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On the Other Hand

What’s happening to the global economy? Dozens of equity markets have fallen into bear territory. There’s solid job growth in the U.S., but China is struggling to avoid a hard landing. The Fed is confident enough to raise interest rates, but oil prices have crashed.

The atmosphere is one of profound uncertainty. “What makes these falling prices unnerving,” the New York Times says, “is that it’s hard to tell a simple story about what is driving them.”

What’s the worst-case scenario? “We might be at the edge of a global recession,” said Citibank’s Christian Schulz on Bloomberg. In the fourth quarter of 2015, global growth approached the 2% mark—and central banks have few options remaining. “It’s a vulnerable situation.”

The drop in equity markets may simply be a needed correction, the Economist noted. But, the magazine wrote elsewhere, “whether the market gyrations are rooted firmly in fundamentals or not, they could themselves be a source of economic instability…. A recession, after all, is nothing more than a rut of self-ratifying pessimism.”

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Contributors


Todd Moss
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; Director, The Emerging Africa Project

James Choi
Professor of Finance

John Piescik
Strategy Program Manager, MITRE

Lynn Stout
Distinguished Professor of Corporate & Business Law, Cornell University Law School, Author of The Shareholder Value Myth

Bertrand Quelin
Professor of Strategy and Business Policy, HEC Paris


Ng Kok Song
Managing Director and Group Chief Investment Officer, GIC

Helen Siu
Professor of Anthropology, Yale University

Colleen Briggs
Vice President of Financial Capability and Consumer Initiatives within Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Linus Dahlander
Associate Professor of Strategy and KPMG Chair in Innovation, ESMT European School of Management and Technology

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