Martin Feldstein

Why is the Fed still raising interest rates?

CAMBRIDGE – Earlier this month, the US Federal Reserve’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to increase the short-term interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, taking it from 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent. This was the fourth increase in 12...

Saturday, December 29, 2018, 12:00 AM

How to save social security systems

CAMBRIDGE –Every society faces the difficult task of providing support for older people who are no longer working. In an earlier era, retirees lived with their adult children, providing childcare and helping around the house. But those days are largely gone. Retirees and their adult children...

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:27 PM

Global aging and fiscal solvency

CAMBRIDGE  –  Government programmes to support retirees are in trouble in every country, owing to increasing life expectancy and the rising ratio of retirees to taxpayers. The problem will worsen in the years ahead as the adverse demographic trend increases the fiscal burden of...

Monday, July 2, 2018, 10:14 PM

Why are US interest rates high and rising?

New savers in the United States stand to gain as returns on savings – which have been subject to severe financial repression for most of the last decade – begin to rise. But higher interest rates could leave homeowners and shareholders vulnerable to losses. CAMBRIDGE – Long-term...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 12:00 AM

Trump’s foreign policy reversals

CAMBRIDGE – During his first 100 days in office, US President Donald Trump reversed many of the major positions on defense and trade policy that he had advocated during his presidential campaign. And these reversals have yielded some positive results. Trump’s policy toward China is the...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017, 12:00 AM

A conservative plan to combat global warming

CAMBRIDGE – I recently joined several other former senior Republican officials in proposing a plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The group includes Jim Baker, Henry Paulson, and George Shultz all of them Republican former treasury secretaries  as well as my Harvard colleague Greg...

Thursday, February 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

The destructive power of inflation

CAMBRIDGE – When I was in Argentina last week, I was reminded of the devastating power of high inflation. Argentina’s annual inflation rate is now about 20%, down from an estimated rate of about 40% last year. The central bank is struggling to keep the economy on a disinflationary path, with a...

Saturday, December 24, 2016, 12:00 AM

A Debt Agenda for the G7

Martin Feldstein CAMBRIDGE – On May 26-27, the heads of the Group of Seven leading industrial countries will gather in Japan to discuss common security and economic problems. A major common problem that deserves their attention is the unsustainable increase in the major developed countries’...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 12:00 AM

The global economy confronts four geopolitical risks

CAMBRIDGE – The end of the year is a good time to consider the risks that lie ahead of us. There are of course important economic risks, including the mispricing of assets caused by a decade of ultra-low interest rates, the shifts in demand caused by the Chinese economy’s changing...

Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 12:00 AM

Are US middle-class incomes really stagnating?

CAMBRIDGE – The challenge of raising the incomes of middle-class families has emerged as an important focus of the presidential election campaign in the United States. Everyone agrees that incomes at the top have surged ahead in recent decades, helped by soaring rewards for those with a high-...

Saturday, August 1, 2015, 12:00 AM

The inflation puzzle

CAMBRIDGE – The low rate of inflation in the United States is a puzzle, especially to economists who focus on the relationship between inflation and changes in the monetary base. After all, in the past, increases and decreases in the growth rate of the monetary base (currency in circulation...

Saturday, May 30, 2015, 12:00 AM

America's risky recovery

Martin Feldstein CAMBRIDGE – The United States’ economy is approaching full employment and may already be there. But America’s favorable employment trend is accompanied by a substantial increase in financial-sector risks, owing to the excessively easy monetary policy that was used to achieve...

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 12:00 AM

The geopolitical impact of cheap oil

CAMBRIDGE –The price of oil has fallen more than 25% in the past five months, to less than $80 a barrel. If the price remains at this level, it will have important implications – some good, some bad – for many countries around the world. If it falls further, as seems likely, the...

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 12:00 AM

Mexico's powerful energy reforms

Martin Feldstein Mexico City – Mexico is poised to become Latin America’s economic star in the coming decade. The government’s recent reform of the energy sector will contribute directly to economic performance by reducing the cost of manufacturing. In the context of the North American Free...

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

Why the Fed will go faster

CAMBRIDGE – The US Federal Reserve has emphasized that its monetary policy will be determined by what economic indicators show. But it would require some extremely unlikely data to change the Fed’s implicit plan to end its purchases of long-term assets (so-called quantitative easing) in...

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 12:00 AM

A tale of two Genocides - And the poor attempt at revisionism

The BBC documentary aired on October 1 titled “Rwanda’s untold Story” unfortunately was a bizarre attempt to distort well documented events before, during and after the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. As one of many who found themselves in Rwanda in 1994 (in my case...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 12:00 AM

Bringing it back home

CAMBRIDGE – An increasing number of American companies are making plans to shift their headquarters to Europe. These so-called “inversions” would reduce these companies’ total tax bill by allowing them to escape from the United States’ uniquely unfavorable corporate...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:00 AM

New hope for India

CAMBRIDGE – India’s recent general election could be the most important positive economic event of 2014. Indian voters decisively rejected the Congress party, which had governed India virtually without interruption since it gained independence from Britain in 1947. They are likely to be...

Monday, June 30, 2014, 12:00 AM

A weaker Euro for a stronger Europe

DESPITE THE recent upturn in some of its member countries, the eurozone’s economy remains in the doldrums, with the overall rate of annual GDP growth this year likely to be only slightly higher than 1%.  Even Germany’s growth rate is below 2%, while GDP is still declining in...

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 12:00 AM

Looking up in 2014?

CAMBRIDGE – For the past six years, I have been skeptical about the standard optimistic forecasts of the pace of US economic growth in the year ahead. Where most forecasters and policy officials saw green shoots and reasons for confidence, I saw strong headwinds that would cause an economic...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 12:00 AM