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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


Sameera Fazili
Senior Policy Advisor, National Economic Council

Mark Leuchtenberger

Erin Meyer
Affiliate Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD

Paula Volent
Senior Vice President for Investments, Bowdoin College

Roberta Romano
Roberta Romano
Sterling Professor of Law and Director, Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law

Rajesh Subramaniam
EVP, Global Marketing and Communications, FedEx Services

Jed Bernstein
President, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Kevin Thompson
Senior Program Manager for Brand System Programs, IBM

Professor William Goetzmann
William N. Goetzmann
Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies & Director of the International Center for Finance

Dacia Toll
Co-CEO and President, Achievement First

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