a case in point, consider Ukrainian...
  • The decline in labor force participation is not spread equally across the US workforce. It varies not just by gender and age, but also by education and geography. Photo: AFP

    Keeping US workers in the game

    - May 8, 2019 10:25am
    Though the unemployment rate and jobless claims are currently lower than at any point since 1969, the US economy is still facing labor-market challenges that cannot be ignored. One stands out: the long-term decline in the...
  • Keeping the renminbi’s exchange rate stable against the US dollar would require China either to match changes in US interest rates, or go through capital-control contortions to try to offset exchange-rate pressures. Photo: Reuters

    Leave the renminbi out of US-China trade talks

    - May 6, 2019 7:42am
    Will a possibly imminent US-China trade agreement exacerbate global business cycles or even plant the seeds of the next Asian financial crisis? If the eventual agreement – assuming there is one – forces China to hew...
  • The US must bring together talented people, from all kinds of backgrounds and education levels, in a way that encourages big new ideas and makes it easier to turn those ideas into products and companies. Photo: Bloomberg

    How to rebuild America’s economic foundations

    - May 2, 2019 1:05pm
    The modern American economy was shaped by four major infrastructure initiatives, each of which was too big for the private sector to take on alone: the continent-wide railroad network, the interstate highways, the air traffic control...
  • Emissions have continued to rise steadily, increasing the concentration of atmospheric CO2 at an alarming rate. Photo: AFP

    The time has come for a global carbon emissions tax

    - May 2, 2019 10:21am
    The problem is staggering, even existential. Global emissions of greenhouse gases – especially carbon dioxide – are rapidly driving up global temperatures, transforming life as we know it. If those temperatures reach 2°C above pre-industrial levels,...

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