Foreign Affairs, July/August
As Americans fret about persistent economic challenges, particularly high unemployment, a nearly opposite mood pervades Germany. Neither the economic crises in the rest of the eurozone nor the instability in the Middle East has dampened a deep-seated conviction among German business leaders and economists that two decades after the costly reintegration of East Germany the country has reestablished its position as an economic juggernaut.
At first glance, Germany’s decision not to insist on compulsory participation by private lenders in the latest bail-out of Greece may seem like a defeat for Chancellor Angela Merkel and Europe’s largest economy. But appearances can be deceiving. On another, more important level, Germany came out of the latest round of brinkmanship exactly where it may well have wanted to be – with the common currency intact and Germany able to motor forward. Continue reading
Wall Street Journal, Letters to the Editor (June 9, 2011)
Regarding David Skeel’s “The Real Cost of the Auto Bailouts” (op-ed, June 6): As the success of President Obama’s automobile rescue becomes increasingly undeniable, its critics grow more frantic. Like many others, David Skeel misstates the facts.
Asset bubbles have been with us at least since 17th century Holland, when a tulip bulb commanded more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. Today’s version 1.5 of internet euphoria may not have reached those levels and newer business models may prove more sustainable – but a correction in valuations could still be painful.
Brown University Alumni Magazine
Remembering thirty-six years of friendship with a man who could be both dramatic and warm. Continue reading
Without Sergio Marchionne, America’s No. 3 automaker would almost surely not exist today. His vision for what a Chrysler-Fiat alliance could achieve, his success at turning around the faltering Italian company and his limitless energy were all critical to President Obama’s decision two years ago to keep Chrysler afloat using taxpayer dollars. Continue reading
Never particularly grounded in reality, budget talk in Washington has taken on an Alice in Wonderland quality. A paroxysm of deficit cutting is sweeping the US, with Republicans and Democrats hurling around dubious figures like confetti. But both are trying to win the battle to be the party of fiscal responsibility without broaching the one step every sensible analyst knows is necessary to solve America’s budget crisis: meaningful tax increases. Continue reading
To a visitor from across the pond, the commotion in Europe over how to address its fiscal problems (or are they economic problems?) feels reminiscent of the disarray in America as its financial crisis unfolded a few years ago. Continue reading
It is a dispiriting time for fiscal sanity in the US. Evidence is growing that both political parties lack the courage to mount an attack on their nation’s budget challenge. Republicans and Democrats agree that recent elections signalled public demand for deficit cuts. But they also agree that voters will steadfastly oppose the necessary pain. Continue reading
Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. President Obama has bounded back from his midterm shellacking with a still more determined effort to convince the American people that he is on top of the unemployment problem. Continue reading