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The perils of 2012

By Joseph Stiglitz KOLKATA: The year 2011 will be remembered as the time when many ever-optimistic Americans began to give up hope. President John F. Kennedy once said that a rising tide lifts all boats. But now, in the receding tide, Americans are beginning to see not only that those with taller masts had been lifted …


The globalization of protest

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The protest movement that began in Tunisia in January, subsequently spreading to Egypt, and then to Spain, has now become global, with the protests engulfing Wall Street and cities across America. Globalization and modern technology now enables social movements to transcend borders as rapidly as ideas can. And social protest has …


A contagion of bad ideas

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The Great Recession of 2008 has morphed into the North Atlantic Recession: it is mainly Europe and the United States, not the major emerging markets, that have become mired in slow growth and high unemployment. And it is Europe and America that are marching, alone and together, to the denouement of …


The ideological crisis of Western capitalism

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology — the belief in free and unfettered markets — brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its hey-day, from the early 1980’s until 2007, American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest …


The IMF’s switch in time

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund was notable in marking the Fund’s effort to distance itself from its own long-standing tenets on capital controls and labor-market flexibility. It appears that a new IMF has gradually, and cautiously, emerged under the leadership of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Slightly more than 13 …


Gambling with the planet

By Joseph Stiglitz DUBAI: The consequences of the Japanese earthquake — especially the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant — resonate grimly for observers of the American financial crash that precipitated the Great Recession. Both events provide stark lessons about risks, and about how badly markets and societies can manage them. Of course, in …


The Mauritius miracle

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care — including heart surgery — for all. You might suspect that such a country is either phenomenally rich or on the fast track to …


The Tunisian catalyst

By Joseph Stiglitz DAVOS: The whole world celebrates Tunisia’s democratic revolution, which has set off a cascade of events elsewhere in the region — particularly in Egypt — with untold consequences. The eyes of the world are now set on this small country of ten million, to learn the lessons of its recent experience and to …


New Year’s hope against hope

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The time has come for New Year’s resolutions, a moment of reflection. When the last year hasn’t gone so well, it is a time for hope that the next year will be better. For Europe and the United States, 2010 was a year of disappointment. It’s been three years since the …


YEAREND SPECIAL: What lies ahead in 2011?

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The global economy ends 2010 more divided than it was at the beginning of the year. On one side, emerging-market countries like India, China, and the Southeast Asian economies, are experiencing robust growth. On the other side, Europe and the United States face stagnation — indeed, a Japanese-style malaise — and …


Alternatives to austerity

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: In the aftermath of the Great Recession, countries have been left with unprecedented peacetime deficits and increasing anxieties about their growing national debts. In many countries, this is leading to a new round of austerity — policies that will almost surely lead to weaker national and global economies and a marked …


Justice for Some

By Joseph Stiglitz NEW YORK: The mortgage debacle in the United States has raised deep questions about “the rule of law,” the universally accepted hallmark of an advanced, civilized society. The rule of law is supposed to protect the weak against the strong, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. In America in the wake of …


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