Economy

What’s the Secret to Economic Growth? We Just Don’t Know

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
November 7, 2011 |

On Nov. 2, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confidently predicted that in 2012, the U.S. economy will grow at a rate of 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent. A few months earlier Bernanke predicted that the economy would expand 3.3 percent to 3.7 percent next year. A few months before that, the Fed projected growth in 2012 to be somewhere between 3.5 percent and 4.2 percent.

These shifting forecasts tell us two things: The U.S. continues to experience excruciatingly slow growth, and economists continue to have little success predicting it.

Cuba Legalizes Private Real Estate Transactions

  • By
  • Anya Landau French,
  • New America Foundation
November 4, 2011 |

On the heels of news that Cubans would now be allowed to buy and sell used cars of any kind (they used to only be allowed to do so with the pre-1950’s era almendrones sputtering around the island), today Cuba announced that natural-born Cubans and permanent residents will now have the right to buy and sell their homes, and transfer ownership to others on the island.

Is the Eurozone on the Brink of Collapse?

  • By
  • Sherle R. Schwenninger,
  • New America Foundation
November 2, 2011 |

After days of drama-filled meetings, in late October eurozone leaders announced the latest “comprehensive” rescue plan. Although it was an improvement over earlier efforts, this package, too, came up short in that it failed to calm the markets and offer the eurozone a path back to economic growth. And without growth, there will be many more months of crisis.

Memo to Congress: No Secret Farm Bill

  • By
  • Mark Hertsgaard,
  • New America Foundation
November 2, 2011 |

Providing yet another reason for its 9 percent approval rating, Congress is attempting to write the nation’s next farm bill in secrecy—sneaking it into law as part of the deficit reduction package to be produced by the “supercommittee.”

Programs:

China's Bubble Has Kept More Than its Own Economy Afloat

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
October 31, 2011 |

Is China a bubble?

This question - once the domain of a small group of China sceptics in the global investment community - has gone mainstream. Time magazine posed the question on its cover, warning its readers to "Be Very Afraid of the China Bubble". Global news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg are raising troubling questions about China's over-leveraged banks, inflated housing prices and highly indebted local governments. A Wall Street Journal columnist recently wrote: "Forget Greece. Forget Italy. Forget 'Occupy Wall Street', The really ominous news right now? China."

Broken Promises Unite Middle Class Protest Movements

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
October 18, 2011 |

We all know the details of the story by now: a young Tunisian vegetable vendor loses his licence to work because of predatory local police; he refuses to pay a bribe; he complains at the municipality; they tell him to get lost; he lights himself on fire; a nation erupts; a leader falls; the Arab uprisings begin.

A Development Bank for the Region that Arab Youth Need

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
September 5, 2011 |

'Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come," the French writer Victor Hugo said. But we might add an equally important political corollary: nothing is as powerful as a crisis to propel an idea forward.

The Arab world is in crisis. The events of the so-called Arab Spring have transformed the region in a year that has seen three governments fall, two more face serious and ongoing rebellions and others come face-to-face with a new age of uncertainty.

Reality Check on Globalisation Leaves a New World of Distrust

  • By
  • Afshin Molavi,
  • New America Foundation
August 9, 2011 |

There was a brief moment, in the go-go 1990s, when the world seemed less reliant on politics and politicians. Globalisation, we were told, was on the march. Markets - efficient and calculating and precise - would dictate our future, not politicians - venal, short-sighted and imprecise. As long as nations hopped on the chugging globalisation train, they, too, would benefit and the ride would be smooth.

Big Ideas from Small Places

  • By
  • Parag Khanna,
  • New America Foundation
  • and David Skilling, founding director at Landfall Strategy Group
November 1, 2011 |

In the current phase of globalization, financial, ecological, political and social crises are occurring simultaneously and magnifying each other in unpredictable ways. From the Fukushima nuclear meltdown reshaping German politics and the European power industry, to America’s sub-prime mortgage meltdown threatening the Eurozone, such chain reactions are undermining an already fragile stability.

Club for Growth

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
October 24, 2011 |

The latest data on economic growth released this year by the World Bank confirms what we all already knew: The United States and most of the West had a pretty grim decade between the turn of the millennium and 2010. It's a well-worn story now, a decade bookended by bursting bubbles, with limping, debt-financed progress in between. But there is a lot of good news elsewhere in the bank's assessment of gross domestic product (GDP) growth around the globe: Over the same period, 19 economies doubled in size.

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