Palestinians wait to receive doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19vaccine, in Hebron in the  West Bank, earlier this week. The global vaccine rollout is uneven and, relative to the challenges, too slow. Photograph: Getty

Martin Wolf: Growth is speeding up, but huge challenges remain

Olga D’arc Pimentel, 72, is vaccinated  in the Nossa Senhora Livramento community on the banks of the Rio Negro in  Brazil. The more widespread the virus, the greater is the likelihood of harmful mutations. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Martin Wolf: World leaders need to do ‘whatever it takes’

“The economic relationship between the EU and UK is rather like Canada’s with the US” Photograph: AFP via Getty

Martin Wolf: This is much better than the stupidity of no deal

The big questions are whether real interest rates will jump, and how soon. Photograph: Bloomberg

Martin Wolf: It all depends on earnings and interest rates

The authors of a new book assert that we could see a surge in inflation, quite likely more than 5 per cent, or even on the order of 10 per cent in 2021. Image: iStock

Martin Wolf: Today’s monetary largesse could lead to tomorrow’s price growth

Coronavirus has caused about 1.1m deaths worldwide, mostly among the elderly. File photograph: The Irish Times

Profound shock of virus follows disruption caused by global financial crisis 12 years ago

Iranian pedestrians wearing protective masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, walk along a street in the capital Tehran. We have been living through what the Bank for International Settlements in its latest annual report, calls a “global sudden stop”. Photograph: AFP

Martin Wolf: Aggressive fiscal and monetary policies will be needed

It is necessary to have access to essential supplies in a pandemic, though it is also necessary to be able to restore production quickly if some of it is disrupted. Image: iStock

Martin Wolf: Export restrictions just shift shortages on to countries with the least capacity

We do not know what the path of economic recovery is going to look like. We do not know how bad the impact of the pandemic will ultimately be on trade, trade policy and international relations. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Martin Wolf: Will we go back to the lives we led before?

By agreeing a radical new financial plan with French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel has transformed the EU’s possibilities. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Martin Wolf: EU could shatter if it doesn’t rise to its many challenges

Popular resistance to a repetition of the public spending cuts that came after the financial crisis will be intense. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Martin Wolf: Sensible governments should finance all their debt at today’s ultra-cheap rates

 Germany’s Constitutional Court launched a legal missile into the heart of the EU with its ruling on the legality of a European Central Bank emergency bond-buying scheme

Martin Wolf: For future historians the German ruling on ECB may be a decisive turning point in Europe’s history

The pandemic has raised fears of defaults, financial crises and  even exits from the euro zone. The ECB can address all of these issues. Photograph: EPA

Martin Wolf: The only option is for the ECB to do ‘whatever it takes’

 Ambulances outside the ExCeL London exhibition centre ithat is being transformed into a field hospital.

Martin Wolf: the economic and social costs of lockdowns seem likely to increase exponentially over time

Martin Wolf: If the euro zone cannot show solidarity in such a crisis, its failure will be neither forgotten nor forgiven

UK prime minster and Brexiteer Boris Johnson.

Martin Wolf: Britain’s demands for its negotiations with the EU are unrealistic

Martin Wolf: “Never in my lifetime has a British government been so determined to inflict economic damage on its own people.”  Photograph: AFP via Getty

British politicians will press their noses against the EU windows as decisions that affect them are made

A necessary condition for a deficit funded investment in the economy would be the confidence of the world’s savers and investors in the good sense, self-discipline and realism of British policymakers. Photograph: Frank Augstein/Getty

Lack of private investment amid Brexit uncertainty is undermining prospects for Britain’s economy

US allies  should not support American attempts to thwart China’s rise. Photograph: EPA

Martin Wolf: US allies need to work together and uphold a multilateral trading system

The attitude of Xi Jinping, China’s president, to the private sector “remains rather unclear, to put it mildly”. Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Martin Wolf: Doubts linger about President Xi’s commitment to private enterprise

The euro is 20, a bit battered, but still the only game in the EU.

Martin Wolf: Break-up would hugely damage fragile order built on postwar wreckage

UK prime minister Theresa May’s deal is worst of both worlds.

Martin Wolf: Comparisons with the 1956 Suez crisis do not get close to the mark. This is a far more significant mess than that

Both global growth in 2017 and the growth forecast by the IMF for 2018 and 2019 are higher than in any year since the crisis, except for 2010 and 2011, the years of post-crisis recovery. This, then, is a time of fragile recovery.

Martin Wolf: There are many variables which could undermine the fragile recovery

Current Chinese premier Li Keqiang. His predecessor Wen Jiabao said the Chinese economy’s biggest problem was that growth was unstable and unsustainable. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Reuters

Martin Wolf: Chances of a desperately needed rebalancing are rising

The deal reached when China joined the WTO in 2001 is no longer acceptable. As Mr Trump states, the US wants strict “reciprocity”

Martin Wolf: Beijing must recognise the shift in American perceptions and make some concessions

An Italian policeman looks at an electoral poster at a polling station in Rome. Why are Italian voters so disenchanted? The obvious answers are that economic performance has been so dismal, while established Italian policymakers appear so ineffective

Martin Wolf: Until prosperity is better distributed, Europe will remain vulnerable to upheaval

Donald Trump really is a protectionist. It is more than mere rhetoric.

Martin Wolf: This is the beginning of the end of the rules-governed multilateral trading order that the US itself created.

Mr Xi has discarded the attempt by Deng Xiaoping to institutionalise checks on the power of China’s leaders — itself a reaction to the wild excesses of the era of Mao Zedong.

Martin Wolf: autocracy versus democracy is the defining clash of our times

Whatever way it is sliced and diced, the UK will become a mid-table satellite of the EU, just like Canada is to the US

Martin Wolf: Despite the depressing nature of politics the world economy is humming and may yet prove an antidote to populism

President Xi Jinping of China and President Donald Trump with their wives during an opera in the Forbidden City in Beijing, in November. Of the world’s strongmen, Xi Jinping has emerged the strongest - the leader of a rising superpower.

The geopolitical situation remains tense, although the world economy is improving

Martin Wolf: If people in the UK government believe such stuff, it really is terrifying. This is nonsense. Wake up!

Martin Wolf: Here are six things that are impossible yet are being touted as the Brexit dividend

Output per head in the UK economy is already about a sixth smaller than it would have been if pre-crisis trends had continued.

Martin Wolf: Neverthelss, the UK chancellor has played his bad budget hand cleverly

A favela in Rio. Brazil needs a political and economic rebirth.

Its system needs to move from corruption to honesty, opacity to transparency, discretion to predictability, and from looking after(...)

A roadside poster of Chinese president Xi Jinping,  in Beijing, last week: Under Xi, China is increasingly autocratic and illiberal. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Democracies have to recognise their failures to counter a China that sees itself as an ideological rival

The Great Depression. Do we ever really learn, asks Marin Wolf.

Martin Wolf: Governments have failed to address the many frailties that still lead to financial excess.

Yet another zombie idea is that the UK can survive quite well without a favourable deal with the EU or a transition to such a deal.

It is highly likely that the Brexit negotiations will fail, imposing an abrupt shock on the UK economy and ruining relations with (...)

Flooding in Bangladesh. Poorer countries are hardest hit by global warming.

Martin Wolf: The linked challenges of climate and development will shape humanity’s future

Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen: she has  demonstrated why she is, of the known candidates for next Fed chairman, the outstanding one. Photograph: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

If a big jump in inflation would be destructive, so would excessive tightening

Martin Wolf: The Trump administration’s “unified framework for fixing our broken tax code” is a breathtakingly thin document.

Martin Wolf: this will surely reinforce the global spiral towards ever-lower corporate taxes,

Crusaders versus Muslims. Trump’s clash of civilisations rhetoric has no place in a globalised world.

Martin Wolf: Going it alone will cost the US domestically and internationally

Martin Wolf: We need to base policy on facts not ideology

The election of Donald Trump was on the back of populist anger

Martin Wolf: the abiding characteristic of populism is its division of the world into a virtuous people on the one hand, and corru(...)

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. “If Trump wishes to take a small step towards establishing a reputation for judgment he should reappoint Yellen.”

Martin Wolf: Federal Reserve has to walk tight line on US monetary policy

Idle folly has trapped the UK between an EU rock and an ultra-hard Brexit

Martin Wolf: Theresa May promised strength and stability – she has delivered the opposite

Trump on Paris: the US cannot be made “great” by rejecting global responsibility and embracing coal. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Martin Wolf: The US president’s appeal to irrationality and xenophobia is frightening

On peace, the question remains whether Donald Trump’s instinct for conflict can be contained.

President at war with reality is further undermining moribund and divided West

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel prior to talks in Berlin on May 15th

Will Germany really support France in its drive for greater integration?

Emmanuel Macron’s challenges are initially political. He must turn his personal victory into a hold on effective domestic power. Photograph: Cesare Abbate/EPA

Country is no basket case but does have economic issues to confront

Former US president Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump’s policies look ever more like Reagan’s, but from a more unfavourable starting point.

Martin Wolf: US president will make rich richer and will not enact his populist policies

Global factors: The rise of plebiscitary dictatorship in Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey does not bode well for their economies.

Policymakers should ensure open and competitive economies and cut excess regulation

US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross: ”We are far less protectionist than Europe. We are far less protectionist than Japan. We are far less protectionist than China.”  Photograph:  AFP Photo

Wilbur Ross shows one can be a billionaire and not understand how the economy works

The rapid growth of indebtedness and the size of China’s financial system represent a threat to global stability. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

The country needs to rebalance its economy before opening up capital flows

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis. Brexiters will discover that all trade deals impose constraints on national autonomy, and the more market-opening the deal, the tighter the constraints

If a deal is to be reached with the EU, the UK will need to make concessions

Trump may declare “America first”. The Chinese leadership may focus on the welfare of its own citizens. But neither will be able to deliver what they want without paying attention to the interests and views of others

We are hoping a Chinese communist can persuade Trump of the merits of liberal trade

The move from bilateral to multilateral balancing nearly 70 years ago was a starting point for the explosion in trade that has driven global growth. Photograph: Getty Images

Economic nationalism and protectionism didn’t work in the 1930s – it won’t work now

Martin Wolf: The UK government must set the right objectives, appreciate its position and adopt an effective approach.

Britain will leave the EU and the only question is on what and whose terms?

Am Indian woman in a potato field. The UN forecasts India’s population might be 1.7bn by 2050

India has some major obstacles to overcome to become global economic power

An anti-corruption protest in India.  Prime Minister  Narendra Modi has demonitised  500 and 1,000 rupee notes as part of a  fight against the black economy and corruption

What Modi has done makes everything Trumps has done so far look trivial

Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May: “Our economy should work for everyone, but if your pay has stagnated for several years in a row and fixed items of spending keep going up, it doesn’t feel like it’s working for you.”

Stagnating wages and a return to inflation measn the less well off willl be hit the hardest

Martin Wolf: The UK has committed itself to becoming “global Britain”. Getting there successfully will be a big challenge.

Brexit will be nasty, brutish and long. There are five key challenges ahead.

 The share of jobs in manufacturing in the US has fallen from  30 per cent of total employment in the  1950s to just over 8 per cent.

The president’s policies are likely to impose large costs on unprotected sectors

Protectionism was the policy of choice during the Great Depression

Free trade is defended by communist China and the US is on the verge of becoming a rogue state

“For much of human history, war was seen as the natural relationship between societies.”

Co-operating with foreigners for mutual benefit disturbs the cultural matrix of tribal loyalty

Donald Trump and Barack Obama: the Obama administration has rescued the US economy and bequeathed a sound foundation for its successor to build on

Obama erred in not going all out to punish those whose irresponsibility blew up the US financial system and economy

Increasing friction between China and the US is a worry for 2017.

War, inflation and financial crisis are the three horsemen of the apocalypse

  Xi Jinping: his solutions “seem to be more Leninism and more markets, yet this is a  problematic combination”. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

One-party Leninist rule allied with endemic corruption does not bode well for future

A branch of troubled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Rome. The inability to resolve the banking crisis in ways that meet the constraints of Italian politics and European rules is now a canker in Italy’s politics.

Interactions between economic events and political stresses are unpredictable

There are limits to how far China might replace the US in world trade – China’s share of global gross domestic product at market prices was  15 per cent in 2016.

Political struggle is over who benefits from know-how developed by western companies

Construction workers in the US. Donald Trump plans to increase infrastructure spending. Photograph; Getty Images

Rich stand to gain, manufacturing will be hit and cost of living will rise

A shuttered steel mill in Pennsylvania, US. The rate of creation of new jobs has slowed markedly, as have rates of internal migration. Photograph: Getty

Mediocre growth, high inequality and low job creation are problems facing new administration

Mumbai in India. If global trade it is revived it will probably be by the Asian giants China and India

The days of western leadership on trade would seem to be over

“Inflation targeting can cause problems – notably if the impact of monetary policy on finance is ignored.”

Governments should examine reforms that could help central banks deliver growth

UK prime minister Theresa May: speeches at the Tory party conference make a hard Brexit “by far the most probable outcome”. Photograph: PA Wire

British PM’s loose talk over UK’s EU exit has heightened possibility of economic crisis

“In an effort to retain high profitability, Deutsche Bank is highly leveraged. About half of its €1.8 trillion in assets are linked to its trading activities.” Photograph:  Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Banking will remain an accident waiting to happen until proper safeguards are in place

“Brexit means Brexit”: the three-word sentence tells us much about UK prime minister Theresa May’s style.

Halfway houses between EU membership and hard exit from EU are uninhabitable

The Luas cross city construction works at O’Connell Bridge in  Dublin. The time is right for major public infrasructure investment. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

In the face of low interest rates, a rescue by ‘helicopter money’ might be needed

An analysis from the Peterson Institute for International Economics argues that ratios of world trade to output have been flat since 2008, making this the longest period of such stagnation since the second World War. Photograph: Getty Images

The dominant philosophy of our age has plateaued and in some areas is in reverse

Oswald Mosley,  leader of the British Union of Fascists, being saluted at a fascist parade.  The 1930s saw the rise of authoritarianism as citizens lost faith in liberal democracy.

The symbiotic relationship is under strain, last seen during rise of fascism in the 1930s

Signs supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are held during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Stagnating incomes will not be solved by a dose of populist protectionism

We are neither in the middle of an era of unprecedented economic advance nor on the brink of an era of exceptional job destruction.

We must put an end to our facile optimism, we live in harsh times

The EU is unlikely to gain the legitimacy that comes from democratic accountability but making the euro zone a prosperous place for its citizens  is indispensable. Brexit is a nuisance. The priority is a practical plan for widely shared economic growth.

If citizens see the practical benefits of membership, then the union will thrive

Nothing happening here. Britain should paly for time, argues Martin Wolf.

Britain should refrain from a hasty withdrawal until it has a better sense of what’s at stake

Martin Wolf: It is, for me, among the saddest of hours.

It is a revolt of the provinces against a prosperous and globalised London

“The very fact that the UK is able to hold this referendum demonstrates that it remains sovereign.” Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

The democratic EU of today owes immeasurably to British politics, values and courage

The consequences of Brexit are unlikely to be limited to the UK. The direct impact of British economic instability on the world might not be large, though the euro zone is not in a good position to cope with negative shocks.

Leaving the EU might be a big economic shock and not just for the UK

Tourists watch the march of the Presidential Guard (Evzoni) in front of the parliament building in Athens. The most disturbing aspect of the Greek macroeconomic situation is its external position, not the fiscal one

The IMF now acknowledges that the programme agreed in 2010 was wildly unrealistic

Alchemy lies at the heart of the financial system; moreover, banking was, like alchemy, a medieval idea, but one we have not as yet discarded.

A system built on making promises it cannot keep is bound to crash, and crash again

Donald Trump supporters gather for a ralyy.Trump is the pied piper of the enraged and the resentful, says Martin Wolf.

Democracy is in trouble, big trouble, and weak and self-interested leadership is to blame

Germany’s ideas and interests are of huge importance to the euro zone. But they should not determine everything.

Europe’s heavyweight needs to understand that its part of a club

Westminster, London. States exist to serve the interests of their citizens. They can achieve that objective only through co-operation with other states.

Referendum is not about sovereignty. It is about how best to exercise the country’s power. And that is best done in the EU

If the euro zone broke up in a disorderly fashion, the damage to its closest partners might be substantial. Yet the EU will remain the UK’s biggest trading partner indefinitely.

Those in favour of leaving offer fantasies of damage done by staying and of opportunity opened by departure

The UK is not the great power of the past. But its actions still have consequences. It is not – and must not wish to be – a European Singapore. Only the west’s enemies would welcome such a folly.

Barack Obama needs to tell the British, nicely but firmly, that they have to stay in the EU

The opening up of China’s financial system to the world must be regarded as a matter of global concern

The country is systemically important and suffers high and rising corporate indebtedness

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne speaking in the House of Commons.

Steady reduction in corporation tax suggests government is trying to turn UK into Ireland

On balance, the opportunities afforded by the application of information technologies to our financial system seem large.

However, such disruption must be beneficial and ordered as the sector is too important for a chaotic transition

Donald Trump speaks during the Republican US presidential candidates debate.

Donald Trump is a ‘promoter of paranoid fantasies, a xenophobe and an ignoramus’

Can the world escape from the chronic demand weakness? Absolutely, yes. Will it? That demands greater boldness. When one has exhausted the just about possible, what remains, however improbable, must be the answer.

It is time for Plan C, which could mean central banks giving every adult citizen a lump of money to spend

David Cameron: In all, he has laboured to produce a mouse. Photograph: EPA

UK needs a voice in Europe and the bloc would benefit too

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to reporters on a plane en route to New Hampshire in the early morning hours of Feb. 2, 2016. Sanders and Hillary Clinton were locked in an intensely tight race in the Iowa caucuses. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

‘There is a growing sense that those at the top are corrupt, complacent and incompetent’

More articles