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Meine Welt von morgen: Ricardo Hausmann

11. Mai 2009

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Ricardo Hausmann. Er lehrt Ökonomie in Harvard. In seiner Heimat Venezuela war der Spezialist für Entwicklungspolitik 1992 und 1993 Planungsminister.

* Has the time of the United States as the world’s leading economic power come to an end?

I don’t think so. The crisis has caused a flight to quality which has made the US the only remaining super-borrower, able to mobilize the resources of others, while Eastern Europe and much of the emerging market world is forced into pro-cyclical cutbacks in bad times, because they have lost access to finance. While much of Europe has been financially more careful than the US, it lacks the capacity to respond to crisis and hence is suffering more. East Asia, focused as it is on a growing world market, has been hit much harder than the US. So, while the crisis may have been brewed in the US, the relative standing of the US will not be curtailed.

* In 2020, will China be the world’s economic superpower, or will it have collapsed just like Japan and other former would-be economic powers of the world?

China will definitely not be the world’s superpower by 2020. It will be very hard for China to grow at 8 percent when the global economy will grow at 3 or 4. Export-lead growth is easy when you are small, but not when you are big. Look at Germany. My bet is that China will continue growing but at a slower rate and that it will face a major political and a banking crisis.

* What economic policy strategy would you recommend to the incoming US president?

At this stage, I would not add more noise to the already over-charged policy agenda. Just focus on execution and pray for the best. 

* What is the most radical change in our global economic system that you would like to see?

No silver bullet can fix the world. Africa needs much more governance and I am not sure that elections are the solution. We need a new partnership between the private and public sector in developing countries that is perceived to be legitimate by the rest of society. It is needed to identify opportunities and remove obstacles to economic activity. We need a fully funded IMF and a recapitalized World Bank and regional development banks. We need more liberal migration policies so that people can move out of countries that are not viable.

* What sort of major step would most likely prevent the most disastrous effects of global warming?

A cap and trade regime for carbon, a new electric power system, R&D in technology including solar energy, biofuels, wind and conservation.

* Would it be better to regulate capital markets as heavily as before 1980 again?

No. Regulation needs to be forward looking. You cannot unscramble the eggs. We need a system of regulation that evolves with the markets as the EUREGAP does successfully for food safety standards.

*Will globalisation suffer a major setback in the next few years?

Lets better work to prevent that from happening. Nobody expected August 1914 and when it happened, it was not pretty. Let’s make sure it does not happen again.

Von Ulrike Heike Müller

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