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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


Bradford S. Gentry
Professor in the Practice, Co-Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale; Director of the Research Program on Private Investment and the Environment

Claire Johnson
Vice President, Google Offers, Google

Joel M. Podolny
Dean and William S. Beinecke Professor of Management, Yale School of Management

Sascha Steffen
Associate Professor of Finance and Karl-Heinz Kipp Chair in Research, ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Catherine Smith
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economics and Community Development



Ellen Shuman
Founder and Managing Partner, Edgehill Endowment Partners

Brande Stellings YC '89
Vice President, Advisory Services, Professional Services Practice at Catalyst

President and Co-Founder, Meehan Combs
Eli Combs
President and Co-Founder, Meehan Combs

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