Author Archives: karimfoda

What is the most misunderstood economic concept?

My answer on Quora: That there are laws in economics. In economics, every answer begins with “it depends”. This can be frustrating when you want a straight answer, but it is useful because you have to look at all the circumstances in a particular case before responding with a policy, for example, to fix something that […]

Why is nobody talking about the Greek financial crisis anymore?

My answer on Quora: After Greece received “bail-out” financing from IMF, ECB and European Commission (the Troika) in the midst of its debt crisis in 2010, Greece’s financial troubles re-engage the casual observers interest when repayment deadlines approach. Can they make their payments? If not, what will the troika do? This summer has fifteen of those […]

In Good Faith to Trump Voters

It was around noon when the President addressed the bewildered nation. On that day it was most evident that Barack Obama would not be America’s president for much longer. Earlier that morning, a new man, Donald Trump, was elected by Americans to become the next president. A man who, to many, personifies an America that […]

White House Recommendations for the Second Machine Age

The National Science and Technology Council at the White House is preparing for the future of artificial intelligence. In its newly released report, the NSTC outlines twenty three recommendations for the federal government to stay ahead in the second machine age. The overall recommendations prioritize (1) staying in the know on developments and changing milestones in […]

More Global Cooperation, Less Global Governance

A push away from “globalism” that is taking place in many loud pockets of the world is pushing experts to humbly take notice. With the rift between the public and policy-making experts fully exposed, leading voices are trying to re-ground the conversation on “globalism”. First, Lawrence Summers calls for a “responsible nationalism” over a “reflex globalism”: A […]

A Better Job Adjusting

The winners and losers of globalization has been an especially popular news headline in the last year or two. Much can be made of whether or not globalization per se is the culprit of the shrinking middle classes of the U.S. and other advanced economies, and the rising middle classes of China and other developing economies. The pace and ease in […]

The U.S. Earns More From Less

Since 1989, foreigners have owned more assets in the U.S. than Americans have abroad. At the same time, Americans have been earning more income from their $20 trillion of overseas assets than foreigners have been earning from their $28 trillion of U.S. assets. In other words, although the U.S. is a debtor nation, it has a positive net income. This is largely […]

Colonial America was the most income-egalitarian rich place on the planet, until Emancipation and then the 1970s

Going back two centuries before World War 1, income per person in Colonial America was actually higher than Britain and Western Europe, and inequality was much lower. Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson have taken a new approach to assembling historical GDP data. GDP can be measured in three ways that are all supposed to yield […]

Rodrik: Innovation Is Not Enough

Innovation is widely touted as a primary ingredient to growth for an organization and for an economy as a whole. The pace of technological breakthroughs and innovation seems to be advancing at breakneck speeds, but the economy in the US and abroad remains mired in weak growth. Techno-optimists believe we are in for a rapid acceleration in […]

OECD: Productivity Has Been Slowing for Decades

The OECD’s newly released findings from its productivity database focuses its attention on the “productivity paradox” (mentioned in the Record’s previous post). Much is being debated around why productivity growth has been slowing down despite “significant technological change, increasing participation of firms and countries in global value chains and rising education levels in the labor […]

U.S. Productivity May Shrink This Year

For the first time since 1982, productivity in the U.S. economy may decline. A new projection for 2016 by The Conference Board has output per hour worked, a measure of labor productivity, slow down by 0.2 percent. Labor productivity measures how efficient workers are in the production process. In the long run, an economy’s productivity […]

The G7 Is Still Relevant

The G7 Summit is underway in Japan and the global economy is at the top of the agenda, yet the groups unrivaled influence over it is no more. Its share of world GDP has declined from close to 70 percent in the early 1990s to just over 45 percent today. Emerging and developing economies are […]

Wages Are Up and the Fed Is Ready

The Fed has put markets on notice that another increase in interest rates could be expected this June or July. The Fed’s objectives are clear – full employment and stable inflation – but it continues to struggle between improvements in the unemployment rate yet slower than desired inflation. The puzzle is that lower unemployment should lead to higher inflation as […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: A Fragile and Fleeting World Economy?

The latest Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals global economic recovery remains weak, uneven, and in danger of stalling yet again. The world economy continues to be beset by mediocre growth, hesitant or impotent policy actions by national governments, and a dearth of confidence among households and businesses. Analysis by Eswar […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: The World Economy Remains Adrift in Choppy Waters

The latest update to the Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals a world economy with sharp divergences in growth prospects between the advanced economies and emerging markets, and within these groups as well. Eswar Prasad and myself update TIGER twice a year, around the times of the IMF-World Bank Meetings of finance ministers, central […]

Fed Policy in a Diverging World

On rare occasion does the Federal Reserve cite international developments as a major factor in its domestic policy decisions, but that is precisely what happened this September. Despite a strengthening U.S. labor market and an increase in the Fed’s own projection for U.S. growth next year, the Fed decided to delay its much anticipated lift-off […]

Brookings-FT TIGER Index: The World Economy Continues to Stop and Go

The latest update to the Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery) Index reveals a global economy that appears to be approaching another stall. Stagnant low growth, risks of deflation, and weak consumer and business confidence characterize the world economy today. With the exception of the U.S., U.K. and India, there are […]

Introduction: The Global Economy Can Hold the US Back

This is the first post in a series on how a weaker global economy can threaten the recovery that is underway in the US. This post provides an introduction to the series and is followed by three more posts, divided as Parts I, II and III. Part I delves into the drivers of growth in […]

Part I: A Stronger US in A Weaker Global Economy

This is the second post in a series on how a weaker global economy can threaten the strengthening recovery in the US. The first post in the series is the introduction, which is followed by three parts. This post, Part I, delves into the drivers of growth in the US and in the rest of […]

Part II: The Rise of the Dollar and the US Trade Balance

This is the third post in a series on how a weaker global economy can threaten the strengthening recovery in the US. The first post in the series is the introduction, which is followed by three parts. Part I, delves into the drivers of growth in the US and in the rest of the world. […]