The Robot Question

The Robot Question

Although robots that can perform human labor will put downward pressure on wages in the short term, they also will increase the rate of profit, encouraging more investment and a recovery in the wage rate. It is not so much the economics of new technologies that should worry us, but rather the politics and ethics. Continue Reading

The Long Run

The Long Run

The long run is a forecaster’s biggest challenge. But it yields substantial rewards, among them recognition of future challenges and possible solutions. Continue Reading

The Spectre of Inflation

The Spectre of Inflation

We may now need to reconsider the possibility of a shift into a highly inflationary environment. It may emerge slowly, but the tail-risk is that an unforeseen event catalyzes a sudden shift for which we are not prepared. Continue Reading

Should Governments Spend Away?

Should Governments Spend Away?

With sovereign-bond markets still showing little concern for the massive levels of borrowing and spending across advanced economies, it is tempting to think that there is effectively no limit to further stimulus. But we owe it to future generations to recognize how spending today could affect investment tomorrow. Continue Reading

Saving Generation COVID

Saving Generation COVID

During the COVID-19 crisis, lockdowns and other social-distancing rules have forced schools worldwide to shut their doors, locking out a peak of 1.6 billion children. Unless the international community acts now, the consequences for this generation – especially its poorest members – will be severe and long-lasting. Continue Reading

Training for the Pandemic Economy

Training for the Pandemic Economy

The transition to the world being created by COVID-19 was always going to be difficult for workers in the worst-affected sectors. The main question now is whether policymakers will take the steps – including apprenticeship programs and expanded funding for community colleges and technical schools – that are most likely to make it easier. Continue Reading

Private Equity and Build Back Better

Private Equity and Build Back Better

Boston Consulting Group’s latest ‘state of the nation’ on the asset management industry is a data-rich confirmation of the seemingly irresistible rise of private equity and its private asset brethren in real estate, infrastructure and private debt. Continue Reading

The View From Argentina

The View From Argentina

Argentina is in crisis. The pandemic had turned a bleak story into something worse. The country may shortly default on its national debt for the ninth time in its history, with far-reaching consequences. But there is still hope. Continue Reading

A Mountain of Debt

A Mountain of Debt

The latest data on US government borrowing are very impressive. The Federal deficit in April alone was $738 billion. For the first four months of 2020 the red ink amounts to $1.13 trillion, equivalent to the annual GDP of Florida. Continue Reading

The Deadly Urgency of Now

The Deadly Urgency of Now

The consequences of lapses in international cooperation in combating COVID-19 over the last few months can now be counted in lost lives. Having failed to stop the first wave of the pandemic, we must not make the same mistake again. Continue Reading

What the Stock Market Is Really Saying

What the Stock Market Is Really Saying

The seeming confidence expressed by global equity markets in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has surprised many – including many market participants. But a closer look reveals an unambiguous message: The global economy is facing a long, deep malaise, followed by a “new normal” of reduced earnings and profitability for all but a chosen few. Continue Reading

A Global COVID-19 Exit Strategy

A Global COVID-19 Exit Strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented threat to both public health and the global economy. Only by ditching nationalist rhetoric and policies, and embracing stronger international cooperation, can governments protect the people they claim to represent. Continue Reading

Getting America Back to Work… Safely

Getting America Back to Work… Safely

Without a credible plan, the nation will be in fear and chaos for a long time. COVID-19 infections are peaking in parts of the country, but contrary to President Trump’s assurances that he will open the economy soon, the surgeon general recently declared that many places in the US will not be able to open on May 1. So who decides? Continue Reading

A Better Idea

A Better Idea

During the COVID19 crisis, it is easy to forget that the world is full of other important stress points that must not be ignored. The seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one, but there are rays of light that should be built on. Continue Reading

Why The Largest Stimulus In History Still Is Not Enough

Why The Largest Stimulus In History Still Is Not Enough

Global equity markets rallied over 20% last week on expectations that the $2 trillion U.S. fiscal stimulus package would be adequate to combat the economic consequences of the pandemic, thereby stabilizing the U.S. and world economies. It did not take the market long to see that the size and design is nowhere near sufficient. On… Continue Reading