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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


Frances G. Beinecke
Former President, National Resources Defense Council



Anjani Jain
Anjani Jain
Senior Associate Dean for the MBA Program & Senior Lecturer

Zeev Neuwirth
Vice President of Clinical Effectiveness and Physician Affairs, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates/Atrius Health

Christopher Cabot
President, Value Retail China

Professor Sharon Oster
Sharon M. Oster
Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship

Teresa Barger

Anne Kvam
Head of Corporate Governance, Norges Bank Investment Management

Sameera Fazili
Senior Policy Advisor, National Economic Council

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