Category Archives: Politics and Business

1 in 3 Companies Constrained by Corruption

jim-kimBy Dr. JimYong KimM.D., Ph.D. is the President of the World Bank Group. Soon after he became president in July 2012, the organization established two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries. Kim’s career has been focused on health, education, and delivering services to the poor.

Approximately one in three companies around the world identify corruption as a major constraint to operating their business. We can and must do much more to combat corruption. It poses an enormous obstacle to the global goal of ending extreme poverty, denying resources to the poor and undermining the delivery of services to the vulnerable. 

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Greater Inequality Not Due To New Technology And Free Trade

scoccoBy Sandro Scocco is Chief Economist at the Stockholm-based think tank Arena Idé and has a background as the Chief Economist of the governmental research institute ITPS. He is also a former Director at the Labour Market Board and served during the 1990s as an adviser to several Swedish social democratic ministers.

From the Social Europe Journal, December 9, 2016

A popular narrative today is that low-income groups in the western world have fallen behind owing to jobs lost to new machines and to low-paid jobs overseas. Political populists like Trump or Le Pen have happily exploited this frustration with nostalgic, nationalistic and anti-free trade messages. A new study shows that this narrative has little support in historical trends.

Certainly, large groups have fallen behind in recent decades. But this is true not only of low-income groups but also of large parts of the middle class in many countries. Take, for example, those with higher education in the US; their real incomes have stagnated in the past 15 years. In the whole of the industrialised world median wage growth has fallen markedly behind GDP growth. By contrast, the top 1 percent have increased their income much faster than the rise in GDP and, in some countries, including the US and Sweden, they have more than doubled their income share.

So, there is a clear breeding ground for anger and frustration among broad groups, and not just among low-income earners, but is it really related to technology and trade?

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How the Markets Responded to Trump

Why They Stayed Calm and Carried On

sumner_scott_600x900By SCOTT SUMNER who is Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Professor of Economics at Bentley University. Follow him at the TheMoneyIllusion.com.

This article was published in Foreign Affairs on November 13, 2016.
To read the entire article please go to: http://fam.ag/2fSMsCE

World financial markets have had an unusual reaction to the unexpected U.S. presidential election victory of Donald Trump: they remained relatively calm and, some might say, even responded positively. Unlike the British pound after the Brexit vote, which tumbled rapidly shortly after, the U.S. dollar, after Trump’s election, actually strengthened modestly against foreign currencies such as the yen, the euro, and the yuan. Interest rates in the U.S. treasury bond market have increased, in both nominal and real terms. Inflation is also expected to increase modestly.

The reaction of global equity markets was perhaps the most surprising of all. U.S. stock futures fell as much as five percent on Tuesday evening, as it became apparent that Trump had all but secured a victory. The behavior was consistent with the pre-election pattern. Whenever polls showed an increased chance of a Trump win, stocks tended to dip (as they did following reports that FBI Director James Comey would be reopening an investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton’s emails). But a few hours after Tuesday’s decline, stocks beat expectations and crept back up. By the end of the next trading day, the market was above pre-election levels.

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