Posts

Showing posts from July, 2016

Why Are We So Angry?

Image
We are living in a kind of time-warp. If the International Monetary Fund is to be believed, the world has never been more prosperous than it is today. A World Bank policy paper of 2012 claims that billions have moved out of extreme poverty. Really? The paper admits that 1.2 billion people still (in 2012) live on less than $1.25 per day and yet tries to argue that extreme poverty is on the decline. Here's the grim reality: About 10% (600 million) of the world's population lives on less than $1 per day. Nearly 50% live on less than $2 per day. And yet, we are expected to believe that billions have moved out of extreme poverty.

Next, look at the turmoil going on in different parts of the world. Nationalist tendencies are being exhibited in various forms. It appears as if the gains of global economic integration that have evolved over the last three decades may be lost. I consciously avoid using the term "globalization" because even at its zenith (as reflected in Thomas…

Demographics, Productivity, and Innovation

Image
The relationship between the demographics of a nation and its ability to innovate and be highly productive is a fascinating subject for discussion. Since innovation is central to growth, and productivity could well separate the winners from the losers, the people profile of a nation may provide valuable clues as to the potential for sustained growth.
Ruchir Sharma is the Head of Emerging Markets and Global Macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. His latest book, The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World (2016; W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.) analyzes the cycle of crisis, reform, revival, and complacency that appear to characterize most economies. The circle of life as he calls it appears to be a simplified version of the Tytler Cycle in History. Written primarily from a business investor's perspective, the book attempts to simplify the complexities surrounding economic theories into a set of ten rules. It makes for good reading although some o…