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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


Brande Stellings YC '89
Vice President, Advisory Services, Professional Services Practice at Catalyst

James Choi
Professor of Finance

Robert A. M. Stern
Dean & J. M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture, Yale School of Architecture; Founder and Senior Partner, Robert A. M. Stern Architects

Professor Roger Ibbotson
Roger G. Ibbotson
Professor in the Practice Emeritus of Finance

Alix Zwane
Executive Director, Evidence Action

Mary Tanner
Senior Managing Director, EVOLUTION Life Sciences Partners

Jeremy Eden
Cofounder and Co-CEO, Harvest Earnings

William J. Bernstein
William J. Bernstein, author of A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

Rich Kidd
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Energy & Sustainability

Robert Litterman
Chairman, Risk Committee, Kepos Capital

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