Category Quick Posts

Will the world eventually come to an equilibrium where all nations will be developed and everyone will be out of poverty?

My answer on Quora: In the United States, the preamble to the nation’s constitution begins with “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” The idea of “a more perfect union” underpins the ultimate goal of the nation as defined from its inception: to become more perfect with every generation, […]

Why is the US dollar still the currency that matters the most globally?

My answer on Quora: Of all the currencies around the world, the US dollar matters the most globally because it is most readily available, most widely accepted in international transactions, and, crucially, the most trusted. If little country A is selling a commodity, for example, to little country Z, that transaction is most likely to […]

What is the benchmark used to measure the effectiveness of monetary policy?

My answer on Quora: There are different indicators one can look at to help assess if the monetary policy of a central bank is effective or not, but such assessments have been getting harder to make. On the surface On the surface, a central bank can be viewed as effective in its monetary policy if […]

What is a better measure of (Workers’) productivity than GDP (PPP) per hour worked?

My answer on Quora: The ideal measure is output or value-add per worker. I say ideal because true output or true value is hard to measure. GDP has been labelled one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, but it is not well suited for the 21st century. When output is a physical item, like […]

What did John Maynard Keynes get right about economics?

My answer on Quora: Two things: 1) Fiscal Policy Very simply (and very broadly), Keynes established that fiscal policy can play a role in managing aggregate demand. In plain English: government spending (whether it’s increasing or decreasing) can help the economy from getting too hot or too cold. When it is too hot (resources (capital […]

Comment: On the Fed engaging with the public

Gillian Tett of the Financial Times recently posed this question in an opinion piece: “How should the Federal Reserve engage with the public?” Soon after becoming chairman of the Fed, Jerome Powell did something no other Fed chairperson (or perhaps any major central bank governor) has done before. He posted a video where he speaks […]

Africa in the World Cup: Building cohesion through the world’s most-watched sport

From Brookings, Africa in Focus blog (with Mariama Sow): The World Cup, which starts this week, is the most-watched sporting event in the world, having reached more than 3 billion people in 2014. This year, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia will be representing Africa. African teams in the World Cup are rarely predicted to advance beyond the […]