By Fareed Zakaria
“[Larry] Summers is the closest the Davos set comes to a Delphic Oracle and a historic deficit hawk in very good standing,” writes Chrystia Freeland for Reuters. “That’s why his relatively dovish comments about U.S. deficit reduction should carry such clout.”
“His most important point is that economic policy is more like medical treatment than religion. It isn’t a dogma that should be cleaved to under every circumstance. Instead, it is a tool kit, whose particular application depends on the specific patient.”
I’ve also been in Davos this week, and took part in a number of panels, including one with King Hussein of Jordan, another with Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, and a session discussing issues including building on the promise of the Arab Spring.
Meanwhile, urban residents in China in their 20s are four times as likely to be unemployed as those with only an elementary school education, according to study by a Chinese university that was reported on yesterday by the New York Times.
“China’s swift expansion in education over the last decade, including a quadrupling of the number of college graduates each year, has created millions of engineers and scientists. The best can have their pick of jobs at Chinese companies that are aiming to become even more competitive globally…But China is also churning out millions of graduates with few marketable skills, coupled with a conviction that they are entitled to office jobs with respectable salaries.”
Could U.S. natural gas exports help reduce carbon emissions globally?
“Exporting natural gas would be more likely to displace coal both at home and abroad, resulting in a lower net carbon emissions overall,” argues Arno Harris in Fortune. “This alone gives climate advocates a reason to support the export of natural gas.”
After years of a painful oversupply following the housing crash, the U.S. may actually have too few houses on the market, writes Daniel Gross in the Daily Beast.
“Most buyers have to find the right house, in the right neighborhood, at the right time, at the right price, before committing their life savings,” Gross writes. “And when there aren’t as many homes to choose from, it becomes more difficult to find the right place. When an attractive home is on the market at a good price, it’s likely to inspire a bidding war. The median price for an existing home rose 11.5 percent between December 2011 and December 2012.”