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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


Robert P. Harrison
Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature and Chair of the Department of French and Italian, Stanford University; Host, "Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature)"

Professor Howard Forman
Howard P. Forman
Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Economics, and Public Health; Director of the M.D./M.B.A. Program; Director of Healthcare Curriculum, M.B.A. for Executives Program; Lecturer in Ethics, Politics, and Economics

Scott Griffith
CEO, Zipcar

Sherri Goodman
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, CNA

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
Professor of Economics

Heather Tookes
Heather E. Tookes
Professor of Finance

E. V. "Rick" Goings
Chairman and CEO, Tupperware Corporation

Professor Matthew Spiegel
Matthew Spiegel
Professor of Finance, Director of Graduate Studies

Damien McLoughlin
Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin


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