Feb 122017
 

Don’t miss the excellent piece on the importance of immigrants to Silicon Valley in the New York Times February 9, 2017. Some highlights: “Silicon Valley is unlikely, as a phenomenon — it is not the default state of the world,” said John Collison, an immigrant from Ireland who is a [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 042017
 
Living dangerously

The global economy is likely to grow at between 3% and 4% in 2017 adjusted for inflation and differences in exchange rates. Emerging economies, led by Asia, are likely again to outgrow advanced economies (the U.S., Europe, Japan). That’s the word from one of the world’s most respected and widely followed [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 232016
 

Terrific perspective on China’s growing importance, the coming fight in Congress over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the standing of the United States in a changed world in an op-ed in today’s New York Times by Clyde Prestowitz, founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute. He delivers his punch [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 152016
 
Economic update

For a quick economic update for members of Bellevue Rotary recently, I updated several slides I usually include as a part of my talks and added a new one or two. You can download all of them as a PDF file here. Among bullet points: We live in a slow-growth world. [continue reading . . . ]






Feb 112016
 

I can’t help but think what’s going on in global markets seems like a re-run of what happened in the fall of 2008, when Lehman Brothers failed, banks had to be bailed out and the worst recession since the Great Depression ensued. AP business writer Alex Veiga neatly sums up [continue reading . . . ]






Jan 202016
 

Who would have guessed that incomes are more unequal in Communist China than in the United States? Not me. A new report from Peking University, cited in the Financial Times, says the richest 1% of China’s households own a third of the country’s wealth. The poorest 25% own just 1%. [continue reading . . . ]






Dec 172015
 
Slow-growth world

Raising interest rates a quarter point as the Fed did this week does not change the fact that we live in a slow-growth world. Money markets and commodities markets are singing the same song in unison: Almost no inflation, and very little growth. To say that commodities prices have collapsed [continue reading . . . ]






Sep 302015
 
Needed: More, not fewer, immigrants

Worried about your Social Security benefits? You ought to be. Whether you are in your 70s or your 20s , the number of workers taxed to support you in our pay-as-you-go social-insurance system are or will be fewer than supported your parents and grandparents. We’re living longer and having fewer [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 292015
 
The recovery: Still tepid

Good on us that the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate estimated at 3.7% in the April-May-June quarter rather than the 2.2% rate announced as the first estimate a month ago. But don’t get too excited. State and local government spending accounted for a higher-than-average share of the growth [continue reading . . . ]






Aug 192015
 
The next recession: Made in China?

If you haven’t read it, get to your library (or use your library card) to read Ruchir Sharma’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal August 17 (Page A 11). He argues that with advanced economies stuck in slow-growth mode, the globe is “one shock away from recession” and that the [continue reading . . . ]






May 102015
 
Good jobs report, but . . .

Friday’s jobs report showed the U.S. headline unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4%, the lowest since mid-2008. Good for us, but hold the applause. The underemployment rate, including those working part time involuntarily, remains relatively high (10.8%) for this stage of the recovery. It has been nearly six years since [continue reading . . . ]