Stopping Russia

The rhetoric of confrontation with Russia seems to be escalating, including with the remarkable suggestion – from Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – that the US provide “small arms and radio equipment” to Ukraine. Encouragement for a military confrontation is not what Ukraine needs.  As Peter Boone and I have argued in a pair of recent […]

Ukrainian Chess

By Peter Boone and Simon Johnson: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev on Tuesday.  The Obama administration is feeling real pressure from across the political spectrum to “do something”, but the US has no military options and little by way of meaningful financial assistance it can offer to Ukraine.  The $1 billion in […]

Preventing Civil War in South Sudan

This post comprises the first two paragraphs of a column that appeared on the NYT.com’s Economix blog on Thursday, December 26, 2013.  To read the full post, click here. The news from Juba is very bad. South Sudan is in the throes of political conflict and serious fighting, with several hundred people reported dead and more injured, […]

Fiscal Madness and Entrepreneurship

This post draws on points discussed in class #7 of Entrepreneurship without Borders, a course at MIT Sloan.  More details on the course are here. With the US government in partial shutdown (including suspending a significant amount of research and development activity) and the very real threat of a default on US government debt looming, now […]

Thinking About Doing Business

In class #1 of Entrepreneurship without Borders (at MIT Sloan) we discussed attitudes towards starting a new business.  In many countries, people want to become entrepreneurs, but they can access only limited types of opportunities.  Relatively small established elites, often with strong political connections, are able to mobilize the resources needed to build a company that can […]

Getting Down to Business: Which Countries Support Entrepreneurship?

In class #1 of Entrepreneurship without Borders (at MIT Sloan) we discussed attitudes towards starting a new business.  In many countries, people want to become entrepreneurs, but they can access only limited types of opportunities.  Relatively small established elites, often with strong political connections, are able to mobilize the resources needed to build a company that can […]

Where Are the European Entrepreneurs?

This post is based on class #2 in my MIT Sloan course, Entrepreneurship Without Borders.  An edited version appeared this morning on the NYT.com’s Economix blog. Europe today is relatively rich on average, and there is undeniable potential for further convergence towards Northern levels in use of technology, organization of firms, and productivity levels.  We witnessed some impressive […]

Goldman Sachs Concedes Existence Of Too Big To Fail

Global megabanks and their friends are pushing back hard against the idea that additional reforms are needed – beyond what is supposed to be implemented as part of the Dodd-Frank 2010 financial legislation.  The latest salvo comes from Goldman Sachs which, in a recent report, “Measuring the TBTF effect on bond pricing,” denied there is […]

‘Some Of These Institutions Have Become Too Large’

In a recent interview with PBS’s Frontline, Lanny Breuer – head of the criminal division at the Department of Justice – appeared to admit that some financial institutions were too big to prosecute.  In the “too big to fail is too big to jail” controversy that ensued, lobbyists and other supporters of big Wall Street […]

Fiscal Confrontation And The Declining Influence Of The United States

It is axiomatic among most of our Washington elite that the United States cannot lose its preeminent global role, at least not in the foreseeable future. This assumption is implicit in all our economic policy discussions, including how politicians on both sides regard the leading international role of the United States dollar. In this view, […]

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