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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


Amy Chua
John M. Duff Jr. Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Author, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance — and Why They Fall

Paula Volent
Senior Vice President for Investments, Bowdoin College

Robert Bettigole '83

Richard Kauffman
Lecturer in the Practice of Finance; Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

William Nordhaus
Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University

Professor Ravi Dhar
Ravi Dhar
George Rogers Clark Professor of Management and Marketing & Director of the Center for Customer Insights

Jonathan Carson
CEO, BiddingForGood

Nelun de Silva Wijeyeratne

Christopher Cabot
President, Value Retail China

Keith McCullough
CEO, Research Edge

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