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NFL Labor Peace Brings Employment Chaos: Business Class
By Tobias J. Moskowitz Aug 4, 2011 2:20 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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Now that labor peace is at hand in the National Football League, the real chaos is beginning.
There is an unusually narrow timeframe for teams to sign (or pass on) the hundreds of free-agent players who remain on the market. Thus, the next few weeks promise to be a caffeine-fueled free-for-all.
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Europe Gets Debt Relief One-Third Right: Business Class
By Harald Uhlig Jul 28, 2011 2:47 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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On July 21, European leaders decided on a new plan for Greece and new rules for the European Financial Stability Facility. They also came up with two remarkable oxymorons: The private sector will voluntarily agree to losses and Greece won't default for now, but instead will selectively default on some of its obligations. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, seemed to be smiling.
Did they have reason to celebrate? While the leaders took a step in the right direction, I would argue that the glass is only one-third full. The euro zone still faces several thorny issues, but the proposals that were offered to resolve them are more in conflict than in harmony.
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Longer Lives and Lower Health Costs in 2040: Business Class
By Robert W. Fogel Jul 21, 2011 12:27 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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One of the biggest questions in determining the future sustainability of our health-care system is this: Will the 21st century witness as large an increase in the average life expectancy of the rich countries -- 30 to 40 years -- as occurred during the last century?
Most experts believe it won't. The middle estimate of the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, is that the increase in life expectancy between 2000 and 2050 will be only about seven years, and the estimated increase for the entire 21st century is just 13 years. This is less than half the increase that occurred during the 20th century. The same conservatism is evident in the projections of the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development​, and other national and international agencies.
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Why Employers Are Slow to Fill Jobs: Business Class
By Steven J. Davis Jul 15, 2011 2:17 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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Bill Clinton put his finger on a distressing aspect of the U.S. jobs situation in a recent television interview. The former president remarked that openings are being filled at only half the rate of previous recessions, even though current unemployment is much higher. He stressed the bleak outlook for job-seeking construction workers and the need for retraining and skills development.
He has a point: Construction workers can't easily become nurses. And, given the weak housing market, an early return of boom times in construction is highly unlikely. So skill mismatch will persist. It slows the pace of job filling by making it harder for employers to find suitable hires.
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Household Debt Is at Heart of Weak U.S. Economy: Business Class
By Amir Sufi Jul 7, 2011 5:14 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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In the midst of a downturn, good macroeconomic policy requires a solid understanding of the headwinds facing the economy. Unfortunately, policy makers often are more interested in their ideological biases than in facts. As a result, the debate has degenerated into sterile arguments: Those on the right are convinced that government intervention is holding back a robust recovery. The left argues that we need more public spending.
We need to move beyond this hackneyed debate, and doing so requires a reframing of the discussion. The optimal policy response can only be formed if we know why the economy remains weak. And in making the diagnosis, it is crucial to check ideology at the door and instead be guided by the data.
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Shareholders Are Giving CEOs the Right Pay: Business Class
By Steven N. Kaplan Jun 30, 2011 3:18 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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As always happens in the spring, companies reported the pay of their chief executive officers and other top leaders. And, as usual, the press and activists complained that CEOs are paid more and more, without regard for performance, and that boards aren't doing their jobs.
But there's a twist this year. The Say-on-Pay rules in the Dodd-Frank legislation required for the first time that shareholders vote on executive-pay packages. And to the surprise of many, those votes have been overwhelmingly positive. The pay policies at more than 98 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index received majority shareholder support. Almost 90 percent of those companies received favorable votes exceeding 70 percent.
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Accountants of the World Unite!: Business Class
By Christian Leuz Jun 24, 2011 9:35 AM GMT+0000 Comments
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The debate over whether the U.S. should abandon its long-standing accounting standards and adopt international rules that are used by most other countries often misses an important point.
While the economic case for the switch isn’t strong, failure to act carries substantial political risks for the U.S. It could also imperil the push for a global reporting regime and weaken efforts to reform other areas of global financial regulation.
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Beware China's Political Bubble: Business Class
By Brian Barry Jun 16, 2011 12:42 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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Although China has been churning out its share of unpleasant news, many onlookers don't consider its problems as serious as those of other big economies.
They should think again. China’s biggest economic challenges are political in nature and daunting, and will almost certainly get worse. That is because its autocratic system, for all the stability it has provided, will struggle to handle the sustained economic slowdown the country is likely to confront during this decade.
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Euro May Have to Coexist With a German-Led Uber Euro: Business Class
By Anil Kashyap Jun 9, 2011 3:51 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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It appears another rescue is on the way for Greece. It won't solve the currency union's problems. The real threat to the euro isn't that a weak peripheral country like Greece might withdraw in an effort to devalue its way to competitiveness, but rather that Germany might want to pull out.
Germany's incentive to leave grows with each bailout, and Berlin could ultimately make a simple calculation that extrication will be less costly than continuing the sacrifice needed to keep the euro.
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Is QE2 a Savior, Inflator, or a Dud?: Business Class
By John H. Cochrane Jun 2, 2011 1:42 PM GMT+0000 Comments
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The Federal Reserve’s experiment with a second round of quantitative easing is nearing an end. Did it achieve its goal of lowering interest rates and stimulating the economy?
Should we remember QE2 as a brilliant innovation, a central piece of the Fed’s future recession and deflation-fighting toolkit? Or is it the first step toward hyperinflation? When the Fed stops buying government bonds, will interest rates rise sharply because no one else is buying?
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BUSINESS CLASS CONTRIBUTORS
ANIL KASHYAP
Anil K Kashyap is the Edward Eagle Brown Professor of Economics and Finance at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research focuses on banking, business cycles, corporate finance, monetary policy and the Japanese economy.
JOHN COCHRANE
John H. Cochrane is the AQR Capital Management Professor of Finance at Chicago Booth. His publications include the book Asset Pricing, which received the TIAA-CREF Institute Paul A. Samuelson Award.
STEVEN KAPLAN
Steven N. Kaplan is the Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the Chicago Booth and is among the world’s top researchers on private equity, venture capital and corporate governance.
BRIAN BARRY
Brian Barry is clinical professor of economics and executive director of Chicago Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets. The IGM studies global movements of capital, products and talent, and examines how these markets work, their effects, and the way they interact with policies and institutions.
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