Commentary

Are Inflation Fears Justified?

In the near term, markets should not be too worried about a possible spike in demand driving up inflation and interest rates, causing asset prices to fall across the board. But longer-term inflation risks are skewed much more to the upside than many investors and policymakers seem to realize.

Commentary

Pulling Up the Inflation Anchor

Rather than worrying about the prospects of higher long-term expected inflation, the US Federal Reserve is exuding confidence that it can maintain price stability should the need ever arise. It should think again, before the inflation genie has escaped from the bottle.

Commentary

Project Syndicate

Before his death on February 6, George P. Shultz, a former US Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State, co-authored a final commentary warning of the dangers posed by the vast increase in US government spending in recent years, including during the COVID-19 crisis.

Commentary

No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe

Minimizing the risk of yet more destabilizing COVID-19 variants is crucial if countries are to turn the corner on a shock that has wrecked lives and livelihoods. The alternative is to adopt a bunker-like approach and sharply curtail the inward and outward flow of citizens, residents, and visitors.

Commentary

Will Inflation Make a Comeback?

Economic forecasting models have long been notoriously inaccurate in predicting inflation, and COVID-19 has further complicated the challenge. Those who heed current consensus forecasts of persistently low price growth could be in for a rude awakening.

Commentary

The Perils of an Uneven Global Recovery

Heightened global economic risks mean that many poorer countries could take years to return to their pre-pandemic growth trajectories. And if higher inflation leads the US Federal Reserve to raise rates somewhat sooner than it currently plans, emerging markets will be hit particularly hard.

Commentary

England’s Lockdown Lessons

Although some remain inclined to point the finger at the UK government’s missteps in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the explanation for its evolving approach is more complex. It also holds important lessons for managing future crises.

Commentary

A Post-COVID Labor Revival?

In contrast to the US recession that followed the 2008 global financial crisis, the COVID-19 downturn has elicited strong public support for workers, especially those in essential jobs. Perhaps, at long last, that sentiment will translate into concrete policies that strengthen labor rather than capital.

Commentary

A Fragile Recovery in 2021

Although 2020 ended with a flurry of announcements reporting promising results in COVID-19 vaccine trials, there is little reason to expect a robust economic recovery anytime soon. Defeating the virus remains a monumental task, and the wounds inflicted by the pandemic will not heal easily.

Commentary

The Big Bounce-Back?

Following the 2008 financial crisis, many policymakers failed to focus sufficiently on securing robust, inclusive, and sustainable long-term growth. To avoid repeating this mistake in 2021 as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, governments must act early and decisively in three areas.

Commentary

The Quiet Financial Crisis

The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in soaring infection rates, widespread lockdowns, record-shattering declines in output, and spiking poverty. But, in addition to these trends, a quieter crisis now gaining momentum could jeopardize economic recovery prospects for years to come.

Commentary

A Fairer Way to Help Developing Economies Decarbonize

Global carbon pricing is an essential part of any long-term solution to the climate crisis. But advanced economies also need to provide the developing world with highly concessional financing and technical expertise to help it decarbonize – all guided by a World Carbon Bank.

Commentary

Fast and Slow in “The Queen’s Gambit”

Super-fast computer programs and massive databases have had a profound impact on professional chess in recent years. But, despite the threat of cheating, the game is currently in remarkable creative and economic health – not least because it is fantastically suited to the online world.

Commentary

Avoiding America’s Vicious COVID Cycle

The United States has the means not only to arrest current negative public-health and economic dynamics but also to transform them into a virtuous cycle. But this will require sustained and simultaneous efforts in four areas.

Commentary

The Debt Dogs that Didn’t Bark

If global growth resumes in 2021, aided by the rollout of vaccines and the Fed’s continued commitment to ultra-low interest rates, some developing countries may be able to avoid default, because yield-hungry investors will continue to buy their bonds. But other countries will not be so lucky.