Wednesday, October 22, 2014
38

大阻力

纽约—2008年,金融危机爆发后不久,决策者成功地阻止了大衰退滑向第二次大萧条,秘诀就在于阻止了保护主义者和内向政策的要求。但如今反对全球化——以及随之而来的商品、服务、资本、劳动力和技术的更自由的流动——的力量来临了。

这一新民族主义具有不同的经济形式:贸易壁垒、资产保护、针对外国直接投资的行动、偏袒本国工人和企业的政策、反移民措施、国家资本主义以及资源民族主义。在政治领域,民粹主义、反全球化、反移民甚至赤裸裸的种族主义和反犹主义政党正在崛起。

这些势力厌恶超国家治理机构的缩写简称——EU(欧盟)、UN(联合国)、WTO(世界贸易组织)和IMF(国际货币基金组织)等——这些机构都是全球化的必要条件。甚至成为过去二十年全球化缩影的或联网也面临惨遭分割的前景,因为极权国家——包括中国、伊朗、土耳其和俄罗斯——试图限制社交媒体的接入和镇压言论自由。

这些趋势的主要原因是明确的。从美国经济复苏开始,宣扬保护主义措施的民粹主义政党指责对外贸易和外国工人是经济长期萎靡的罪魁。使之雪上加霜的是收入和财富不平等在大部分国家呈现加剧之势,更不用说赢家通吃经济所造成的只有精英才能从中获益的感觉和政治制度扭曲的日益普遍了。如今,发达经济体(比如在美国,财大气粗的商业利益集团为当选官员提供取之不竭的资金,而这是合法的腐败)和新兴市场(通常由寡头住在经济和政治体系)似乎都在为极少数人服务。

相反,对很多人来说,看到的只有长期停滞,萧条的就业和不见增长的工资。由此造成的工作和中产阶级经济不安全感在欧洲和欧元区最为尖锐,在该地区的许多国家,民粹主义政党——主要集中在极右翼——在上周的欧洲议会选举中表现胜过了主流政党。正如20世纪30年代大萧条为意大利、德国和西班牙的集权政府崛起铺平了道路,今天我们也看到了相同的趋势。

如果收入和就业不能快速赶上,民粹主义政党将在欧洲的国家层面愈加接近掌权,反欧洲情绪将阻挠欧洲经济和政治一体化的进程。更糟糕的是,欧元区可能再次陷入风险:一些国家(英国)可能退出欧盟;另一些国家(英国、西班牙和比利时)可能最终陷入分裂。

甚至在美国,广大白人下层阶级感到来自移民和全球化的威胁,他们的经济不安全感可以从极右翼和共和党的茶党派影响力日增中一窥端倪。这些群体的特征是经济本土主义、反移民和保护主义倾向、宗教狂热以及地缘政治孤立主义。

俄罗斯和许多东欧和中亚地区也可以看到这一动态的变种。在这些地区,柏林墙的倒塌并没有带来民主、经济自由化和快速的产出增长。相反,民族主义和集权主义政权统治了过去四分之一世纪中的大部分时间,追求只能保证低迷经济表现的国家资本主义增长模式。在这样的背景下,必须将俄罗斯总统普京动摇乌克兰的行为置于他领导“欧亚联盟”的梦想中加以考察。“欧亚联盟”是略加掩饰的再建前苏联的计划。

在亚洲,民族主义也在卷土重来。中国、日本、韩国以及现在的印度的新领导层都是政治民族主义者,该地区的领土纠纷依然严重,由来已久的历史恩怨也愈演愈烈。这些国家的领导人——以及正在向类似的民族主义倾斜的泰国、马来西亚和印尼领导人——如果想要让回落的经济增长重新获得动力并且(对新兴市场而言)避免中等收入陷阱,就必须解决重大结构性改革挑战。经济失败可能助长更大的民族主义和排外主义倾向——甚至触发军事冲突。

与此同时,中东仍处于停滞不前状态。阿拉伯之春——拜低增长、高年轻人失业和普遍的经济绝望所赐——已经转变为埃及和利比亚的暗无天日,上述两国的替代方案是回归极权强人和政治混乱时代。叙利亚和也门内战肆虐;黎巴嫩和伊拉克也可能面临类似的命运;伊朗自身既不稳定,对其他国家也是威胁;而阿富汗和巴基斯坦也越来越像是失败之国。

在所有这些例子中,经济失败以及穷人和年轻人看不见机会和希望助长了政治和宗教极端主义和对西方的仇恨,一些国家甚至因此兴起了恐怖主义。

20世纪30年代,没能阻止大萧条让欧洲和亚洲的极权政权赢得了权力,最终导致了第二次世界大战。这一回,大衰退引起的危险让大部分发达经济体面临着长期停滞,也给新兴市场造成了严重的结构性增长挑战。

这简直是经济和政治民族主义理想的温床。今天的贸易和全球化阻力应该置于这样的环境下去审视:从历史经验看,接下去会发生什么?

Hide Comments Hide Comments Read Comments (38)

Please login or register to post a comment

  1. Commentedsrinivasan gopalan

    With his characteristic pessimism, Roubini has drawn a scary scenario as if the universe has developed self -destructive passion to doom itself! The reality is far removed as people the world over do not get hoodwinked by ideologies of questionable and dubious values. Centuries ago English bard pertinently and persuasively said that "on what basis when we see nothing but improvements behind us, are we to expect nothing but disaster before us?". Let us not get carried away by prophets of doom to wallow ourselves in the slough of sloth and supineness but instead with grit and determination rise above to work for the welfare of humanity in our individual capacity under whatever leaders our lot is cast! G.Srinivasan, Journalist, New Delhi, India
    Nail a

  2. CommentedLeo Arouet

    De alguna manera tiene razón sobre el resurgimiento nacionalismos, sin embargo olvida que la globalización y las deslocalizaciones, en vez de ser una ventaja, es algo negativo para muchos países. Miremos la avalancha de productos textiles chinos en el Perú ha casi tumbado a la industria textil peruana con productos baratos de mala calidad. Los tratados de libre comercio son desleales y otorgan beneficios a los países impulsores; los más se llevan la peor parte con medicamentos demasiados caros, el pago de patentes que antes eran libres, etc., y uno de esos tratados está promoviendo Estados Unidos actualmente. Entonces, allí tiene razón cuando dice que la gente está molesta por los empleos perdidos, y es debido a estos privilegios que se otorgan a los culpables de la crisis.

  3. CommentedErik Hare

    I favor the term "Managed Depression" to describe the situation for exactly this reason. The greater system worked more or less as it was supposed to by preventing a complete economic collapse, but it was unable to prevent the social upheaval and other effect that come in a Depression. If nothing else, the term "Great Recession" should be seen as a euphemism - what is such a thing if not a Depression? And there is considerable evidence that it started with the bear market in 2001 or so.
    The rise of nationalism is completely understandable in this context. Without a corresponding economic collapse the general failures of social structures and loss of jobs appear to tie directly to the rapid change occurring throughout the world. A very natural response is to want to go back to the "good old days". While this impulse is completely understandable, it is still a terrible problem that does threaten global stability.
    A small dose of turning inward would certainly benefit developed nations - and apparently has worked well in Japan. It's the accompanying nationalism and religious conservatism that is the problem. In a sense, the backlash is operating as effectively as the Managed Depression itself - the system is working to a great extent but neglecting fundamental issues that matter to the people of this world.

  4. CommentedKuldeep Reddy

    Yes, I completely agree with your idea of rising nationalism in the recent times. Even in India (where I come from), we could see a huge development of the nation in the financial sector with the advent of Mr.Modi as the new prime minister.

  5. CommentedJan Smith

    International economic conflict is an essential part of globalization, not something external to it. The conflict is best conceived as an an international thrift race. (A thrift race is the economic counterpart of an arms race.)

    The financial crisis both resulted from and accelerated the thrift race. Taken together, the crisis and the acceleration intensified nationalism and its complement, which is xenophobia. So xenophobia, no less than mutually beneficial trade, is part of globalization, not something external to it.

    Keynes knew in 1944 how to slow the thrift race. Geithner in 2009 was Keynes redux. Both were rebuffed, Keynes by the Americans and Geithner by the Germans.

    Is there still time to get off the road to war, do you think?








  6. Commentedj. von Hettlingen

    Mr. Roubini, there is a "backlash against globalization", but it is not a "great" one! It's true that left and right fringe parties in the West "loathe the alphabet soup of supra-national governance institutions – the EU, the UN, the WTO, and the IMF ". Fortunately they do not dominate the political landscape. Should they rise to power, they would just be a flash in the pan, because their ideologies are usually not viable.
    Economic meltdown as a result of high unemployment, shrinking income and rising costs of living has always "provided an opening for populist parties, promoting protectionist policies, to blame foreign trade and foreign workers" for the woes of the "working and middle classes". These segments of the society see globalisation as a threat, when their jobs are being allocated to countries of lower labour costs.

    European populist parties have forgotten that Europe has been enjoying peace for 70 years, thanks to the imperative of several politicians in the post-war Europe to build relationships across the continent to guard against any such catastrophe recurring. They believed that the best solution to a conflict is the spread of democracy.

    The European founding fathers banked on the principle that "democracies don't go to war with each other", laid down by Immanuel Kant in his "Perpetual Peace", published in 1795. Kant's theory was that democratic leaders would be restrained by the resistance of their people to bearing the costs and deaths of war. A democratic culture of negotiation and conciliation, plus the hurdles to taking swift action, would favour peace.

    That many Europeans appreciate the existence of the European Union can be reflected in the limited electoral support for the far left or far right populist parties two weeks ago in the EU parliamentary election. The EU has noble ideals. That it is far from perfect has much to do with bad politicians, who make mistakes. But this institution still has potential to maintain peace and stabilitiy.

    Unfortunately it lacks a notable counterpart in Asia and in other parts of the world. It explains the widespread of desperation and hostility in some regions. It took Europe two hundred years after the French Revolution to arrive at this point of its democratisation process. Every now and then it sees a backlash, but there is still hope for optimism that its path is the right one.

  7. CommentedTom Shillock

    For economists since Ricardo if not Adam Smith it is axiomatic that trade is good and more trade is better. Could it be that economic globalization or economic development more generally heightens differences between economic winners and losers that strain democratic institutions and their social fabrics? The parallels between 1870 to 1914 and the last two decades of the 20th century seem too large to ignore. Unfortunately, it also seems that economists are content to castigate if not sacrifice the losers as impediments to their dogmatic economic utopia.

    Globalization and the New Comparative Economic History
    http://www.nber.org/reporter/winter06/taylor.html

  8. Commentedsteve from virginia


    Dr. Doom writes about boisterous economic growth as if it is a natural state of affairs that has been mysteriously sidetracked. All that is needed is ... ??? No ideas from Doom.

    The 'alphabet soup' of despised international agencies -- which has to include the CIA, NSA, USMC and Halliburon, Exxon-Mobil, Monsanto, JP Morgan-Chase -- are not particularly relevant, they are the vultures picking over the corpse of industrial modernity, by doing so trying to revive it.

    Europe is broke for the same reason as Japan, US, China ... Russia are broke; non-remunerative industrial enterprises that grow fat on credit, that succeed by destroying capital. Nazis cannot bring back the industrial heydays, neither can moderates.

    Capital includes petroleum, fresh water, topsoil, waste-carrying capacity, strategic minerals and other non-renewable resources. In a way, credit is also a non-renewable resource because it exists only where there is institutional credibility.

    With the capital exhausted the bosses are helpless. We are victims of our own success. As such there is no way to regain growth only to adapt to a world without.

  9. Commentedde Lafayette

    {NR: But now the backlash against globalization – and the freer movement of goods, services, capital, labor, and technology that came with it – has arrived.}

    This is not the first-time that the backlash has been felt, and too will pass. Let's not forget that when given the chance the EU-voters were against an EU constitution for almost the same reasons.

    That is, no real reason at all. Just a means of giving its politicians an embarrassing slap in the face. (Americans should have the courage to do as much!)

    When 60% of the total of all EU country exports is inter-EU, it is obvious that the EU countries are all in the same boat.

    Let's just hope it is not the Titanic. For the moment, it isn't. We've hit an economic downdraft brought about by the Toxic Waste Mess that triggered a seizure of the American national Credit-Mechanism, which in turn caused the Great Recession of 2009.

    Thank you, Uncle Sam! Next time, keep your excesses to yourself!

    Yes, we have not yet seen the light at the end of the tunnel - but it will come. We need not overly worry, even though such troubling journalism seems to have no end of itself presently.

    The EU is mending, people are surviving, Demand is rebuilding slowly as it should - slowly but surely.

    What? Me worry ... ?

  10. CommentedSharon Curran

    I agree with a lot of what Mr. Roubini has to say; I think he is an ethical man. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ethical world. Temporary Foreign Workers, in Canada for instance, are not the requirement of an economy in need of additional workers, but of companies using Workers that can be taken advantage of for profits. If we're in a growing mess it's not just a reaction to globalization, but to the increasing disparity between the rich and poor. Yes, it's given rise to nationalism but also to the realization that poor people don't love working for minimum wages and, in fact, have begun to recognize their labour has been used to increase that wealth disparity.

  11. CommentedKevin Zeese

    The reason there is a backlash is because the trade agreements are rigged for transnational corporations. They put their profits ahead of people and planet. They pit massive transnationals against smaller businesses. The agreements are negotiated in secret, except for hundreds of transnationals who help write the text. Now, these agreements even make big corporations more powerful than governments, undermining the sovereignty of nations.

    If you want trade -- and most people do -- it needs to be transformed to a new kind of trade that puts improving the lives of people and protecting the planet before massive profits for politically connected transnational corporations. Trade should not further expand the wealth divide -- as it has done for the last two decades -- it should shrink it by improving labor standards and sharing wealth more equitably. It needs to negotiated in an open, transparent and democratic way and enforced in a legitimate court not a rigged trade tribunal where the judges are corporate lawyers on leave from their corporate job. The backlash is an opportunity to remake trade so it serves the people and is not rigged for the wealthiest.

  12. CommentedCharles XIA

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin’s destabilization of Ukraine"
    Now I am confirmed that Mr. Roubini is nothing but a big liar with political agenda. US spent 5 billion together with EU to stage the Maiden coup d'etat to oust the democratically elected Ukrainian president and hired gunman to shoot indiscriminately to provoke violence. But eventually Mr. Roubini comes to the conclusion that it is Putin that "destabilize Ukraine". Bravo, really, bravo on your super logic.

  13. CommentedM1ro Br@da

    It is not an exaggeration to write that economics as such can't resolve today situation, because it does not solve real problems, which is more and more visible.
    The new philosophy could help things to move - because economists by endless computations just pretend understanding (usually ex post), and of course avoid responsibility...
    http://mirobrada.blogspot.co.uk/

  14. CommentedFrederick Hastings

    A quintessential example of pure spin, so pure it risks caricature. A straw man is being created here—religious fanatics, nativists, xenophobics—and the cure, according to Nouribini, is more of what they are really rebelling against: more statism, more anti-democratic "major structural-reforms" and the like. In Thailand they are reading "1984," not Piketty.

  15. CommentedRobert Snashall

    I must say I'm a bit disappointed by this article considering Roubini usually writes cracking articles.
    On the one hand, he seems to imply that rise of the backlash is a bad thing and that globalization should not be tamed, the freer the movement of everything the better; all the standard neoclassical bullshit.
    At the same time however Roubini realizes that large segments of society who have not benefited from globalisation and immigration and are thus exceptionally dissatisfied.
    Whilst I am the child of an immigrant, I do not believe that free flow immigration is necessarily correct. The labour market effects are mainly towards those of the lower income groups, who are rejecting this immigration, and us on this site, generally affluent educated people, like Roubini, dismiss them as racist. Of course there's a minority who are... I've gone off topic.

    Anyway, so Roubini has identified there's a backlash and disagree's with what they want policy wise. What do we do about this? What should the poor disaffected underclass really be voting for?

  16. CommentedJoshua Ioji Konov

    The disposition of current reality by this article is supreme, however, the suggestions by the author given in his other articles and papers are lacking resolution. The change needed to the Global economy in order more countries and markets to benefit from the Globalization lays deep into the marginalization of the unfair competition between the large international corporations and the local small and medium companies, that only could be done by imposing the Rule of Law in Business to replace the Shady Business has practiced since,

  17. CommentedJim Hodgen

    SO the pouring of conscripted and compelled monies by unions is not a corruption of the election process but the pouring of monies by private individuals is? How erudite and thoughtful. IS this a commendation for the efforts of the populists or awarning or a 'how to'?

    Very convoluted, almost a kitchen sink of concepts. What is not included in tthe didactic soup is the inclusion of social-welfare banners and the Piketty's crying for the elite to rise up at the head of the masses to save them. that is where the problems will strike from, not the merely economic fallout of the abrogation of process for the appeal to the mob.

    The cause is obscured, but the outcome is accurate.

  18. CommentedDavid Keller

    Perhaps I misread - but where in this article is talk about the Authoritarian movement of the current US Government?
    We have a President that violates law, governs with Executive Orders, uses many Dept. to spy on us, supports Crony Capitalism, is corrupt as Nixon was, etc.

    A blind eye?

  19. CommentedBoon Tee

    Globalization appears to have lost its glamour gradually. At the end of the day, the powerful is still in charge and calls the shot. while we human beings remain the victims of evolution.

  20. CommentedWilliam Fortuner

    The fundamental problem is slow economic growth that isn't raising the standard of living and providing good paying jobs. There any many causes but it isn't simply due to the great recession and an anemic recovery. The structural problems that are causing the slow growth were here before the recession and haven't been addressed. In fact the remedy for the recession of massive increase in public debt and money printing are killing the patient. The global economy wants a deflationary reset but all the governments of the world are fighting it with more and more debt and printing. A deflationary reset would be very painful but in a reasonable period of time prices would be in line with consumers incomes and the global economy would have found a floor to support growth. The issue is what to do with global debt and the only answer is multilateral debt restructuring with global commitments to structural reforms. The reforms include drastically decreasing the size and scope of government in the developed countries. Legal and regulatory reform that limits the enormous waste of capital in useless litigation. Marked decrease in entitlement programs that drain most countries of productive capital. Policies that reward families and having children. Effective and prudent regulatory reform of capital markets to return its primary purpose to investment not speculation. Reform education and especially higher education to lower costs and educate students for the jobs of the future. Finally address health care costs by decreasing bureaucracy and regulations and especially addressing the obesity epidemic in the US. One way to tackle obesity is stop causing food price inflation so people can eat nutrient dense food not empty calories.
    I doubt that any of this will happen and the worrisome prognostications of professor Roubini will come true.

  21. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    I think for discussions related to globalization we would need to take a step back from our human pride and realize that we are not above the natural system we evolved from.
    We are still bound by all of this system's laws, and we are also part of the evolutionary process continuing in it.

    So it would be useful considering the following:
    Globalization stronger interconnections, inter-dependency is not man-made, it is a necessary evolutionary process.
    As evolutionary biologists explain the initially individual, self serving, competing cells recognized that they can survive better and longer, they can prosper more effectively by mutually connecting, cooperating, giving up their individual calculations for collective calculations.
    This is how multi-cellular organisms appeared, developed and got more and more complex as evolution continued.

    In nature it has happened, and still happens instinctively, automatically as apart from human beings every cell and organism is still instinctively connected to nature's system.

    Humanity is different, we have lost this instinctive connection, perception thus individualism, self-centered calculations, and the external expressions like racism, extreme nationalism are still very strong despite all the signs around us pointing towards the necessity of interconnections and mutually complementing cooperation for the sake of the whole species.

    We have reached this very volatile, sensitive paradox today where on one hand we have evolved into a global, integral human network within the global integral nature, but we still stubbornly try to preserve our individualism, nationalism, and ruthless competition with each other even to the point of self destruction.

    In the lack of the instinctive feeling of belonging we have to "re-educate" ourselves, learn and understand that it is actually in our best interest to behave like any other cell and organism in nature, mutually working together for the benefit of the whole since the prosperity, success of the individual is directly dependent on the prosperity and success of the collective.
    And in a global integral world the collective means the whole of humanity.

    We cannot change our nature, we will always remain unique, individualistic or even nationalistic. But we can all mutually agree to building a collective network on top of this human nature in order to keep our common boat afloat, solve our global problems together, conquer, explore and prosper together instead of doing it against each other potentially seriously depleting, even exterminating the species in the process.

    And only a balanced, mutually cooperative humanity can be a benevolent part of the system of nature based on the "law of equivalence of form".

      CommentedJohn Smith

      Using the analogy of our planet being an interconnected living organism, it is not only normal, but healthy at times for the body to kill off billions of it's cells that it considers unhealthy for the benefit of the survival of the whole.

      Often, before the host can identify and produce the proper antibodies for a specific virus, the body will defensively raise it's temperature in an attempt to kill off the cells weakened by the viral or bacterial invader.

      This is the natural and logical conclusion of collectivism, which goes a long way toward explaining how Stalinist Russia could kill off 20 million of it's own people without outcry or a place next to Hitler in the public consciousness.

      If you really think we need to abandon our individuality and "selfishness" for the good of the collective, i would like to invite you to be the first to kill yourself for the good of the whole.

  22. CommentedRick Biondi

    It's not a coincendence that Under Secretary of State Will Clayton helped establish the Atlantic Union Committee in 1949 after the ITO failed to be ratified. Clayton, who worked on the GATT, supported the Atlantic Union idea for similar reasons our Founders decided to replace, rather than repair, the Articles of Confederation. The problem with globalization is not the concept of free trade, it's the myth of smart people coupled with inadequate representation. Government planning and intervention in the market is not a suitable alternative to market failures. Hopefully, someday the great socialist expiriment will end and be replaced by a libertarian world order.

  23. CommentedCitizen Kane

    So, essentially what your premise is is this, given that the only people who object to the horrifically bad economy in the US under Obama, the worsening of US relations with almost every Nation across the globe, , the wider the divide between the races under Obama, and the most horrific distance between the Obama Stock market Rich and the rest of us is this....libs must not mind this because according to the author, only Conservatives are upset about the declining state of the USA and Liberals are actually heralding this because either they are far too stupid to see the decline of America under Obama, to USA Liberals, America is and always will be evil and thus must fail.....

    Ok, I agree. next?

  24. CommentedTimothy Williamson

    Nouriel, yes, there is a backlash, but the overall trend is toward greater federalization of regions globally. The backlash is a response to popular concerns, but does not reflect where the world is actually headed. Here's my take on this ----
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CVidCo05M8Ky3-5Y1q1MAFiO4w62QJHKO0RoTk32x6M/edit?usp=sharing

  25. CommentedChris Jones

    Uber nationalism along with xenophobia indeed has combined in the past and resulted in the formation of destructive regimes.
    I take issue with the mis-characterization of the Tea Party in advocating enforcement of existing immigration laws instead of issuing blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants. We nearly all descend from immigrants and have benefited throughout our history from the innovative imagination of immigrants fleeing their former homelands. Are there xenophobic elements in the Tea Party? Surely, as there are in any political group, but the Tea Party focus in centered on reining in the leviathan of excessive government.
    I am of the opinion that this administration and their continuing "blame America" attitude in down playing American milestones in political freedom, free market principles, and monumental technical achievements are directly responsible for the ugly reappearance of uber nationalism and xenophobic resurgence.

  26. CommentedK Chandra

    Perhaps what will come next is not a world war but a simple reversion to the mean as the globalisation pendulum has swung too far too quickly to one extreme. Perhaps what will come next is not strong multilateral institutions but a multitude of bilateral arrangements. The EU is a flawed model with an unviable monetary union without a fiscal and political union, and an unsustainable loose immigration policy controlled by Brussels with little influence from most individual states. Coupled with a weak economic recovery and the pain inflicted through austerity over many peripheral countries for too long, the EU runs a bigger risk of creating instability than other parts of the world.

  27. CommentedPaul Daley

    Some of the discontent over globalization just reflects how partial the process has really been. Goods and services are traded in well-organized global markets, but labor is scarsely mobile and capital flows are driven as much by public subsidies and tax incentives as they are by comparative advantage. Before you lament the average man's reaction to globalization, you might take a closer look at what can be done to ensure that factors of production, like capital and labor, are traded on open, well-regulated markets. That's not at all the case today, despite 70 years of global trade negotiations. capital.

  28. Commentedslightly optimistic

    "Today’s backlash against trade and globalization should be viewed in the context of what, as we know from experience, could come next."
    Never mind. The election results have compelled the European Council to set priorities and the strategic agenda for the EU for the future. A lengthy process of consultation will take place but there is consensus in the Council that the EU needs among other things 1. a more effective foreign policy 2. a positive and future-oriented agenda of growth, competitiveness and jobs and 3. a determined push towards an energy union and also a push for lessening energy dependency.

    It would certainly help if more information was available on the changing framework, such as trade and investment treaties that the US is hoping to introduce in order to set new standards for global commerce.

  29. Commentedwarren matthei

    Great analysis as usual
    Throw into the mix as well a shift in power balances and the destabilizing prospect of a an emerging regional hegemon in Asia.

  30. CommentedDerrick Baragwanath

    A large part of the problem is our fixation of economic growth. The issue that should be focussed on is not how big the economic pie grows but how that pie is being distributed. If the economic pie grows and only a few benefit then that model of growth is flawed. There has got to be a reset away from growth per se to economic growth, subject to the constraint that the benefits are being more equitably shared. If the model is not changed disaster will ensue.

  31. CommentedPaul A. Myers

    An accurate and complete laundry list of the world's problems, but the alarmism is out of proportion to disparate impact these various problems have on the world economy.

    Most likely both Europe and the Far East will continue to grow economically, possibly more effectively than the past five years. There is room for guarded optimism in South Asia. India will most likely move forward and the Obama administration's transition plans for Afghanistan have a reasonable chance of success.

    The Middle East is a very problematic area. Global climate change threatens to add powerful disruptive force to the fractious political environment already present. The Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq melding into one conflict may be replicated in other nearby regions.

    But the Middle East is a small part of the world economy. Can its negative impacts be contained to within the region? Or will they ripple out and overthrow economic growth in other regions. Most likely not.

    The Americans are withdrawing their interventionist impulses from the Middle East. If they can convince Russia and China to support less conflict and cut a deal with Iran, then possibly stability might be eventually possible in a very troubled place.

    But the world economy will continue to grow despite the Middle East.

  32. CommentedAvraam Dectis

    .
    Dr. Roubini's warning is timely and probably understated. ( An example of his understatement would be how the USA allows stalker gangs to openly poison people. ) It really is far worse than he dares say.

    Dr. Roubini, having taken the opportunity to describe the problem did not offer any solutions. I would like to suggest that a partial solution, for the USA and Eurozone lies in an aggressive unorthodox monetary policy that can be described as a Central Bank Dividend.

    A A Central Bank Dividend is based upon the recognition that a Central Bank, much like any incorporated entity, could give a dividend to its owners who, in this case, are the citizens.

    There are many ways to implement a Central Bank Dividend ( CBD ). For the Eurozone, one way would be to declare a CBD of 1000 euros. In this variation of a CBD, each eurozone country would have an account opened at the ECB and that account would contain 1000 euros times the number of citizens of that country. This would be a sum roughly equal to 3% of Eurozone GDP.

    The ECB could, if it chose, restrict the use of that money to debt retirement.

    The net effect would be easing immediate national debt burdens and possibly even counteracting some deflationary trends. No country could complain because all would receive equal benefit. The eurozone countries, having been given a break on debt payments, could spend more and thus boost the economy and make the small companies more credit worthy.

    The beauty of a CBD is that it is based upon the basic capitalistic concept of a dividend being paid on the ownership of an asset. Citizenship is an asset.

    A CBD is simple, quickly effective and fair and that is why it is the best approach.

    The alternative, stagnating economies run by governments unwilling or incapable of any stimulative policies accompanied by a persistent rightward drift, should overcome any objections of unorthodoxy.

    Avraam J. Dectis

      Commentedsteve from virginia

      Unsecured debt from the central bank = bank runs out of the country's banks. A dividend would simply be an unsecured loan (no collateral for it).

      Lender of last resort/guarantor of country's deposits = good.

      Pre-emptive lending under the guise of last resort = questionable but dangerous (QE).

      Unsecured lending by central bank = no solvent finance entity in the country = very bad (think Argentina).

      CommentedMK Anon

      Avraam:
      you are totally right. A lax monetary policy would help a lot. This dividend would create inflation.. which is much prefered to the current wage deflation that is imposed to southern europe. However, Germany rules the ECB and they don't even seem to agree to meet the 2% target of the ECB mandate.. now inflation run around 0% which is totally unbearable given the condition. Fiscal deficit should be also allowed at time of crisis.. (see Ken's comment) but again, Germany forbids it. It's not surprising that Germany has no "contest" vote.. When Francois Hollande came back from it's early meeting with Merkel and said that he managed to get deficit increase by 1.5% for 2 years, I knew his party was doomed and Lepen was to win

      To Avraam and Ken, I d like to add one more thing: democracy. There are no referendum, the technocrates decides everything and in the sense of the lobbies, on both sides of the atlantic. And the only referendum on european issue over the last 10 years, the result was simply not respected.

  33. CommentedKen Presting

    Prof. Roubini ignores the issue which is at the center of debate between the business- and trade-oriented economists on the one side, versus the Keynesian economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman.

    The issue is austerity versus demand-oriented stimulus. It is common for the supporters of business to claim that investment creates jobs, and therefore investment should be supported at almost any cost. But we have known since the work of Adam Smith that investment increases productivity, which will reduce the demand for labor, unless demand increases as well.

    It is no service to the greater public debate to pretend that nationalism, populism, racism, or anti-Semitism are significant motivation behind a "great backlash" when plain unemployment is at such historic levels and better explains the dissatisfaction of the public.

    The Keynesian analysis is still the dominant approach to macroeconomics in academic discussions. In the public policy forum, there is far more money to be made by advancing the interests of wealthy investors.

Featured