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Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

 

 

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November 6, 2013

U.S. and China Both Need Economic Rehab

Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Moritz Schularick

Nearly seven years have passed since we coined the word Chimerica in these pages to characterize the symbiotic relationship between China and America. Few today would dispute that op-ed's original point: that the unbalanced economic relationship between China and America posed a threat to global financial stability. Without the flow of Chinese savings into U.S. dollars, as a result of Beijing's large-scale currency intervention and reserve accumulation, American interest rates would surely have been higher and the housing bubble would have inflated less.

 

 

June 3, 2013

"The E.U.'s Feeble War on Unemployment"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Pierpaolo Barbieri, Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2013

"Banking regulation may not be the most voter-friendly topic. Yet the reality is that the best way to create employment in the periphery is by ending the fragmentation of the financial system that continues to plague Europe. As long as Greek, Portuguese, Spanish or Italian entrepreneurs need to pay a premium of between 4 and 6 percent above what their German counterparts pay on bank loans, how can they possibly start new businesses?"

 

 

November 30, 2012

"Turning Points"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

We yearn for turning points, writes Niall Ferguson. "Just as economists have predicted nine out of the last five recessions, so journalists have surely reported nine out of the last five revolutions. Every election is hailed as epoch-making. Every president is expected to have a new foreign policy 'doctrine.' A minor redesign of a cellular phone is hailed by the devotees of the Apple cult as a 'paradigm shift.'"

 

 

October 15, 2012

"What Biden Doesn't Want You to Know"

Op-Ed, The Daily Beast

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Current veep Joe Biden certainly sought to play last Thursday’s vice-presidential debate for laughs. Embarrassingly for Democrats, the laughs were mainly his own. Guffawing, chortling—all but slapping his thighs and wiping away the tears—Biden might equally well have been arguing about the relative merits of whiskey and poteen in a hostelry with a name like 'The Shamrock'" writes Niall Ferguson.

 

 

AP Photo/LOCOG

May 21, 2012

"London's Last Waltz"

Op-Ed, Newsweek

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Niall Ferguson writes that those planning to come to London for the Olympics should read Joseph Roth’s Radetzky March. For London today, he says, resembles nowhere more closely than fin-de-siècle Vienna—in good ways, but also in bad.

 

 

AP Photo

May 2, 2012

"Merkel Can Achieve Fiscal Union in Europe"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Pierpaolo Barbieri, Former Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program, 2011–2013

"Europe's monetary union is neither the joint checking account of a dysfunctional family nor a latter-day gold standard. It was always meant to be a staging post on the road to a federal Europe. Today the biggest threat to its survival is no longer the economic consequences of austerity; it is the political consequences, in the form of populist, anti-European, usually xenophobic fringe parties. Almost everywhere but Germany, such parties are gaining support."

 

 

April 30, 2012

"African Game Change"

Op-Ed, Newsweek

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"In the years that lie before us, a great struggle will play out south of the Sahara: a struggle between man and Malthus. According to the Rev. Thomas Malthus’s famous principle—sometimes called the Malthusian trap—population grows geometrically, but the supply of food increases arithmetically. Viewed in those terms, many African countries today seem doomed to misery and vice," writes Belfer Center International Council member Niall Ferguson, "So is Africa heading over a demographic waterfall? Maybe not....Two things are changing the continent’s prospects. The first is the surging demand for the natural resources that are so abundant in Africa....The other game changer is mobile telephony....cellphones are giving poor Africans access to basic financial services for the first time."

 

 

AP Photo

May 17, 2010

"The End of the Euro"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Newsweek

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Just when it seemed safe to start using the word "recovery," a Greek crisis is threatening the world economy, and the very existence of the world's second-biggest currency."

 

 

AP Photo

February 11, 2010

"A Greek Crisis is Coming to America"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"...[T]he idiosyncrasies of the eurozone should not distract us from the general nature of the fiscal crisis that is now afflicting most western economies. Call it the fractal geometry of debt: the problem is essentially the same from Iceland to Ireland to Britain to the US. It just comes in widely differing sizes."

 

 

AP Photo

January/February 2010

"What 'Chimerica' Hath Wrought"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, American Interest

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"For a time, [Chimerica] was a symbiotic relationship that seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Put simply, one half did the saving, the other half the spending. Comparing net national savings as a proportion of Gross National Income, American savings declined from above 5 percent in the mid 1990s to virtually zero by 2005, while Chinese savings surged from below 30 percent to nearly 45 percent. This divergence in saving patterns allowed a tremendous explosion of debt in the United States, for one effect of the Asian "savings glut" was to make it much cheaper for households to borrow money than would otherwise have been the case."

 

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