Read My Lips

State of the Globe, Part 3:
On the Global Economy

What did the world have to say about the global economy in 2002?

Just how bad was the global economy in 2002?

Takeaways


2002 has been a somber year for the global economy. The United States and Europe suffered from slow growth and corporate shenanigans. Latin America experienced financial crises. And the developing world continued to struggle with poverty and economic growth. The third installment of our “State of the Globe” series reflects on the course of the global economy over the last year.

In hindsight, what should we think about the past decade?

“In the 1990s, we were engaged in a misguided attempt to achieve growth on the cheap.”

(Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics)

Why is it so hard to appreciate the benefits of trade?

“No one ever says on Christmas morning: ‘Without trade with China, I would only be able to buy half as many toys for my kids.'”

(Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary)

How did the Chinese economy change in 2002?

“This is not a socialist country anymore — the gap between rich and poor is too wide.”

(Jobless Chinese worker)

And what about Africa?

“We are getting back to the same colonial equation where, in the land of our birth, Africans own nothing, control nothing, run nothing. We are soon to be aliens in our own country.”

(Fred M’member, executive editor of Zambia's The Post, on foreign investors)

What is Argentina's problem this year?

“In Argentina, we have Swedish tax rates, a Latin American inability to collect taxes — and an African ability to provide services.”

(Ricardo López Murphy, Argentina’s former Economy Minister)

Will Brazil suffer from similar problems?

“Brazil has terrific natural resources, healthy capital markets — and a functioning democracy. Argentina has almost none of those.”

(Kenneth N. Gilpin, New York Times columnist)

Is it time for the rich countries to play by the rules?

“You’re going to see more and more poor countries saying to the rich countries: ‘Okay, we’ve played by your rules. When do we start to see the pay-off?”

(Mark Malloch Brown, Head of the UN Development Program)

What does the U.S. President have to say about the fight against poverty?

“Our commitment to human dignity is challenged by persistent poverty and raging disease.”

(U.S. President George W. Bush, in a statement to the UN)

What about U.S. development aid?

“The single best provider of foreign aid is the more than 10 million U.S. immigrants and migrant workers who send back a portion of their earnings to their home countries.”

(Richard W. Rahn, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute)

What went wrong during the last decade?

“If there was ever a time not to push deregulation further, the 1990s was it.”

(Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics)

What is troubling the European economy?

“The stability pact is like Procrustes’ bed: too small for some, too big for others — and a torture for all.”

(Advisor to the French Finance Minister)

Why did U.S. capitalism put the globalization process in danger?

“The outrageous compensation packages of many corporate managers have convinced overseas critics that American-style capitalism and globalization exploit the less fortunate. It may convince many Americans of the same thing.”

(Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. ambassador to France)

What else went wrong on Wall Street in 2002?

“Di-worse-ification.”

(Theo Francis, Wall Street Journal writer)

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On the Global Economy”

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