Japan now poses the great threat to world financial stability. Once again, its economy is in recession, its budget deficit huge, its public debts (including unfunded pensions) worse than anywhere else in the world. With over-regulation unchecked and the private sector mired in a debt swamp, entrepreneurship can’t be relied upon to stimulate change.
The old central-bank playbook of slashing interest rates to spur consumption, investment, and employment has become less effective since the 2008 financial crisis. Yet without effective tools and the public's confidence, central banks will be unable to rise to the occasion when the next recession arrives.
More inclusive global growth in a world with free capital mobility does not require a “global” government that taxes and redistributes, but it does require global taxation and tax cooperation. Countries should be free to set their own taxes, but they should be required to share tax-relevant information.
French President Emmanuel Macron has drawn criticism for describing NATO as brain dead and pursuing a rapprochement with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now that a wayward America could abandon the continent at any moment, Macron's argument for European defense autonomy is difficult to refute.