US Opinion and Commentary

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China Is Sneezing Hard, Infecting Global Markets

Posted January 7th, 2016 at 4:53 pm (UTC-4)
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It’s a terrible start of the year for world financial markets. All of the major U.S. stock indexes dropped for the fourth straight day, losing about 5% of value since the start of the year. It was not unexpected. Twice this week, Beijing halted trading on the Chinese stock market after steep sell-offs. Just 29 minutes after opening Thursday, China’s market plunged seven percent. Europe and the United States braced themselves for the aftershocks. The government has been trying to address China’s trend of dramatically slower growth with policy tweaks – this week, by devaluing the yuan in a controlled manner. But the psychological calculations that drive traders to dump stock are not always predictable. Some economists say not to worry: this is to be expected and it is nowhere as bad as China’s sell off last summer. But the fact remains that when China sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold. For global markets, 2016 has gotten off to a rocky start.

Our World in 2016

Posted December 31st, 2015 at 10:09 am (UTC-4)
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Predicting what the future holds is nearly always a risky pursuit. We can examine and dissect events past, trends and patterns, but do we ever really know what is to come? We do in one case: America will elect a new president in 2016, ending President Barack Obama’s second term. And experts agree overwhelmingly that the world will continue to be plagued by the threat of terrorism. But what about the global economy? Gun violence? The Iran nuke deal? Europe’s migrant crisis? Some of the world’s most pressing issues will be stubbornly familiar and hard to remedy; others are likely to emerge as new challenges in a new year.

The Global Economic Costs From Climate Change May Be Worse Than Expected

Posted December 10th, 2015 at 5:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Unmitigated, climate change could reduce global GDP by over 20 percent by 2100 – a number roughly 5-10 times larger than current estimates.

The World — Including China — Is Unprepared for the Rise of China

Posted November 9th, 2015 at 9:02 am (UTC-4)
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For the first time in centuries, China affects the global economy as much as it is affected by the global economy. In the years ahead, China is likely to account for between one-third and one-half of growth in global incomes, trade and commodity demand…

The Global Economy Is in Serious Danger

Posted October 8th, 2015 at 12:01 pm (UTC-4)
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As the world’s financial policymakers convene for their annual meeting Friday in Peru, the dangers facing the global economy are more severe than at any time since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008. The problem of secular stagnation — the inability of the industrial world to grow at satisfactory rates even with very loose monetary policies — […]

12 Nation Trans-Pacific Partnership Aims to Rebalance Global Economic Power

Posted October 7th, 2015 at 4:39 pm (UTC-4)
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Amid the din of news about Russia’s air strikes in Syria and the deadly – but mistaken – U.S. bombing of a charity hospital in Afghanistan came a quieter, but no less significant, change in the global landscape. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is touted by President Obama as a “21st century trade agreement” that brings together 12 nations, including the U.S. and Japan, in a far-reaching free trade deal. Central to the debate over its merits is China. Should China have been included? Or was it the right call to keep Beijing out?