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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


Christopher Ross
Chief Information Officer, Mayo Clinic

Yvon Chouinard
Founder, Patagonia

Steven Brill YC ’72, LAW ’75
Author, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight To Fix America’s Schools; Founder, Court TV and American Lawyer magazine

Timothy Smith
Director of Socially Responsive Investment, Walden Asset Management; Former Executive Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Kelly Brownell
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University; Co-Founder and Director, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Jonathan Carson
CEO, BiddingForGood

Dhiraj Malkani '06
Partner, RockPort Capital Partners

Karen C. Seto
Professor of Geography and Urbanization, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Jim Millstein
Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co.

Erin Meyer
Affiliate Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD

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