Sign Up


Barry Wood

Broadcaster and Economics Journalist

Based in Washington, D.C., Barry D. Wood is an analyst and commentator, mainly on economic issues. He is currently a weekly financial markets commentator on RTHK radio in Hong Kong.

During two decades as chief economics correspondent at Voice of America, he reported on finance, trade and development from over 50 countries. For three years in the 1990s he was based in Prague, reporting on the economic transformation in post-communist Europe.

Earlier he was a correspondent for the Financial Mail and NBC News in Johannesburg, covering the Soweto uprising and independence in Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Prior to entering journalism, Mr. Wood taught economics at Northern Michigan University and social science at Western Michigan University.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Western Michigan University, with additional study at Oxford and in Yugoslavia.

His new book Exploring New Europe, a Bicycle Journey is about the people he met in 15 countries during a 2,500-mile bicycle trip from Estonia to Albania.

Articles by Barry Wood

1971: Big Shifts in China and in the U.S.

The year when China was brought out of its shell -- and the U.S. started learning about unsuccessful interventions.

December 28, 2021

F.W. de Klerk: Rising to a Shakespearean Challenge

Reflections on the life of the late South African President.

November 16, 2021

An Evolving American Language

The American language becomes inclusive, gender neutral and racialized, as well as ugly and inaccurate.

July 10, 2021

San Francisco and Prague: A Double Portrait

Remembering historic times of magic -- in two magical cities.

January 3, 2021

American Newspapers: Disruption, Decline, …Collapse?

U.S. newspapers are dying a slow, but accelerating death. Even Warren Buffet has thrown in the towel.

June 20, 2020

Kent State at 50: An America Even More Divided

Is it possible that U.S. society is more divided today than it used to be at the height of the anti-Vietnam war protests in the late 1960s?

May 4, 2020

50 Years After Kent State

50 years ago, on May 4, 1970, the U.S. National Guard opened fire on protesters at Kent State University. Barry Wood traveled to the campus and found somber reminders of that tragic day.

May 4, 2020

Letter from Berlin: Wealth and Worry

Germans worry about not getting things right. What has happened to Germany’s much-vaunted German efficiency?

April 25, 2020

Assessing “Phase One” of the US-China Trade Deal

Will China really halt technology transfers that it has required under many joint venture deals with U.S. companies?

January 15, 2020

Central Europe: Democracy Intact, But Under Pressure

Polarized and despondent, the Czech Republic is not a happy place. Despite rising living standards, Czechs are stuck in a national malaise.

November 19, 2019

Thirty Years After the Wall Fell: Part 3 — The Balkans

How the market economy changed lives: East Europeans assess 30 years of freedom.

November 10, 2019

Freedom Reborn: Witnessing German Reunification

The fall of the Berlin Wall signaled a rebirth of freedom, liberating millions who had been trapped for two generations on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.

November 9, 2019

Thirty Years After the Wall Fell: Part 2 — Central Europe

How the market economy changed lives: East Europeans assess 30 years of freedom.

November 9, 2019

Thirty Years After the Wall Fell: Part 1 — The Baltics and Kaliningrad

How the market economy changed lives: East Europeans assess 30 years of freedom.

November 8, 2019

Two Chinas: Hong Kong and Shanghai

The people of Hong Kong are fighting a very courageous battle against very long odds. Meanwhile, people in Shanghai live well under a Faustian bargain with the CCP.

October 3, 2019

UK: Amidst Chaos, Keeping Calm

Another Edward R. Murrow moment? Letter from a relaxed England as October Brexit approaches.

September 7, 2019

Nevada Gigafactory Critical to Tesla’s Future

The Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, soon to be the world’s biggest building, is a huge roll of the dice for Elon Musk.

June 18, 2019

Tomas Masaryk and Czechoslovakian Independence, 100 Years Ago

Few people are aware that Czechoslovak independence was declared in the United States, in Philadelphia on October 26, 1918.

October 28, 2018

Tomas Masaryk: The Background

The story of the man who worked tirelessly for Czech and Slovak autonomy.

October 27, 2018

Letter from Serbia: The EU and the Western Balkans

In less than half a century, Serbia morphed from hero to villain. And the country remains an outcast, the stench of Milosevic still in the air.

May 16, 2018

Buffett: No US-China Trade War

A reflection on the 2018 Berkshire annual meeting.

May 7, 2018

Czar Vladimir (Putin)

Putin rules like a Czar, deeply conservative, fearful of unrest, placing stability above all else.

March 17, 2018

Hungary’s Viktor Orban: Europe’s Flame Thrower

How Viktor Orban rides the populist wave against Muslim “invaders.”

January 14, 2018

After Mugabe: Zimbabweans Hope for a Better Life

Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe could use its bountiful natural resources to usher in a new era.

November 23, 2017

Wolfgang Schäuble: Unwavering European

To manage Europe’s future, the outgoing German finance minister argues “First comes risk reduction -- and only then risk sharing.”

October 24, 2017

The Real Reason Why Eastern Europe Wants No Refugees

Despite shrinking populations, Eastern European countries are worried that taking in refugees is socially disruptive while providing no benefit in closing the income gap with Western Europe.

September 28, 2017

South Africa: Democracy at Risk

South Africa’s President treats his country as his own personal fiefdom and that of his cronies

April 4, 2017

Zimbabwe: Blundering Toward Disaster

Zimbabwe faces a financial Armageddon that could turn it into another Somalia.

December 16, 2016

How Sgt. Pepper Arrived in Yugoslavia

Communist censorship kept Sgt. Pepper away from the ears of people behind the iron curtain.

May 29, 2016

Warren Buffett’s Reflections on Delivering Papers

Wartime Washington, DC, taught Buffet hard work and reliability

May 2, 2015

Thessaloniki: Heart of Macedonia

Why a silly naming dispute in the Balkans should not be allowed to fester.

November 3, 2013

Tendai Biti: A Brave Reformer in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

How can a politician bring about effective reforms while sharing power with Robert Mugabe?

October 20, 2009

Headscarves in Turkey: Pulling East and West?

Why are women's headscarves so controversial in modern Turkey?

October 14, 2009

Crossing Lithuania

What is the fate of the Lithuanian economy as a new member of the European Union?

September 13, 2003

Biking the Baltics

How have the Baltic states changed since the collapse of communism?

June 7, 2003