Expect an Uneven Rebound in MENA and Central Asia

May 20, 2021

Projections, no matter how well-grounded in analytics, are a messy business. Three years ago, COVID-19 was unheard of and then-US President Donald Trump’s politics caused uncertainty in international relations, with democracy in retreat across the world. Despite the best-informed...

A Star Economist Warns of Social Collapse

March 23, 2020

In an article for Foreign Affairs, “The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse,” the economist Branko Milanovic, noted for his groundbreaking work on income and wealth inequality, takes a close look at the choices governments and societies are faced with today as the entire world organizes...

Need Lithium and Other Metals? Time to Invest in Latin America

December 20, 2019

Since the beginning of European colonialism in the 16th century, adventurers and investors have responded to the opportunities that exist to control entire zones where they can freely extract raw materials without being bothered by the local populations who may find them invasive. The traditional...

The Path to Growth Is Industrialization, Not Exports

August 08, 2019

On the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Dani Rodrik posed a controversial question: “Is Export Led Growth Passé?” Writing on September 11, 2008, this famous Harvard professor argued that advanced economies were unlikely to run large current account deficits and import as they did in...

What’s Really Behind China’s Falling GDP?

July 20, 2019

The headlines grabbed attention: “China’s economy grows at slowest rate in nearly 30 years,” noted the Financial Times in a typical example. China’s GDP growth in the second quarter had slowed to 6.2%, the smallest gain since 1992, back when the country’s economy was first shifting into...

Is Warren Buffett the Last True Believer in Constant Progress?

June 12, 2019

The media will never tire of Warren Buffett’s oracular pronouncements, nor will it dare to put them in perspective or critique them. Who better than the Oracle of Omaha, the Pope of Wall Street, Warren Buffett, can we count on to guide the faithful in the dogmas they need to believe about the...

The Daily Devil’s Dictionary: For a “Healthy” Economy

March 19, 2018

The health care crisis doesn’t only affect humans. It affects the economy. As the game of real-world empires evolves, with Pax Americana showing signs of waning and Chinese power rising, The Economist points to a serious failure of the Trump administration. President Donald Trump appears to...

How Should Tax Reform Treat Employee Stock and Options?

October 22, 2017

In America, stock options create some unusual challenges for tax writers. The tax treatment of employee stock and options raises a classic Goldilocks problem. We want to tax this compensation neither too much nor too little. In a recent policy brief, I consider three questions about how to...

How to Reduce Uncertainty and Increase Investment

August 23, 2016

The best way to avoid stagnation induced by uncertainty is for governments to look at the road ahead. Interest rates are low, so it should be attractive for companies to borrow and invest in new products and markets. But American companies are not doing that. Instead, they are spending about...

Can Markets Be Timed Accurately?

April 15, 2016

Market timing has long been the holy grail for investors, and evidence suggests that it works but might be a tricky game to play. Homo sapiens like predictability and look for patterns. Sometimes these patterns hold, but at other times they fail. This apparent randomness of markets has long...

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