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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


Stephen Roach
Senior Lecturer, Jackson Institute

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
Professor of Economics

John Crowley
Senior Lecturer in English, Creative Writing, Yale University; Author of nine novels

Richard C. Levin
Richard Levin
Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Economics


Paul Anastas
Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment; Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering; Director of Sustainability Curriculum, MBA for Executives Program

Cathy Ashton
Former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union; Former First Vice President of the European Commission

Yasar Gamali
Executive Director and Egypt Country Manager, Abraaj Capital

James A. Phills
Professor of Organizational Behavior and Director of the Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and the Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Heather Tookes
Heather E. Tookes
Professor of Finance

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