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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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Michael Porter
Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

Professor Olav Sorenson
Olav Sorenson
Frederick Frank '54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management

Elizabeth Serlemitsos
Chief Advisor, Zambian National AIDS Council

Jane Mendillo
President & CEO, Harvard Management Company, Inc.

Jenifer Van Vleck
Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

Antonio Lucio
Global Chief Marketing, Strategy, and Corporate Development Officer, Visa Inc.; Board of Advisors, Yale Center for Customer Insights

Ramesh Ramanathan

Tom Zacharias
Chief Operating Officer, W.P. Carey Inc.


Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

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