This week’s stock market drop was machine-made. The freakout that followed was man-made.

“Dow plunges 391 points as fear grips markets.” A headline from two days ago? Try two years ago. Jan. 15, 2016, to be precise. The last time stocks exhibited the sharp sell-off — followed by an equally sharp run-up — that characterized the past few days. Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 1,600 points, the largest intraday point-drop ever,

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The Fed’s playbook says raise rates. What if that’s an obsolete game plan?

 

As congressional Republicans prepare to pass their tax bill , the Federal Reserve is about to say goodbye to Janet Yellen as chair. She’s had a good run: The United States and the world recovered from the financial crisis; steady, if unspectacular, growth resumed. Yet now the Fed is in an unusual spot as Jerome Powell takes over.

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Finally, a force that can stop Nationalism in the White House: Wealthy elites

The recent dustup over whether the Trump administration should withdraw the United States from the NAFTA accord cast the ongoing power struggle inside the White House in sharp relief. The conflict, often characterized as a duel between Steve Bannon and his ilk (nationalists) and Jared Kushner and his crew (“globalists,” according to Bannon), isn’t necessarily the choice we would want: who would pit wealthy elites against “burn baby burn”

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It’s not just Trump. People freaked out over Nixon and Reagan, too.

Donald Trump’s election has been greeted by a considerable portion of the country with panic. Large swaths of commentators have described his victory as a potential disaster for the nation — placing a “xenophobic racist” and “clown” in the Oval Office. One Hillary Clinton supporter outside her hotel in New York the morning after the election said, “I’m feeling physical pain. I’m shocked. I’m sad.” 

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The GOP is breaking. It’s not Trump’s fault.

We now have something like consensus: The rise of Donald Trump portends the end of the Republican Party as we know it. As longtime GOP operative and commentator Steve Schmidt said last week, “The Republican Party has an outstanding chance of fracturing.” Trump’s opponents, inside and outside the party, are united in the belief that he has almost single-handedly undone an institution founded on the eve of the Civil War that has lasted for more than 150 years and has immeasurably shaped the United States.

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‘Authoritative’ Pessimism in China

CHINA’S ECONOMY, long a source of global dynamism, is changing into a source of instability. Growth, still rapid by international standards, is gradually decelerating, as a nearly three-decade-old investment- and export-led strategy delivers diminishing returns. Yet the Communist Party, beholden to — or composed of — interest groups that benefit from the status quo, has not shifted decisively toward more reliance on consumer demand and investment by private firms. Instead, Beijing continues to goose short-term growth with loans to bloated state-owned banks and industries.

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China’s Buying Up Foreign Companies, So the U.S. Might Need to Rethink its Trade Strategy

CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping has a problem related to his nation’s growing demand for high-quality food and other agricultural products. In December 2013, Mr. Xi declared a strategic goal for China: to seize “the commanding heights in biotechnology,” in areas such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It must “not let large foreign companies dominate the agricultural biotechnology product market,” he said. However, China is still years behind the United States and Europe in research and development.

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Stop With the Fiction of a Binary Economy

The economy is a mess. It’s one thing many Americans and political candidates of all stripes seem to agree on. While it may be somewhat less of a mess than five years ago, the thinking goes, the current administration and Congress have done little to address the crushing challenges faced by large swaths of the American public.

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Bubble or Not, Don’t (Necessarily) Blame Fed

Toward the end of her Nov. 14 confirmation hearing to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen faced a question from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) about the effect of years of easy-money policies at the Fed: “Here’s what I’m saying. . . . I think the economy has gotten used to the sugar you’ve put out there. And I just worry you’re on a sugar high.” Yellen, who has been vice chair of the central bank since 2010, was not given time to address the charge, but her prominent role in supporting such policies gives us a strong sense of her answer.

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Another way to look at the national debt

Welcome to the next chapter of the endless debt debate. The release of a Congressional Budget Office report on the next 10 years of the U.S. economy ends a brief lull in Washington. As we return once again to our regularly scheduled program of “Crisis and Impasse,” let’s take a moment to consider the following heretical idea: We have no debt problem.

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Don’t blame China for America’s decline

Two things seem certain in modern presidential campaigns: Candidates will spend more time attacking each other than offering constructive alternatives, and one or both will attack China.In 1992, Bill Clinton accused President George H.W. Bush of coddling Chinese dictators. In 2004, John F. Kerry assailed “Benedict Arnold CEOs,” and by extension their allies in President George W. Bush’s administration, for shipping jobs to China.

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