My Republica

Jim O’Neill

The contributor for Republica.

South Korea on top again

Published On: August 21, 2020 02:25 PM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON - On August 11, the OECD signaled that it would be revising its 2020 real (inflation-adjusted) GDP forecast for South Korea from -1.2 percent to -0.8 percent, adding to the confidence that the country is faring better economically than any other OECD member.

Are financial markets none the wiser?

Published On: August 11, 2020 10:00 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – In an April commentary about the wild gyrations in financial markets during the February-March phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, I noted that the behavior of equity markets had been as bewildering, complex, and fascinating as ever. Still, I suspected that a weird logic was at work, and argued that markets might continue to rally despite the collapse of the world economy. And so they have. Will that change?

A V-shaped recovery could still happen

Published On: July 13, 2020 03:30 PM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – Since March, I have been more open than other commentators to the possibility of a “V-shaped” recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn (though I have also consistently warned of structural challenges facing many economies in the decade ahead). Wherever I have expressed this optimism, I have met with pushback, given the apparent depth and scale of the current crisis. And yet, as we move into July, many classic short-term leading and coincident indicators still point to a V-shaped recovery, as does the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane.

Explaining the pandemic performance differential

Published On: June 10, 2020 05:00 PM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – I recently re-read and reflected on everything I have written for Project Syndicate since the start of this year. Two commentaries, in particular, stood out. In January, I suggested that without a new surge in productivity, the world would struggle to achieve the same level of economic growth in the 2020s as it did in previous decades.

Blaming China is a dangerous distraction

Published On: April 16, 2020 09:16 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – As the COVID-19 crisis roars on, so have debates about China’s role in it. Based on what is known, it is clear that some Chinese officials made a major error in late December and early January when they tried to prevent disclosures of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, even silencing health-care workers who tried to sound the alarm. China’s leaders will have to live with these mistakes, even if they succeed in resolving the crisis and adopting adequate measures to prevent a future outbreak.

All Eyes on South Korea

Published On: March 18, 2020 09:49 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – South Korea is all the rage these days. Earlier last month, Parasite, from the South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Having read the reviews and seen the film a few days earlier, I was not surprised. Still, for the uninitiated, it is worth noting that this was the first time that a foreign-language film took home the top Oscar. Now, many around the world are eagerly searching for more examples of South Korean coolness—from K-pop to cutting-edge fashion designers.

Test for Public Health Systems

Published On: March 12, 2020 09:15 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – On January 25, Chatham House and Georgetown University hosted US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin for a discussion about US economic policymaking and the world. Mnuchin had come straight from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, but the dominant theme of that gathering (“stakeholder capitalism”) had already been eclipsed by broader developments. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak had become a massive problem for China and would soon threaten the entire world.

Has the World Economy Reached Peak Growth?

Published On: January 20, 2020 08:58 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – At the start of a new decade, many commentators are understandably focused on the health of the global economy. GDP growth this decade most likely will be lower than during the teens, barring a notable improvement in productivity in the West and China, or a sustained acceleration in India and the largest African economies.

Where is AMR rebellion?

Published On: December 15, 2019 11:40 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is being overshadowed by the menace of climate change. Though the AMR problem is arguably equal in importance, it has not commanded nearly the same level of public awareness.

A living wage for capitalism

Published On: November 18, 2019 09:03 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – At 3.6 percent, unemployment in the United States remains near its lowest level since the late 1960s. There are even signs that people who had previously dropped out of the labor force are being attracted back into it as employers scour a tight labor market for the marginal employee. Consistent with this news, US Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell has pointed out that wage gains are finally accruing to lower-paid workers.

Issue behind our issues

Published On: October 15, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

If the West adopts sensible policies, its own firms and consumers stand to benefit substantially from China’s growth

The return of fiscal policy

Published On: September 22, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

Policymakers around the world are coming to realize that it is neither wise nor feasible to rely constantly on central banks for economic-policy support

Trump’s one-way economy

Published On: August 18, 2019 01:05 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

LONDON – Nowadays, when people ask me how I am, I answer, jokingly, that I’m doing great, so long as I ignore Donald Trump’s presidency in the United States, Brexit, the crisis of the United Kingdom’s major political parties, and the performance of Manchester United.

Does the G20 still matter?

Published On: July 14, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

While G20 has been very good at issuing grandiose communiqués to acknowledge the existence of global challenges, it has proven utterly incapable of advancing any solutions to them

Economic lessons from Everest

Published On: June 20, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

Beyond specific conditions such as the narrowness of the trail, Everest’s overcrowding problem is not so different from many other economic and social challenges that policymakers confront

Future of economic growth

Published On: April 16, 2019 12:25 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

MANCHESTER – Last month, I wrote about the growing divide between economic theory and real-world economic conditions, and reminded readers that economics is still a social science, despite whatever loftier ambitions its practitioners may have. Nonetheless, when it comes to the specific question of what drives economic growth in the long term, one can still offer rigorous predictions by focusing on just two forces.

Whither Chinese consumer?

Published On: January 14, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

By 2020, Chinese consumers would be more relevant to the global economy than anyone except Americans

Trump’s war of choice

Published On: December 19, 2018 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

China is justified in pursuing the policies that it sees fit, at least until evidence emerges that its own people object to the course it has charted for itself

Will Italy sink Europe?

Published On: October 25, 2018 12:30 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

The European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the German government have erred in insisting on rigid enforcement of the EU Stability and Growth Pact, particularly the three percent of-GDP cap on fiscal deficits

Global economy ten years after

Published On: September 13, 2018 12:10 AM NPT By: Jim O’Neill

Much will be said about the tenth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis, so I will focus on the global economy, which has not been nearly as weak as many seem to think.