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[OP-ED]: The curse of middle-aged capitalism -- for Trump and all of us

 08/21/2017 - 13:57
In 1995, the largest five firms by market “capitalization” (the value of a company’s shares) were old-line businesses: Exxon, AT&T, Coca Cola, General Electric and Merck. By 2015, only Exxon (now Exxon Mobil) remained.

 A persisting puzzle about the U.S. economy is how it can seem both strong and weak. On the one hand, it remains a citadel of innovation, producing new companies like Uber. On the other, the economy is expanding at a snail’s pace of 2 percent annually since 2010. How could both be true? Why isn’t innovation translating into faster growth? The answer -- or part of the answer -- is that American businesses are running on two separate tracks. Call them the “youthful” and “middle-aged” tracks.

[OP-ED]: Postponing the next recession?

 06/30/2017 - 08:37
Economists from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland -- a bank for government central banks -- find that the pass-through from wage increases to price increases has weakened. If this is confirmed and continues, it implies that inflation will remain tame for some time even if the economy continues to grow. EFE

This is not your father’s inflation -- and that’s good news. Business cycles often end when higher inflation causes a country’s central bank (the Federal Reserve in the United States) to raise interest rates, slowing the economy and, perhaps, triggering a recession. The good news: The next recession may be delayed, because the Phillips Curve has shifted.

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Economists from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland -- a bank for government central banks -- find that the pass-through from wage increases to price increases has weakened. If this is confirmed and continues, it implies that inflation will remain tame for some time even if the economy continues to grow. EFE

This is not your father’s inflation -- and that’s good news. Business cycles often end when higher inflation causes a country’s central bank (the Federal Reserve in the United States) to raise interest rates, slowing the economy and, perhaps, triggering a recession. The good news: The next recession may be delayed, because the Phillips Curve has shifted.