Sunday , September 26 2021
Home / PS Commentators

PS Commentators



Articles by PS Commentators

Stagflation Ahead?

3 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 23, 2021

As price growth accelerates, central bankers are coming under increasing pressure to tighten monetary policy. But will they succeed in keeping inflationary expectations anchored without choking off the faltering global economic recovery or triggering debt crises – especially in emerging economies?
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff highlights several worrying parallels with the 1970s, and argues that a sustained period of high inflation may have become much more likely. And over the medium term, warns Nouriel

Read More »

The Coming Food Fight

10 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 16, 2021

Addressing the growing problem of food insecurity must be central to the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the debate in the run-up to the September 23 United Nations Food Systems Summit suggests that a practical consensus among governments, business, and civil-society groups may prove elusive.
In this Big Picture, Sandrine Dixson-Declève of the Club of Rome, José Antonio Ocampo of Columbia University, and Felia Salim of the Partnership for Governance Reform urge governments to consider establishing a new multilateral

Read More »

After Merkel

17 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 9, 2021

Germany’s federal election on September 26 will mark the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year chancellorship and could produce a new government coalition. With various permutations possible, many are wondering what will come next for Germany, the European Union, and the broader international order.
In this Big Picture, Sigmar Gabriel, a former foreign minister and vice chancellor in Merkel’s government, argues that the election campaign has highlighted the lack of a blueprint for where Germany and Europe should go in the next decade,

Read More »

AI Wars

24 days ago

Add to Bookmarks

Sep 2, 2021

Many think the artificial-intelligence revolution will be at least as big and transformative as the Industrial Revolution – and certainly faster. But geopolitical rivalries mean that governments are unlikely to agree on how to maximize AI’s benefits and limit its potential harms.
In this Big Picture, Eric Schmidt, a former CEO of Google/Alphabet and Chair of the US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, argues that democracies must come together to maintain AI leadership in the face of China’s increasingly

Read More »

The Anti-Vaxx Pox

August 12, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Aug 12, 2021

Despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe and effective against COVID-19, sizable minorities in many countries remain unconvinced or even hostile to this proven public-health measure. But while advanced economies grapple mainly with the problem of vaccine resistance, poorer countries’ immunization programs are lagging far behind.
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Jeffrey Frankel crunches the data to highlight the potentially fatal consequences of US Republican voters’ greater reluctance to accept COVID-19

Read More »

Say More Summer 2021 Reading List

August 10, 2021

Just in time for a bookshelf refresh, PS contributors share books that have inspired, enriched, or entertained them lately, and say why you should consider adding them to your summer reading list.

Robert B. Zoellick, America in the World: A History of US Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Twelve, 2020.Over the years, I have learned a great deal about US history and foreign and economic policy from Bob Zoellick. He has distilled much of his insight and experience into this book. For those who, like me, lack deep experience in foreign affairs, it is a must-read. Read more.

We hope you’re enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Read More »

Will Bidenomics Deliver?

August 5, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Aug 5, 2021

Opinion is divided as to whether US President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar spending programs and accompanying competition policies are precisely what the US economy needs. But one thing is clear: the transformative rhetoric behind the administration’s economic agenda has created a huge weight of expectation.
In this Big Picture, Laura Tyson, a former chair of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and McKinsey & Company’s Lenny Mendonca argue that the best analogy for Bidenomics is California, which has

Read More »

Crypto Crunch Time

July 29, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 29, 2021

The likelihood that the world’s major central banks will sooner or later issue their own digital currencies has brought increased scrutiny of the sector’s existing private players. Sooner or later, cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have long argued that politicians would never dare to regulate Bitcoin and the rest will need to think again.
In this Big Picture, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis argues that Bitcoin-like central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would make money more secure, transparent, and democratic. But

Read More »

The Latin American Tinderbox

July 22, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 22, 2021

Buffeted by social unrest, Latin American governments urgently need to revive growth, curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and restore trust in political institutions. Otherwise, the region may experience a revival of populism on both the right and the left, with unpredictable and potentially dangerous consequences.
In this Big Picture, Javier Solana, a former European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and Enrique V. Iglesias, a former president of the Inter-American Development Bank, argue that combating

Read More »

Tokyo’s COVID Games

July 15, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 15, 2021

The Summer Olympic Games, set to begin in Tokyo on July 23, will take place in mostly empty stadiums after an uptick in COVID-19 cases forced Japanese officials to bar spectators. While athletes from around the world will compete for gold, some observers are posing fundamental questions about why the Games exist at all.
In this Big Picture, Bill Emmott, co-director of the Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy, argues that the facts on the ground – specifically, Japan’s relatively low COVID-19 infection and death figures – leave

Read More »

Afghanistan on the Brink

July 8, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 8, 2021

The US military’s recent handover of the Bagram Air Base near Kabul to the Afghan government effectively marks the end of a 20-year war that has cost more than $2 trillion. With the Taliban, which had been removed from power by the 2001 US-led invasion, now poised to regain control, many in Afghanistan and the region are bracing for further conflict and chaos.
In this Big Picture, former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warns that the humanitarian consequences of the West’s withdrawal could be catastrophic. Former Swedish

Read More »

China’s Communists at 100

July 1, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jul 1, 2021

Under President Xi Jinping, the ruling Communist Party of China seems to regard North Korea rather than Singapore as its political model. But amid the fanfare of the CPC’s 100th anniversary on July 1, the more immediate question is whether the party can sustain the nationalism and strong economic growth that are essential to its legitimacy.
In this Big Picture, Minxin Pei of Claremont McKenna College highlights the poor longevity record of other dictatorial parties in modern times, and warns that the CPC’s current milestone may be

Read More »

Brexit Turns Five

June 24, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 24, 2021

Although it is still too soon to gauge the full impact of the United Kingdom’s momentous 2016 decision to leave the European Union, many Remainers have now resigned themselves to the fact and want Britain to do well outside the bloc. But how can the UK make the best of an unpromising situation?
In this Big Picture, Robert Skidelsky argues that the UK’s departure from an increasingly federalist EU may have been inevitable. But the University of Oxford’s Timothy Garton Ash thinks Brexit is the worst mistake that Britain has made since

Read More »

America’s Longest War

June 17, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 17, 2021

Until President Joe Biden took office, every US administration since 1971 had reaffirmed the country’s misguided and coercive drug-control policy. Having led the world into the drug war, America now has an obligation to help lead the way toward a more humane, evidence-based approach – but how?
In this Big Picture, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, and former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos of the Global Commission on Drug Policy welcome the Biden administration’s emphasis on

Read More »

Back to Health Special Edition

June 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. While some cities and countries are returning to a tenuous “old normal,” others are grappling with devastating third waves, and new virus variants continue to emerge. And yet, to bring societies worldwide back to health – and keep them that way – ending this pandemic is only the first step.
In today’s special Say More feature, four leading experts – former Rwandan Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho, Nobel laureate economist Angus Deaton, former Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden, and Vice President Social Impact of CEMEA at Visa Carl Manlan – consider what must come next.
All four of today’s featured contributors will be discussing these topics and more at Back to Health: Making Up for Lost Time, a

Read More »

China’s Population Bust

June 10, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 10, 2021

With the abolition of the one-child policy in 2015 having failed to prevent the country’s fertility rate from declining to Japanese levels, the Chinese government has announced that it will allow all families to have up to three children. What other measures can policymakers take to boost sluggish population growth – and should they even try?
In this Big Picture, Fudan University’s Zhang Jun argues that China’s rapidly falling fertility risks significantly undermining its future economic growth, and urges the government to raise the

Read More »

Biden’s Grand Tour

June 3, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jun 3, 2021

US President Joe Biden’s upcoming trip to Europe will include G7 and NATO summits, as well as meetings with European Union leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Repairing the damage to the transatlantic alliance caused by former President Donald Trump is crucial for Biden, not least to devise an effective response to an increasingly assertive China.
In this Big Picture, Melvyn B. Krauss of New York University argues that the Biden administration’s recent acceptance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany to

Read More »

Speed the Jab

May 27, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 27, 2021

In response to intensifying political pressure, US President Joe Biden’s administration now supports a waiver of intellectual-property rights for COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. But an IP waiver, although urgently needed to reduce suffering in low-income countries, may not be enough to accelerate the fight against the coronavirus.
In this Big Picture, Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch accuse private drug companies of deadly rent-seeking and rebut

Read More »

Gaza’s Forever War

May 20, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 20, 2021

The recent upsurge in violence between Hamas and Israel shows that the Palestinian cause has not gone away, despite the recent Abraham Accords establishing diplomatic relations between Israel and four Arab states. For Israel, the real danger lies not in Hamas-controlled Gaza, but in an increasingly mobilized Arab population within its own borders.
In this Big Picture, former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami says the current hostilities – including in mixed Jewish-Arab cities in pre-1967 Israel that were supposed to be

Read More »

The Future of Informality

May 13, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 13, 2021

The world’s two billion informal workers are a vital but often-neglected part of the global labor force, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to make conditions for them even more precarious. Improving their prospects will require not only new laws and regulations, but also a change in leaders’ mindsets.
In this Big Picture, Marty Chen of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) calls on governments to implement a New Deal that recognizes, protects, and supports informal workers and counters prevailing

Read More »

Busting Big Tech

May 6, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

May 6, 2021

The European Commission’s recent decision to charge Apple with antitrust violations is further evidence that regulators around the world are seeking to curtail the market power of Big Tech. But official motives differ considerably across countries, and breaking up today’s internet behemoths might not produce the desired result.
In this Big Picture, Columbia Law School’s Anu Bradford shows how America’s laissez-faire approach to governing the digital economy has enabled the European Union to emerge as the leading global rule-maker,

Read More »

Crossing the Rubicon of Price Stability

April 29, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Apr 29, 2021

The traditionally conservative world of monetary policymaking is undergoing a revolution, with many central bankers now aiming to align their institutions with efforts to combat global warming and inequality. How can policymakers best address these issues with their existing mandates and tools – and should they tackle others, too?
In this Big Picture, Daniel Gros of the Centre for European Policy Studies says that greening Europe’s monetary policy would encroach on the responsibilities of governments, and is thus incompatible with

Read More »

The Recovery of Women

April 22, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Apr 22, 2021

Women and girls have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 crisis – including in terms of job losses, domestic violence, mental-health problems, and an increasing burden of domestic labor and childcare. Will governments put their needs at the center of the post-pandemic agenda, and which priorities should come first?
In this Big Picture, María Fernanda Espinosa, a former president of the United Nations General Assembly, argues that achieving anything close to true gender equality will require addressing deeply entrenched

Read More »

The Great American Tax Gambit

April 15, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Apr 15, 2021

US President Joe Biden is seeking to raise America’s corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and introduce a global minimum corporate tax in order to halt an international “race to the bottom.” The bold proposal has sharpened the debate about how his administration should finance its ambitious spending plans, and, more broadly, how to tax increasingly footloose multinational companies.
In this Big Picture, MIT’s Daron Acemoglu welcomes Biden’s plan, saying that it would increase corporations’ share of US federal tax revenues and

Read More »

Economics Must Build Back Better, Too

April 1, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Apr 1, 2021

Thoughtful economists have long been concerned by their profession’s hubristic tendencies, collective attachment to questionable models, and lack of openness to new and different voices. Will the combined effect of the global financial crisis, the anti-globalization backlash, and now COVID-19 finally prompt the discipline to demonstrate greater humility and embrace genuine diversity?
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Dani Rodrik thinks that while economists can be justifiably proud of the power of their statistical and

Read More »

Bitcoin and Beyond

March 11, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Mar 11, 2021

The surging price of the world’s best-known cryptocurrency has made some investors rich and prompted skeptics to point to the excesses of the current bull market. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may offer a surer route to greater financial inclusion, but are policymakers and the public prepared for this potentially radical innovation?
In this Big Picture, Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff thinks that the COVID-19 pandemic could accelerate the emergence of CBDCs, and outlines two ways in which monetary policymakers could

Read More »

Is Inflation Alive?

March 4, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Mar 4, 2021

Inflation in most rich countries has been low since the 1990s, not least because of central banks’ success in lowering long-term inflation expectations. But today’s policymakers must weigh how far they can go in trying to engineer a post-pandemic recovery without unanchoring these firmly entrenched beliefs.
In this Big Picture, UBS Group AG Chairman Axel A. Weber warns that the pandemic – and expansionary fiscal and monetary policies in particular – could trigger higher inflation than many currently expect. But Harvard

Read More »

America’s Stimulus Debate

February 25, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

The US Congress is currently debating President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic rescue package, which includes a planned increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Policymakers and economists disagree not only about the appropriate size and scope of the measures, but also on the broader question of whether fiscal policy can and should return to center stage.
In this Big Picture, Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz says Biden’s spending plan is urgently needed, and warns that failure to enact a large recovery package risks doing enormous and possibly long-lasting

Read More »

How Secure is Putin?

February 18, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has become an even greater thorn in President Vladimir Putin’s side following his recovery from what was almost certainly a Kremlin-ordered poisoning last August. And the Putin regime’s brutal suppression of recent Navalny-inspired protests may intensify the country’s political polarization, forcing ordinary Russians to choose which side they are on.
In this Big Picture, Navalny, in an interview with Dozhd TV’s Tikhon Dzyadko, sees the assassination attempt against him as a sign of the Putin regime’s decay, and pledges to continue opposing the

Read More »

The Post-Pandemic Playbook

February 11, 2021

Add to Bookmarks

The COVID-19 crisis has not only highlighted many countries’ systemic weaknesses and inequities, but also provided policymakers with an opportunity to change their approach to tackling them. Choosing the right strategies and policies to foster a robust recovery and mitigate the risk of future crises will be essential.
In this Big Picture, Chatham House’s Jim O’Neill says the COVID-19 crisis has shown that governments can spend a lot more money without upsetting markets than most people thought, raising the prospect of more ambitious fiscal policies. This creates the scope needed to pursue

Read More »