Kenneth Rogoff

Modern monetary nonsense

CAMBRIDGE – Just as the US Federal Reserve seems to have beaten back blistering tweets from President Donald Trump, the next battle for central-bank independence is already unfolding. And this one could potentially destabilise the entire global financial system. A number of leading US...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

Financial stability in abnormal times

CAMBRIDGE – A decade on from the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers constantly assure us that the system is much safer today. The giant banks at the core of the meltdown have scaled back their risky bets, and everyone – investors, consumers, and central bankers – is still...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

Risks to the global economy in 2019

CAMBRIDGE – As Mark Twain never said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where...

Monday, January 14, 2019, 12:27 AM

Central bankers’ fiscal constraints

CAMBRIDGE –If you ask most central bankers around the world what their plan is for dealing with the next normal-size recession, you would be surprised how many (at least in advanced economies) say “fiscal policy.” Given the high odds of a recession over the next two years –...

Saturday, January 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

Why human chess survives

CAMBRIDGE – With so much angst about artificial intelligence and the future of work, the recent world chess championship in London offers some hope. It is not that mankind has turned the tables on the march of progress. Rather, what is remarkable is what a creative and ultimately human match...

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:23 PM

‘Crazy Rich Asia’

CAMBRIDGE –In the surprise hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians” (based on a 2013 Kevin Kwan novel), a New York University economics professor (Rachel), travels with her boyfriend to Singapore to meet his family. There, she learns, apparently for the first time, that her significant other...

Friday, October 12, 2018, 11:51 PM

Big tech is a big problem

CAMBRIDGE – Have the tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – grown too big, rich, and powerful for regulators and politicians ever to take them on? The international investment community seems to think so, at least if sky-high tech valuations are any...

Monday, July 2, 2018, 10:16 PM

Are emerging markets the canary in the financial coal mine?

BUENOS AIRES – Are brewing exchange-rate and debt crises in Argentina and Turkey localised events without broader implications? Or are they early warning signs of deeper fragilities in bloated global debt markets that are being exposed as the US Federal Reserve continues to normalise interest...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 8:41 PM

Donald Trump’s normal Fed

CAMBRIDGE – In a presidency that has shown little regard for conventional institutional norms, how can one explain Donald Trump’s completely reasonable appointments to the Federal Reserve Board? The most recent nominations, Columbia professor Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman, the...

Monday, May 7, 2018, 12:00 AM

Will China really supplant US economic hegemony?

CAMBRIDGE – As China and the United States engage in their latest trade tussle, most economists take it as a given that China will achieve global economic supremacy in the long run, no matter what happens now. After all, with four times as many people as the US, and a determined program to...

Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 12:47 AM

Protectionism will not protect jobs anywhere

CAMBRIDGE – As US and European political leaders fret about the future of quality jobs, they would do well to look at the far bigger problems faced by developing Asia – problems that threaten to place massive downward pressure on global wages. In India, where per capita income...

Thursday, August 3, 2017, 12:00 AM

The Eurozone must reform or die

OXFORD – With the election of a reform-minded centrist president in France and the re-election of German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeming ever more likely, is there hope for the stalled single-currency project in Europe? Perhaps, but another decade of slow growth, punctuated by periodic debt-...

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 12:00 AM

Growing out of populism?

CAMBRIDGE – After nine dreary years of downgrading their GDP forecasts, macroeconomic policymakers around the world are shaking their heads in disbelief: Despite a populist-propelled wave of political tumult, global growth is actually set to outperform expectations in 2017. It’s not...

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 12:00 AM

Is the Fed playing politics?

CAMBRIDGE – In his recent debate with his opponent Hillary Clinton, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pressed his claim that US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is politically motivated. The Fed, Trump claims, is applying overdoses of monetary stimulus to hypnotize voters into...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

The case against cash

CAMBRIDGE – The world is awash in paper currency, with major country central banks pumping out hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth each year, mainly in very large denomination notes such as the $100 bill. The $100 bill accounts for almost 80% of the US’s stunning $4,200 ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 12:00 AM

The overselling of financial transaction taxes

Kenneth Rogoff CAMBRIDGE – However November’s presidential election in the United States turns out, one proposal that will likely live on is the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT). While by no means a crazy idea, an FTT is hardly the panacea that its hard-left advocates hold it...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 12:00 AM

The fear factor in global markets

Kenneth Rogoff CAMBRIDGE – The phenomenal market volatility of the past year owes much to genuine risks and uncertainties about factors such as Chinese growth, European banks, and the oil glut. For the first two months of this year, many investors were panicked that even the United States, the...

Friday, March 11, 2016, 12:00 AM

The great escape from China

Kenneth Rogoff CAMBRIDGE – Since 2016 began, the prospect of a major devaluation of China’s renminbi has been hanging over global markets like the Sword of Damocles. No other source of policy uncertainty has been as destabilizing. Few observers doubt that China will have to let the renminbi...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 12:00 AM

Oil prices and global growth

CAMBRIDGE –One of the biggest economic surprises of 2015 is that the stunning drop in global oil prices did not deliver a bigger boost to global growth. Despite the collapse in prices, from over $115 per barrel in June 2014 to $45 at the end of November 2015, most macroeconomic models suggest...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 12:00 AM

The Fed's communication breakdown

Kenneth Rogoff CAMBRIDGE – Nothing describes the United States Federal Reserve’s current communication policy better than the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee. Various members of the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) have called the decision to...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 12:00 AM