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Posts Tagged ‘Welt von morgen’

Meine Welt von morgen: Fabrizio Zilibotti

21. April 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Fabrizio Zilibotti (44), Wirtschaftsprofessor an der Uni Zürich. Der italienische Ökonom ist zudem Chefredakteur des „Journal of the European Economic Association“ und einer der Direktoren der „Review of Economic Studies“.

 

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

It is unlikely that the United States will lose its leadership altogether, but we may move towards a more pluralistic world. The economic world leadership of the US already came under question in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it appeared as if the long wave of convergence of Western European countries  – especially Germany – and Japan which had started after the end of WW II, would lead these countries to catch-up and even leapfrog the leader. However, the American economy proved a renewed innovative capacity during the 1990s, and since then we have witnessed a long period of economic divergence across OECD countries that restored a robust leadership of the United States. Economists have even coined a new term, the „Great Moderation“, to refer to the capacity of the US economy to grow fast without incurring in the economic fluctuations that had been endemic earlier on. Clearly, there has been an  exaggerated optimism. It is interesting that even before the start of the crisis there were signs of reversion, with Germany showing the promise a more bust performance, and the US somewhat losing steam. It cannot be ruled out that after the crisis the world economic growth will have multiple engines.

 

* 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?

We should not expect China to collapse. China will be the largest economy in 2020 but its technological gap will be far from being closed by then. Fast growth is likely to continue (perhaps at a less spectacular rate) until Chinese people will have reached living standards that are comparable to those in the Western world and other East Asian countries. China will not become the sole world superpower, but its political and economic influence will continue to grow. There are obviously some questions as to the ability of this economic giant to retain its internal cohesion. Political and economic institutions will have to  undergo reforms: as I argued in my research, institutions that guarantee  success at an earlier stage of the process of technological convergence may  become a barrier to economic growth at a later stage, unless they are reformed.

 

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

The images of the crisis in the US of recent days show the weakness of a system where the safety net is so low. The unemployment rate is growing but is still below the 10% level that European countries have tolerated for many years without suffering so devastating social effects. So, on the one hand, I believe that the US should increase its system of social protection. On the other hand, I am not convinced that a large fiscal stimulus will per se solve the crisis. There are several risks, and the Japanese experience shows that old-style keynesianism is not set to succeed. At the same time, to the extent to which government spending in the US is targeted to create more social protection  health insurance, unemployment benefit) and to renew the public infrastructure, whose state is appalling for European standards, it can benefit the country both in the short and the medium run. What I fear is that public money is spent on the introduction of large subsidies targeted to firms and sectors that may instead be efficient to let downsize. It is better to help displaced workers to survive through the crisis and move to more efficient activities after the recovery than to keep alive white elephants. More generally, I become worried when I hear so much emphasis on the level of the spending relative to its targets.

 

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

I would like to see a shared commitment to make the high economic growth of poorer countries to be compatible with the global environmental sustainability.  This requires more sacrifice from the industrialized countries, and more  responsibility and cooperation from China and other developing nations.This  discussion is difficult by its nature and was largely boycotted by the previous US administration. Hope comes from the very different attitude displayed by the Obama administration on this and other issues. But I am worried that the salience of the economic crisis makes countries forget their commitment to avoid an environmental disaster.

 

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

There is no magic recipe. Controlling and enforcing agreements is a daunting task. But if international cooperation and trust is low, it becomes impossible. So, the improvement in the relationships among the major players (the United States, European Union, Russia, China and India) can be of major help. Creating empowered well-funded international agencies may be important.

 

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

No. This would simply be a mistake driven by a simplistic interpretation of what is happening. In any case, it would not work, and would pave the way to the  proliferation of inefficient activities to roundabout regulations.

 

* Will globalisation suffer a major setback in the next few years? I see some risks.

In words, everybody claims that no barriers to international trade should be raised. But as soon as national governments step in to help national firms and sectors (with the exception of banks, where this is unavoidable) we have effective protectionism. If we get deep into this route, the outcome will be large inefficiencies and a burden on the speed of future recovery. However, so many values are by now universally shared about the virtues of open economies, that in the end I am optimistic that we will not see a breakdown of world trade such as the one we experienced in the 1930s.

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von morgen: Jean-Paul Fitoussi

14. April 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Jean-Paul Fitoussi (66). Der Präsident des Pariser Konjunkturforschungsinstituts OFCE berät unter anderem die EU-Kommission und die Uno.

 

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

Yes, like at the beginning of the 80’s and the beginning of the 90’s etc…  Eppure si muove…

* 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?

Certainly not on a per capita basis. Japan did not collapse and China will not either. On a population basis China is already a superpower. Its rapid growth since a quarter of a century has already changed the face of the world.

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

Investment, especially in environment, combat inequalities, build a civilize social protection system. He seems to be following my advice!

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

1. An European Government

2. Financial institutions with broad legitimacy

3. Smart regulation and close coordination

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

1. A carbon tax

2. Huge investment in research on new technologies of environment and energy

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

The difficulty lies not with regulation per se but with the intelligent regulation. A step backward will lead us nowhere.

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

It may because of the uncooperative reactions of a number of countries. But if it happens it will deepen the crisis. Here too we should aim at a less rhetoric and more pragmatic globalization.

Von Birgit Marschall

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – John Williamson

23. März 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: John Williamson (71). Der US-Ökonom prägte den Begriff Washington Consensus. Williamson forscht am Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

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

No. Being the leading economic power is determined principally by size (i.e. GDP), not by whether a country has a financial crisis or a recession.

* 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?

2020 is too soon for China to emerge as the leading economic power, though I expect that it will. That is, I expect growth to continue to be robust (though not as high as in recent years), despite the fact that it looks as though China will have a difficult transition to democracy (something that I do expect to happen in due course, since people like a say in how they are governed when they get rich enough to be able to think of things like that). Incidentally, I regard speaking of a Japanese “collapse” to be as absurdly exaggerated as the earlier Herman Kahn-like extrapolations that Japan would be ruling the world by now.

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

(a) Adopt the substance of the Volcker Committee’s proposals for reforming the regulatory system.

(b) Seek to turn the IMF into a body charged with serious exchange-rate surveillance.

(c) Create an International Tax Organization charged with ensuring that tax cheats cannot evade their obligations through the international system.

(d) Otherwise maintain policies rather than seeking to change everything.

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

A single global corporation tax, whose proceeds would be distributed among countries in proportion to the corporation’s value-added in each of them.

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

Tax carbon. Seriously. No exceptions. No subsidies.

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

No, but they do need efficient regulation. The G-30 Committee chaired by Paul Volcker has provided a blueprint.  

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

It is quite likely that globalization will suffer a setback in the next few years, but the battle is not lost yet.

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Gilles Saint-Paul

17. März 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Gilles Saint-Paul (46). Der Wirtschaftsprofessor von der Université des Sciences Sociales de Toulouse zählt zu den renommiertesten französischen Ökonomen. Er schrieb mehrere Bücher zur Arbeitsmarktpolitik.
Weiterlesen …

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Alberto Alesina

9. März 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Alberto Alesina (51). Der italienische Wirtschaftsprofessor lehrt in Harvard als Spezialist für Politische Ökonomie.

 

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

No I do not think so. This crisis will pass and it is not at all obvious that the US are suffering more from it than, say, Europe.

* 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?

I think it will be a growing economy, a middle income economy. But it all depends on the transition to demcoracy whether it will be violent or smooth.

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

Try to recreate trust and risk taking attitude in the markets. The collapse of risk taking, lending and investing is the key factor that is making this crisis so difficult to control. Simply throwing taxpayers money into the economy is not enough.

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

I do not want to see any radical change.

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

I am not an expert on this subject but in general I think that using taxes to make certain polluting activities more expensive is the right way to go.

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

No. We should not jump into heavy regulation. In fact threatening the markets now with heavy regulations may increase the panic. We need better regulation not more of it.

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

I hope not but with the crisis I see the resurgence of protectionists practices like the buy american provisions, the european and american support for car industry, Sarkozy’s  rethoric. A return to protectionism could really make this crisis a deep depression.

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Jagdish Bagwati

2. März 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Jagdish Bhagwati (74). Der bekannte indische Ökonom gilt als Verteidiger der freien Marktwirtschaft gegen Globalisierungskritiker. Er ist Professor an der Columbia University in New York.

* Has the time of the United States as the world’s leading economic power come to an end?
I do not think so. Her greatest advantages are continual innovation, attractiveness for immigrants, and the ideology of pragmatism. China and India are sleeping giants that were snoring for some time; they have awakened now. But they cannot match the United States in these advantages.

* 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?
Many thought that the 21st century would be Japan’s but I always thought it would still be, like the 20th century, that of America’s. Now, many think it will be China’s. But they are equally mistaken. China’s problems arise from the crippling effects of its lack of democracy and the absence to date of the supporting institutions such as a free press, opposition parties, an independent judiciary and NGOs (i.e. civil society). The lack of these institutions of a “liberal” democracy means that environmental damage has been immense, and political and economic aspirations have no outlet other than social unrest. Equally, her export-oriented model will increasingly run into human rights opposition abroad, whereas safety problems (which cannot be handled just by passing laws and enforcing punishments) will multiply.

* What economic policy strategy would you recommend to the incoming US president?
Aside from persisting with the fiscal stimulus to generate demand, and the financial reforms to get credit flowing again to support the increased demand, his main task has to be to provide the leadership, both at home and abroad, to prevent the outbreak of protectionism. This protectionism is breaking out in trade, in immigration and labour policies, and in multinational investments: Obama needs to step up to the plate and use his great oratorical powers to now extol the virtues of openness and to warn against the perils of protectionism.

* What is the most radical change in our global economic system that you would like to see?
I believe that the most dramatic of the recent financial crises have demonstrated unequivocally that financial innovation has the potential of massive downside. So, unlike industrial innovation (e.g. the Personal Computer), which raises the problem of what Schumpeter called “creative destruction” of obsolete technology (e.g. typewriters) and its producers, financial innovation can lead to “destructive creation”. We need a credible, independent Expert Group whose job would be to examine each innovation for its potential downside so that we do not succumb each time to euphoria. What happened in the recent crisis with financial innovations like credit default swaps and securitised mortgages, was a shared euphoria about their advantages, with no credible working out of the potential downside. It was like the current Iraq War where the Cheney-Rumsfeld assumed that the war would last 6 weeks; they had no scenario about its lasting 6 years!

* Would it be better to regulate capital markets as heavily as before 1980 again?
To regulate, you must know what the problem is. If the downside of new financial instruments is not worked out, how would you regulate to prevent it or to cope with it? The current crisis was compounded by the American Investment Banks like Goldman Sachs bringing lobbying (not ideological, let-markets-rip) profit-seeking pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission to not extend prudential reserve requirements to them, so that the result was immense and dangerous over-leveraging. An influential argument was also that, if New York regulated these banks, the business would go to London: so we need some coordination among principal financial centers not to indulge in a “race to the bottom”.

* Will globalisation suffer a major setback in the next few years?
Some people like the financier Soros and the economist Stiglitz have been arguing that the current crisis shows that “market fundamentalism” is dead, and that it is a turning point like the collapse of the Berlin Wall for communism. I think both arguments are nonsensical. In many countries such as India, Mexico, China, Soviet Union etc., the problem in the two decades after the 2nd World War was “anti-market fundamentalism” instead. In their market-oriented, pro-globalization reforms later, they moved from this anti-market fundamentalism to the pragmatic center, not from pragmatism to “market fundamentalism”. Besides, the analogy with the collapse of the Berlin Wall is silly: Communism was totally discredited by the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall whereas the market-oriented reforms had brought unprecedented prosperity, and finally reduction in poverty, almost worldwide. We will have to fight the Soros-Stiglitz type of obfuscations to avoid long-term damage to the use of markets and the pursuit of globalization. But, in the short-term, aspects of globalization such as trade and investment will be under pressure. The Doha Round is now on the shelf because you cannot liberalize when there is a macroeconomic crisis. But protectionism could undermine even what openness we have. President Sarkozy, like a true Frenchman, wants French firms to return to France; and the United States wants Buy America in government procurement.

*What sort of major step would most likely prevent the most disastrous effects of global warming?
It is extremely important that we succeed at Copenhagen, signing a Treaty which I call Kyoto II or Coepnhagen I. But I do not see that we can do this if the United States does not accept serious „stock“ obligations for past damage and insists only on India and China accepting „flow“ obligations for current emissions. I have proposed (in the Financial Times three years ago) that the US (and other rich countries) accept the US idea of a Superfund which asigns liability on firms to pay for clean up of hazardous waste they discharged. We need to do this on an international scale, maybe something like $100 billion a year for the next 10 years. These moneys would be spent on a variety of mitigation and accomodation activities; I am part of a group of world-class economists who will be examining the cost-benefit ratios of several different ways of doing this. Only then will we be able to get India and China to assume obligations. The current US position, which is as bad as the unilateral US positions under the Bush administration is that the US will impose a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, and if India and China will not accept „flow“ obligations fort current discharges, the US will impose „countervailing duties“ on their exports to the US. This is a nonsensical idea that shows bankruptcy of thinking and an attitude of bullying that is not merely unworthy of President Obama’s promised new style but also destined to fail in a world where other emerging countries like India and China will not roll over and accept unjust solutions.

Von Ulrike Heike Müller

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Supachai Panitchpakdi

23. Februar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge und -sprache. Heute: Supachai Panitchpakdi (62), der Generalsekretär der UNCTAD ist und zahlreiche Bücher über internationalen Handel und Globalisierung schrieb.

* Has the time of the United States as the world’s leading economic power come to an end?
No. The US will go through a recession and probably emerge from it stronger than before. But other economies will gain importance in the world economy as producers and generators of demand and growth. Much depends on economic policy in the US: the incentives for domestic investors have to be set right to make American industry more competitive internationally. The US would also gain from strengthening its international economic policy cooperation, because the performance of its economy no longer depends entirely on domestic policies but also on those of other major economies.

* 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 is a huge country and will gain further importance in the world economy, if at lower growth rates than in recent years. But it still has a long way to go to bring its per capita income to a level comparable to that of the major industrialized countries. To continue its successful development path, China will have to reduce its dependence on exports, strengthen its domestic demand, conduct an active policy to reduce inequality in income distribution, and solve its increasing environmental problems. It is wrong to say that „Japan and other would-be economic powers“ have „collapsed“: one has to distinguish between the pace of expansion and economic well-being at a high level. In every economy, economic expansion slows down as it approaches maturity. This will also happen in China, but it does not mean that the Chinese economy will „collapse“.

* What economic policy strategy would you recommend to the new US president?
In the immediate future, it is important to continue anti-recession programmes, and in particular to stimulate productive investment, even if this implies a further increase in public debt. Once the economy is back on track with positive growth rates, increasing tax revenues should be used to reduce the stock of public debt, rather than cutting tax rates. The limits of what the free market system can achieve for individual freedom and economic well-being have been reached. It is accordingly important now to redefine the relative roles of the State and the market in light of recent experiences. The State may need to assume a more proactive role in the economy; and regulation, particularly in the financial sector, must be strengthened. There is also a need to establish better incentives for environmentally friendly consumption and production. And last but not least, it will be important for the stability of the US and the world (economy) as a whole for the US Administration to approach domestic, social and international development challenges more pragmatically and constructively.

* What is the most radical change in our global economic system that you would like to see?
Achieving a better balance between global economic governance and the globalization of markets, which has occurred more quickly in the financial markets than the product markets. International monetary and financial relations should be governed by an institutional framework similar to that governing international trade relations. This requires strengthening multilateral surveillance and decision-making on exchange rates and macroeconomic policies. This is the only way to bring greater stability to the globalized economy and to avoid serious financial and currency crisis in the future.

* What sort of major step would most likely prevent the most disastrous effects of global warming?
A radical reduction of CO2 emissions can be reached by making the polluters pay, be they consumers or producers, through direct or indirect charges on emissions. This would set an incentive for technological innovation and invention, and at the same time mobilize public resources to finance investments that mitigate the impact of climate change.

* Would it be better to regulate capital markets again as heavily as was done before 1980?
The market mechanism is important for the efficient allocation of capital and must remain the principle in economic relations: But this does not exclude a regulatory framework, on the contrary. Only regulated markets are sustainable in the long run. We must also not forget that finance should be at the service of the real economy. If financial instruments become opaque and financial activities increasingly resemble the casino, while also having negative repercussions on the real sector (as we see it now), then stronger regulation is in the interest of all economic actors.

* Will globalization suffer a major setback in the next few years?
As growth in the world economy slows down and the value of imports of the major economies falls, we are already seeing a reduction in trade flows, and international investors are also likely to be more prudent in the near future. But we should not make the mistake in good times to think that times will always get better, and when times are bad to think they will always get worse. This thinking is precisely what leads to overreactions on financial markets. The world economy will eventually recover, and financial market actors usually have a short memory, so both trade and financial flows are likely to rise again in the medium term.

Von Ulrike Heike Müller

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

16. Februar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge. Heute: Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (58), der Chef des renommierten Potsdam-Instituts für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) ist.

*Welche Maßnahme würde die Klimakatastrophe am ehesten verhindern?
Ein weltweites Forschungsprogramm, also eine Art globales Apollo-Projekt, das in den nächsten fünf bis zehn Jahren entscheidende Innovationen in Feldern wie Energie, Verkehr, Städtebau oder Landwirtschaft identifiziert und Strategien zur gesellschaftlichen Absorption dieser Neuerungen entwirft.

* Haben die USA als wirtschaftliche Weltmacht ausgedient?
Die USA bleiben Weltmacht Nummer eins in den Bereichen Forschung und Technologie, zumal mit dem intelligenten und charismatischen Wissenschaftsfreund Obama. Wenn das Land diesen gewaltigen Trumpf richtig ausspielt, wird es auch in der politisch-ökonomischen Arena hinter niemandem zurückstehen müssen.

* Wird China 2020 die wirtschaftliche Weltmacht sein? Oder abgestürzt sein?
China wird weiter an Bedeutung gewinnen. Die Führung der „Volksrepublik“ muss jedoch darauf achten, dass das wohl weiterhin hohe Wirtschaftswachstum nicht durch die Plünderung oder Zerstörung natürlicher Ressourcen erzwungen wird.

*Was ist die radikalste Veränderung, die Sie sich für das Weltwirtschaftssystem wünschen?
Wirtschaftlichen Erfolg – er bemisst sich übrigens nicht nur nach BIP-Wachstum – von Treibhausgasemissionen zu entkoppeln. Dies wird dann geschehen, wenn die Nutzung der Atmosphäre nicht mehr kostenlos erfolgen darf, sondern mit einem angemessenen Preis belegt wird.

* Wäre es besser, die Finanzmärkte wieder ähnlich stark zu regulieren wie in der Zeit vor 1980?
Dazu sollten Sie besser einen Finanzwissenschaftler befragen. Als Physiker, der immer die Erhaltungssätze berücksichtigen muss, könnte ich aber den Grundsatz anbieten: Nur das ausgeben, was man vorher verdient hat bzw. wofür man mit sicheren Werten bürgen kann.

* Welche wirtschaftspolitische Strategie würden Sie dem nächsten US-Präsidenten empfehlen?
Auf richtige, das heißt zukunftsfähige Weise klotzen. Allein schon der entschlossene Umbau der amerikanischen Energie- und Automobilwirtschaft wird dem Land eine neue ökonomische Entwicklungsperspektive geben. Vielleicht kann Obama zudem den Konsumenten nahebringen, dass „Maßhalten“ nicht unamerikanisch bzw. unsexy ist.

* Steht der Globalisierung in den nächsten Jahren ein großer Rückschlag bevor?
Einiges deutet darauf hin, aber es muss nicht so kommen. Nach Überwindung der jetzigen Schockstarre könnten neue Formen der weltweiten Kooperation bzw. Konkurrenz – warum nicht beim Klimaschutz? – an die Stelle des atemlosen Spekulationshetzens um den Erdball treten.

Von Ulrike Heike Müller

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – David Ellerman

2. Februar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Sprache und -Länge. Heute: David Ellerman (65) – Publizist, Politikberater und Wirtschaftswissenschaftler an der University of California in Riverside.

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

Yes. The loss of manufacturing capability to East Asia and the dependence on foreign creditors to finance the „American Way of Life“ make that outcome inevitable. The only question is the timing. The near future will be more a tripartite world, the US, Europe, and East Asia (increasingly dominated by China).

* 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?

It was an asset bubble in Japan that collapsed with considerably collateral damage but Japanese manufacturing capability did not collapse as we see from any number of industries (autos, electronics, optics,…). Since China does not seem to be fuelled by a bubble at present, I suspect that its growth will be limited primarily by the falling demand from popping bubbles in the West.

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

The US loss of manufacturing capacity and thus loss of manufacturing-based innovation is ultimately due to the irresponsible control of the major corporations by managers who profit in the short-term (and who are supported by Wall Street in this regard) by sending jobs overseas to reduce costs. In continental Europe and in East Asia, management acknowledges more responsibility to the corporation as a community and to the ambient society (with the far-flung stockholders having a more marginal role) and the people working in companies thus have more influence. While more New Deal style make-work programs may be needed in the short run, the longer term solution lies in the direction of empowering people to better control and protect their work in US industry. More control in the workplace can also promote more local job creation through fostering, whenever possible, spinoffs to fill local niches and to innovate in directions that may be only tangential to the mother company. Ultimately job protection must be based on more entrepreneurial job creation since the modern world is too dynamic to allow most jobs to last a working lifetime.

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

For some time, „global“ has had the connotation of „American-dominated“ so one radical change would be a decentralization to multiple power centres so that the world’s economic system could be later reconstructed without any hegemony. This would include the closure of the „World“ Bank (three blocks from the White House) in favour of the regional development banks, and the gradual replacement of the „International“ Monetary Fund by regional funds (e.g., an Asian fund) who could coordinate together when necessary without using the necessity of infrequent coordination as the excuse for frequent imposition of one viewpoint which originates four blocks from the White House.

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

Whatever it takes to end America’s love affair with cheap oil and big cars.

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

The question seems to presuppose that it is a question of just having more regulation as opposed to the deregulation of the immediate past. But the longer term problem has been the gradual decline of the regulating professions (accounting, auditing, legal and judicial scrutiny,…) in the face of the financial power of top corporate management (see third question above) to always find ways to seduce the guardians. Jane Jacobs‘ last book Dark Age Ahead (2004) was quite prophetic in this regard. Rather than thinking that some new breed of incorruptible guardians can be found, the system needs a thorough redesign so that those who would be adversely affected will be better empowered to protect themselves.

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

Yes, „globalisation“ in the sense of a US-corporate-dominated global economic system will suffer a major setback in favour of a new global system with more regional autonomy.

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von morgen – Wolfgang Franz

27. Januar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt jeden Dienstag prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge. Heute: Wolfgang Franz, Präsident des Zentrums für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung und Mitglied im Sachverständigenrat.

 

Weiterlesen …

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von morgen – Charles Wyplosz

20. Januar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Die FTD fragt jeden Dienstag prominente Ökonomen. Im WirtschaftsWunder finden Sie die Antworten in Original-Länge – und Sprache. Heute: der Genfer Wirtschaftsprofessor Charles Wyplosz, einer der renommiertesten europäischen Ökonomen. Weiterlesen …

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von morgen – Peter Bofinger

12. Januar 2009 Kommentare aus

Was kommt nach der Krise? Heute antwortet Peter Bofinger, Mitglied im  Sachverständigenrat und Wirtschaftsprofessor an der Universität Würzburg auf die Fragen der FTD. Hier ist der vollständige Antwortbogen.  Weiterlesen …

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Bert Rürup

22. Dezember 2008 Kommentare aus

Die Weltwirtschaft kriselt. Was kommt danach? Heute antwortet Bert Rürup, Deutschlands profiliertester Rentenexperte und noch bis Anfang 2009 Chef des Sachverständigenrats. Dann wechselt er zum Finanzdienstleister AWD.

 

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* Welche große Maßnahme würde die Klimakatastrophe am ehesten verhindern?

In diesem Falle würde sich ein koordiniertes Vorgehen bei der Entwicklung und Bereitstellung von Technologien, mit denen fossile Brennstoffe eingespart oder substituiert werden, anbieten. Insbesondere sollten die Schwellenländer (BRIC) bei ihrem Aufholprozess darin zu unterstützet werden, vermehrt auf umweltfreundliche Produktionsprozesse zu setzen, auch wenn dies mit Hilfen seitens der Industrieländer verbunden ist. Denn mit einem Euro, der in den Klimaschutz investiert wird, kann in Ländern wie z.B. China oder Indien für das Weltklima deutlich mehr erreicht werden als in frühindustrialisierten und durchweg energieeffizienteren Ländern wie z.B. Deutschland.

* Haben die USA als wirtschaftliche Weltmacht ausgedient?

Die USA sind und bleiben auf die absehbare Zeit die größte und wichtigste Volkswirtschaft der Welt. Gleichwohl wird es im Verlauf der nächsten Jahrzehnte eine Verschiebung der ökonomischen Kraftzentren in Richtung Asien geben. Dort leben zwei Drittel der Menschheit. In vielen Ländern Asiens steigt der wirtschaftliche Wohlstand in einer erstaunlichen Geschwindigkeit, und große Teile der Bevölkerung werden gebildeter und die Unternehmen damit innovativer. Neben die USA, Europa und Japan werden deshalb neue starke weltwirtschaftliche Partner treten – in vorderster Linie China und Indien. 

* Wird China 2020 die wirtschaftliche Weltmacht sein? Oder abgestürzt sein wie Japan und andere frühere Weltmachtkandidaten?

Trotz der enormen Wachstumsraten der chinesischen Volkswirtschaft, wird diese Nation bis 2020 weder die USA noch die EU wirtschaftlich überholen. Ein Absturz Chinas ist nicht zu erwarten, denn dieses Land betreibt eine an den nationalen Interessen orientierte intelligente Entwicklungspolitik.

* Was ist die radikalste Veränderung, die Sie sich für das Weltwirtschaftssystem wünschen?

Angesichts der aktuellen Finanzkrise, deren Schockwellen die ganze Welt erschüttern, sollte es in einer Welt mit globalisierten Finanzmärkten auch eine globale Finanzaufsicht und ein globales Kreditregister der Banken geben. Die einzurichtende supranationale Aufsichtsbehörde – eine Aufsicht der Aufsichten – sollte über hinreichende Kompetenzen verfügen, um nicht nur ein Papiere produzierender zahnloser Tiger zu sein.

* Wäre es besser, die Finanzmärkte wieder ähnlich stark zu regulieren wie in der Zeit vor 1980?

Die aktuelle Finanzkrise verleitet dazu, bei den unstrittig nötigen Regulierungen über das Ziel hinaus zu schießen. Allerdings sollte klar sein, dass man nur dann eine nächste Finanzkrise sicher verhindern könnte, wenn man wüsste, wie diese aussieht und wo sie herkommt. Da man dies aber nicht weiß und die Findigkeit der Marktakteure nicht antizipieren kann, werden wir auch in der Zukunft mit Finanzkrisen leben müssen. Finanzmärkte sind inhärent instabil, und das Ziel einer intelligenten Regulierung kann nur sein, die Wahrscheinlichkeit und die Kosten von Finanzkrisen zu senken.

* Steht der Globalisierung in den nächsten Jahren ein großer Rückschlag bevor?

Die Globalisierung d.h. die Intensivierung der internationalen Arbeitsteilung und des grenzüberschreitenden Güter- und Kapitalverkehrs wird auch in der Zukunft weiter gehen; allerdings in einem stärker regulierten Rahmen. Auch ist nicht auszuschließen, dass einige Staaten – mehr als in der Vergangenheit – den Versuchungen eines Protektionismus erliegen.

 

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von Morgen – Dean Baker

16. Dezember 2008 Kommentare aus

Die Weltwirtschaft kriselt. Was kommt danach? Heute antwortet der renommierte US-Ökonom Dean Baker, Gründer und Direktor der Denkfabrik Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington.

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

The United States will be a leading economic power for long into the future, but the days are over when it could just take steps unilaterally and expect that other countries will accommodate its actions.

* 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?

My expectation is that China’s economy will have surpassed the United States economy by most measures (not per capita income) by 2020. It will certainly face some rough times between now and then, but its leadership has shown itself to be remarkably adept in meeting challenges. Hopefully, by 2020 China will have also made serious advances toward democracy.

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

The most important issue at the moment is the need for a large stimulus (2.0 percent -2.5 percent of GDP) focused on areas of government spending that will quickly affect the economy. This would include infrastructure spending, money for retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, and perhaps extending health care.

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

The ending of protection for most forms of intellectual property. This is an enormously inefficient mechanism for supporting innovation and creative work. If it were not for the political power of the affected industries, patent and copyright would have been overhauled long ago.

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

There will have to an international agreement that assigns emission rights to every country, including those in the developing world. The emission rights for developing countries could be set close to their baseline growth path, with large reductions put in place for the wealthy countries. The wealthy countries will then be in a situation in which they buy permits from developing countries, effectively paying them to develop along a clean path.

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

It is not a question of heavy or weak regulation; it is a question of the right regulation. For the last quarter century we have a policy of one-sided regulation in which banks got to take large risks, while maintaining the security blanket of “too big to fail.” “Too big to fail” is heavy regulation, it means that the country pays a large tax bill every time the bankers make really big mistakes. Proper regulation means that that those who effectively risk taxpayers money are restricted in the risks they can take.

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

Globalization will take different forms in the years ahead. It will not be stopped or turned back, but it might not develop along the lines that the proponents of the current path of globalization want to see.

 

Schlagwörter:

Meine Welt von morgen – Dennis Snower

9. Dezember 2008 Kommentare aus

Die Weltwirtschaft kriselt. Was kommt danach? Heute antwortet Dennis Snower, Präsident des Kieler Instituts für Weltwirtschaft. Hier sind seine Antworten in voller Länge.

 

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* Haben die USA als wirtschaftliche Weltmacht ausgedient?

Bestimmt nicht, denn die amerikanische Wirtschaft wird weiterhin einen wichtigen Teil der Weltwirtschaft beherrschen. Dennoch wird der Dollar als Reservewährung schwächer werden. Der Euro wird wahrscheinlich diese Rolle mit ausfüllen.

* Wird China 2020 die wirtschaftliche Weltmacht sein? Oder abgestürzt sein wie Japan und andere frühere Weltmachtkandidaten?

China wird weiterhin schneller wachsen als die OECD Staaten und dadurch weiterhin an wirtschaftlichen Einfluss gewinnen. Das zukünftige Wachstum Chinas wird aber viel schwächer als zuvor ausfallen. 

* Was ist die radikalste Veränderung, die Sie sich für das Weltwirtschaftssystem wünschen?

Eine einheitliche, kohärente Regulierung und Aufsicht der system-relevanten Finanzinstitutionen auf internationaler Ebene.

* Wäre es besser, die Finanzmärkte wieder ähnlich stark zu regulieren wie in der Zeit vor 1980?

Nein. Wir müssen besser regulieren, nicht unbedingt stärker. Die Regulierung muss so ausgestaltet sein, dass die Institutionen, die riskante Finanztransaktionen unternehmen, auch die entsprechenden Risiken tragen. Die Regulierung sollte aber auch weitere Finanzinnovationen erlauben.

* Welche wirtschaftspolitische Strategie würden Sie dem nächsten US-Präsidenten empfehlen?

Die amerikanische Wirtschaft sollte weiterhin durch die Geld- und Fiskalpolitik angekurbelt werden. Aber gleichzeitig sollte ein mittelfristiger Plan entwickelt werden, der festsetzt, wie die Staatsschuld im Verhältnis zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt zukünftig stabilisiert wird. Einzelfallentscheidungen zu Gunsten spezifischer Sektoren (wie etwa der Automobilindustrie) oder bestimmter Interessensgruppen sollten vermieden werden.

* Welche große Maßnahme würde die Klimakatastrophe am ehesten verhindern? 

Eine einheitliche, weltweite CO2-Steuer. Dann würden alle Länder die Kosten ihres CO2-Ausstoßes zahlen. Die Steuereinnahmen könnten sie nach ihren eigenen Vorstellungen verwenden.

* Steht der Globalisierung in den nächsten Jahren ein großer Rückschlag bevor?

In einem weltweiten Konjunkturabschwung gehen natürlich die weltweiten Exporte und Importe zurück. Zusätzlich könnte eine neue Welle des Protektionismus auf uns zu rollen. Dies würde die weltwirtschaftliche Lage stark eintrüben.

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