Authors: Georgia Levenson Keohane and Saadia Madsbjerg
Assessments of how governments and international organizations have dealt with global challenges often feature a familiar refrain: when it comes to funding, there was too little, too late. The costs of economic, social, and environmental problems compound over time, whether it’s an Ebola outbreak that escalates to an epidemic, a flood of refugeesthat tests the strength of the EU, or the rise of social inequalities that reinforce poverty.
In every single region of the world, economic growth has failed to return to the rate it averaged before the Great Recession. Economists have come up with a variety of theories for why this recovery has been the weakest in postwar history, including high indebtedness, growing income inequality, and excess caution induced by the original debt crisis.
When oil prices plunged in 2014, many analysts predicted that major exporters would have to drastically cut supply or else risk fiscal and geopolitical instability. Michael Levi explains why these predictions have been proven wrong.
Much of the outrage over economic inequality in the United States has centered on the high compensation and lack of accountability that corporate executives supposedly enjoy -- allegedly the result of boards at public companies. The truth, however, is that American CEOs now earn less and get fired more than in the recent past.
Inequality is rising across the post-industrial capitalist world. The problem is not caused by politics and politics will never be able to eliminate it. But simply ignoring it could generate a populist backlash. Governments must accept that today as ever, inequality and insecurity are the inevitable results of market operations. Their challenge is to find ways of shielding citizens from capitalism's adverse consequences -- even as they preserve the dynamism that produces capitalism's vast economic and cultural benefits in the first place.
With markets rattled by the downgrade of U.S. debt, some experts fear running out of policy tools to prevent another global recession, while others are calling on government and central banks to improve fiscal and monetary policy coordination.
The global financial crisis has taken a particularly harsh toll on Russia, where the leading stock index has lost more than half its value since July. Moscow has devised a bailout package, but analysts say more pain could be on the way, particularly if oil prices keep falling.
As the most powerful emerging economies—Brazil, China, and India—slow after years of unprecedented growth, panic over their challenge to global order seems unfounded. But stalled performance does not make them irrelevant, and advanced economies should integrate them into global economic institutions, writes Miles Kahler in World Politics Review.