Commentary

The Art of the Middle East Deal?

RAMALLAH – Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has stunned the world, with many – particularly US allies – feeling more than a little concerned about what his leadership may bring. For desperate Palestinians, however, Trump’s impending presidency seems to offer a slight reason for hope.

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Big Danger at the Lower Bound

CAMBRIDGE – Markets nowadays are fixated on how high the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the next 12 months. This is dangerously shortsighted: the real concern ought to be how far it could cut rates in the next deep recession. Given that the Fed may struggle just to get itsbase interest rate up to 2% over the coming year, there will be very little room to cut if a recession hits.

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How Trees Make Cities Healthier

WASHINGTON, DC – Last May, I had the dubious fortune of visiting Mumbai, India during the city’s hottest month on record. Temperatures remained at over 40°C (104°F) for days at time. The difference between standing in the shade of a tree and standing in full sunlight was like night and day.

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The New Brain Drain in Science

DUBAI – In December 2013, the Nobel laureate physicist Peter Higgs toldThe Guardian that if he were seeking a job in academia today, “I don’t think I would be regarded as productive enough.” Having published fewer than ten papers since his groundbreaking work in 1964, Higgs believes that no university would employ him nowadays.

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The Consequences of a Trump Shock

WASHINGTON, DC – With the United States’ presidential election on November 8, and a series of elections and other political decisions fast approaching in Europe, now is a good time to ask whether the global economy is in good enough shape to withstand another major negative shock. The answer, unfortunately, is that growth and employment around the world look fragile. A big adverse surprise – like the election of Donald Trump in the US – would likely cause the stock market to crash and plunge the world into recession.

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Would Higher Interest Rates Boost US Growth?

BERKELEY – Blackstone CEO Tony James recently published a column in the Financial Times titled “To revive America’s economy, raise interest rates.” This is a very bad idea.

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Education Innovation in the Middle East

LONDON – Supporting the millions of newly displaced people of the Middle East demands resources far beyond the capacity of the United Nations, and is a continuous humanitarian-aid challenge for companies, foundations, and public-sector donors. While UN peacekeepers are financed by a system of “assessed contributions,” humanitarian aid depends on voluntary donations. Education, which is prioritized below basic survival needs like food and shelter, all too often gets left behind.

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Making “Made in Africa” Last

ABIDJAN, CÔTE D’IVOIRE– If you’re ever shopping for a pair of jeans in an American mall, check the label.If it was made in, say, Lesotho – a tiny mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, with a population of around two million – you probably have the theAfrican Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to thank for it.

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America After the Election

KYIV – The ongoing presidential campaign in the United States stands out for its lack of civility and the vast differences between the candidates: the anti-establishment businessman Donald Trump on the Republican side and the polished politician Hillary Clinton representing the Democrats. The contest has exposed deep fault lines within American society and damaged the country’s global reputation. No surprise, then, that one of the few things Americans seem to agree on is that the campaign has gone on for too long. But soon it will be over. The question is: what comes next?

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Toxic Politics Versus Better Economic's

NEW YORK – The relationship between politics and economics is changing. Advanced-country politicians are locked in bizarre, often toxic, conflicts, instead of acting on a growing economic consensus about how to escape a protracted period of low and unequal growth. This trend must be reversed, before it structurally cripples the advanced world and sweeps up the emerging economies, too.

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