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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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Paula Volent
Senior Vice President for Investments, Bowdoin College

Paul Bracken
Professor of Management & Professor of Political Science

Nicholas LaRusso
Director, Center for Innovation, Mayo Clinic

Alberto Alemanno
Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and Risk Regulation, HEC Paris

Kyriacos Sabatakakis
Managing Director, South Eastern Europe, Accenture

Philip Gorski
Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Professor David F. Swensen
David F. Swensen
Chief Investment Officer, Yale University

Rosemary Ripley
Managing Director, NGEN

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