January 31st, 2014
06:42 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: A closer look at the inequality debate, and Kissinger on Ukraine

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: In the wake of President Obama's State of the Union address, Fareed convenes a panel looking at the issue of inequality in the United States. Zanny Minton Beddoes, economics editor of The Economist, Steve Rattner, the Obama administration’s “car czar,” Canadian member of parliament Chrystia Freeland and former IMF Chief Economist Ken Rogoff offer their takes on this and more.

Then, our “What in the World?” segment looks at the economic costs of smoking – and whether obesity could be next in line for intervention by policymakers.

Later, a look at the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine – and why Kiev can't shake off Moscow’s influence. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger explains the nature of Russia’s role.

Also, an insider's perspective on Russian President Vladimir Putin, from a close friend: the famous conductor Valery Gergiev.

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Topics: Economy • GPS Show
America and the great stagnation
January 28th, 2014
08:00 AM ET

America and the great stagnation

By Fareed Zakaria

USA Today has a new poll out that shows that the American public is increasingly concerned about inequality and wants the government to do something about it. So what to do?

There’s little doubt that inequality has risen dramatically. The most eye catching number might be this one – the world’s 85 richest people own as much as do the poorest 3.5 billion put together. If you put this in American terms alone, the six heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune have a net worth that is larger than the poorest 48.8 million American families put together. These are staggering numbers and it does make for some envy. But envy is not a good basis for public policy.

As I have argued before, inequality is made up of three different factors: the rise of the super rich, the rise of a larger group of poor people, and the stagnation of the great middle class.

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Topics: Economy
January 26th, 2014
12:30 AM ET

Shinzo Abe on the third arrow of "Abenomics"

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explains what is behind “Abenomics” and what the so-called third arrow of these reforms mean. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

What is important about the third arrow, structural reform, is to convince those who resist the steps I am taking and to make them realize that what I have been doing is correct, and by so doing, to engage in structural reform.

Last autumn, the Diet (Parliament) decided many things. In terms of agriculture, I made the decision to end the "rice production adjustment," which had continued for 40 years.

I also passed a law to make it easy to dramatically consolidate farmland, to make it easy to do that.  And on the medical front, I decided that selling medicines over the Internet would be made possible. And I amended the pharmaceutical laws, to make it possible for companies to continue to develop regenerative medicine, creating opportunities in that area.

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Topics: Economy • GPS Show • Japan
January 23rd, 2014
07:27 PM ET

World's politicians should be on same side

By Andrey Kostin, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Andrey Kostin is CEO of Russia’s VTB Bank. The views expressed are his own. This is the latest in a series of articles ahead of a special GPS show from Davos this Sunday.

Interconnectedness is part of everyday modern life. We think nothing of, for example, an American company designing its products in California, assembling them in China, and launching sales simultaneously in 100 countries or more. Russia has benefited from the increased integration of national economies and markets that has made all of this global cooperation possible – and essential. And like other major global economies, Russia – the world’s eighth largest – will continue to deepen its integration into these global processes.

Yet while the idea of globalization as a force for good is apparently widely accepted in the economics and business spheres – not least in my own area of expertise, banking and finance – it sometimes seems that politicians of countries that ought to have much in common are at risk of drifting further and further apart.

It has long been a Russian complaint that relations with the West – particularly the United States and the European Union – more often resemble a teacher lecturing a disobedient pupil than a serious dialogue, especially when the talk turns to topics of mutual sensitivity. This lies at the heart of what President Vladimir Putin, in his New York Times editorial last year, termed the “insufficient communication” between our societies.

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Topics: Economy • Russia
January 20th, 2014
09:25 AM ET

A win-win if companies can build trust

By Dennis Nally, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Dennis Nally is chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International and is participating at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week. You can follow him @Dennis_Nally. The views expressed are his own. This is the first in a series of articles ahead of a special GPS show from Davos this Sunday.

We live in an era when lapses in corporate behavior have damaged public trust in business. But to do business in the right way, you first need to decide what the right way is. And that can actually be the hardest part.

In many cases, I find that CEOs and boards are approaching the question of the “right” business behavior through the lens of trust and value, essentially asking themselves: “How can our business regain trust through long-term value creation?” Yet by assuming that the route to renewed trust lies via creating long-term value rather than behaving in a particular way, I think this question highlights a deeper challenge.

There are two parts to the challenge. The first is that, while creating value can contribute to trust, a business without trust will never generate value in the first place – or at least not sustainable value. Looked at one way, increasing trust and rising value form a virtuous circle. Looked at another, they present a Catch-22: unless a business is already trusted, it won’t have the wherewithal to deliver the value that helps to generate more trust.

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Topics: Business • Economy
January 14th, 2014
08:30 AM ET

U.S. isolationism isn't protectionism

By Bruce Stokes, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Bruce Stokes is director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center. The views expressed are his own.

Isolationism is not protectionism. And confusing the two can create a false impression of the trajectory of U.S. global engagement in the year ahead.

New polling data showing that the American public is turning inward, preoccupied with domestic affairs and less interested in international engagement, is not evidence of a rise in U.S. economic protectionism, with its grave consequences for global business. Indeed, even as their doubts grow over the future U.S. geopolitical role, Americans say that the benefits from U.S. participation in the global economy outweigh the risks. And even as they harbor doubts about the impact of trade agreements on wages and jobs, public support for closer trade and business ties with other nations stands at its highest point in more than a decade.

The Obama administration’s disengagement from Iraq and Afghanistan, its “leading from behind” in Libya and its reluctance to become involved in the Syrian civil war all reflect a broad public reassessment of America’s future security role in the world. But the White House’s pursuit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, two unprecedented trade deals, equally reflect Americans’ newfound acceptance of the importance – or at least inevitability – of U.S. economic integration with the rest of the world.

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Topics: Economy • United States
January 11th, 2014
12:00 AM ET

Is Argentina trying out the 5-point economy wrecking plan?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

We were struck by a strange proposal this week. A top Argentine leader says his country should move the national capital from Buenos Aires in the east, facing the Atlantic, to a new city up in the north, closer to the Pacific. This would be an immense change – akin to Brazil moving the capital to Brasilia. It would be a shame to see Buenos Aires abandoned. But the idea that Argentina needs some shaking up is exactly right.

A few weeks ago, we ran a report titled “How To Ruin Your Economy.” In five easy steps, it showed how a country could turn itself into a basket case by bad decisions. The segment was about Venezuela…but Argentina is a worthy runner-up.

It starts out much stronger than Venezuela. Remember, Argentina is part of the G-20, the group of 20 big economies. The average Argentine earns more than the average Indian and Chinese combined. But all these facts mask a troubling trend.

Let’s see how it fared on our five-point test.

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January 9th, 2014
12:45 PM ET

WTO’s baby steps at Bali a big deal

By Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven Altman, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Pankaj Ghemawat is the Anselmo Rubiralta Professor of Global Strategy at IESE Business School, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Management at New York University and creator of the Depth Index of Globalization (DIG). Steven A. Altman is a senior research associate and lecturer at IESE Business School and co-author of the DIG. The views expressed are their own.

Run the clock back on the last four rounds of global trade negotiations – arguably the four most ambitious ones attempted. The Kennedy Round in 1967 was followed by the conclusion of the Tokyo Round 12 years later, and the conclusion of the Uruguay Round another 15 years on.  Now, after 19 more years, we have not quite the conclusion to the Doha Round, but the Bali Package: a shrunken version of the ambitious original agenda. So, should we cheer about the agreement reached last month? Yes! For four reasons.

There is still a road to Doha. The world agreed to keep working toward global trade liberalization instead of refocusing entirely on regional and bilateral accords.  The most consistent critique of the Bali Package so far – that it simply kicked the can down the road on all the difficult issues – misses the point that without it, there wouldn’t be any kind of road to Doha. And as one WTO negotiator pointed out, it would be well into the 2020s before we might expect to see the conclusion of another global trade deal.

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Topics: Economy • Trade
January 4th, 2014
08:02 PM ET

Have we reached the end of globalization?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

At the start of 2014, let's take a look at one of the great trends of the last century. You could be sitting in Chicago, Illinois right now, but your TV was probably made in Japan, your sneakers were likely manufactured in China and your coffee might be from Kenya. Globalization impacts every single thing around us. So here’s the big question: have we reached the end of globalization?

For much of the last thirty years there has been a steady trend in commerce: global trade has expanded at about twice the pace of the global economy. For example, between 1988 and 2007, global trade grew on average by 6.2 percent a year according to the World Trade Organization. During the same period, the world’s GDP was growing at nearly half that pace: 3.7 percent.

But a strange thing has taken place in the last two years. Growth in global trade has dropped dramatically, to even less than GDP growth. The change leaves one wondering: has the incredible transfer of goods around the world reached some sort of pinnacle? Have we exhausted the drive toward ever-more-globalization?

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Topics: Economy • Global • What in the World?
January 3rd, 2014
11:45 AM ET

World still downbeat on economic prospects

By Bruce Stokes, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Bruce Stokes is director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center. The views expressed are his own.

In the Marx Brothers’ movie Duck Soup, Chico Marx asked: “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” As 2014 dawns, this seems to be the question guardedly optimistic economic forecasters are asking recession weary pessimistic publics around the world. And many people appear to trust their experience over the views of the experts, raising new doubts about consumer behavior – the willingness to spend and to invest – in 2014.

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly two years in the third quarter of 2013, expanding by 4.1 percent on an annual basis. And the Wall Street Journal reports that the International Monetary Fund, in its mid-January forecast, is poised to boost its current forecast of 2.5 percent for U.S. growth in 2014.

But the American public is not necessarily convinced their economy is on the cusp of a recovery. The unemployment rate is now down to 7 percent. But, thanks to the Great Recession, joblessness has been above that figure longer than at any time since the Great Depression. And the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for six months or longer remains well above the average over the last six decades.

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Topics: Economy
December 24th, 2013
10:49 AM ET

Why GDP doesn’t cut it anymore

By Heather Gautney, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Heather Gautney is an associate professor of sociology at Fordham University and the author of Protest and Organization in the Alternative Globalization Era. The views expressed are her own.

Five years ago, then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned a panel of world-renowned economists, led by Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, to determine whether Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was a reliable measure of economic stability and social progress.

It was no surprise to Sarkozy, nor anyone hit by the financial crisis, that the panel staunchly agreed it was not.

GDP is a tally of everything produced. It is a monetary measure of all goods and services produced within a given country – and the sum of a country’s total expenditures, through consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. But while GDP has become the primary (albeit blunt) tool for gauging the health of national economies, and a crystal ball for policymaking, measurements like GDP often paint only a partial and often misleading picture of social and economic reality.

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Topics: Economy • Inequality
How left and right can unite to save the U.S. economy
December 20th, 2013
10:30 AM ET

How left and right can unite to save the U.S. economy

By Justin Talbot Zorn, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Justin Talbot Zorn is a Public Service Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School and has served as legislative director to two Democratic members of Congress.  He researched long-term planning in government as a Fulbright Scholar in Singapore. The views expressed are his own.

There’s been an intriguing development in this otherwise dreary political year: the emergence of a serious multi-issue alliance between progressive Democrats and Tea Party Republicans.  On big issues ranging from NSA spying and Syria to Farm Subsidies and Too-Big-To-Fail Banks, unlikely left-libertarian coalitions have shifted the balance of power in Washington.

Still, on the single issue that most animates Rand Paul’s army of Tea Party acolytes —the Fed’s loose money policies known as Quantitative Easing (QE)—there’s been little or no cross-party love.  While some progressives have sought more transparency at the Federal Reserve, the left’s understandable preference has been to boost employment and wages through Fed-fueled consumer demand rather than to worry about any long-term imbalances caused by abnormally low interest rates.

This could change.

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Topics: Economy • United States
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