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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


Edieal J. Pinker
Professor of Operations Research and Professor of Health Policy


Nell Minow
Cofounder and Editor, The Corporate Library

Bryan Kim
Head of Strategy and Marketing for Biosimilars, Boehringer Ingelheim


Charlie Cannon
Chief Design Officer, Epic Decade

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

Peter Norris
Chairman, Virgin Group

Paul Bloom
Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Yale University

Carolyn Everson
Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook

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