Klein's Commentary

Go beyond the headlines

The Decline of the Rest

A popular economic theme made the rounds not so long ago that featured prominently in a series of “end of the west, rise of the rest” predictions. It went something like this. Emerging Asia, now an independent source of world growth driven by their expanding middle class no longer relied on the collective “west” for…

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World Politics Review Article on the Global Middle Class – Part II

The damage done to the global middle class, while significant, is not irreparable. The solutions are as varied as the countries themselves, but they all share several key features that influence whether a consumer-driven economy will flourish or not. First and foremost is access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises. In developed and developing…

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World Politics Review Article: The Crisis of the Global Middle Class

The Arab Spring uprisings were fueled by the rising expectations of a nascent middle class in the face of opportunity that for too long had been denied. Tunisia’s uprising was in essence a middle class awakening, with the fight for economic opportunity replacing political ideology as the principal force shaping the future of fragile nations….

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Blog Series: The Middle Class – Engine of Innovation

Consider this: The greatest inventions of the modern age— from the light bulb and the telephone to antibiotics, airplanes and the computer— were all made possible by the purchasing power of the middle class. Without this market much of what has redefined the way people live today would never have been successfully developed. While early…

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Blog Series: Rebuilding the Global Middle

Part I: Good Times Gone Very, Very Bad – It seems like a quaint folk tale told to schoolchildren. Study, work hard, and you too can live happily ever after. The American Dream, each generation better off than the last meant true upward mobility. Skills rather than birthright defined success. It’s been the mainstay of…

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Global Economic Downturn Gathers Pace

Wishful thinking aside, the global economy appears more fragile than ever. After promising signs earlier this year of sustained (if not accelerating) U.S. growth, new employment figures continue to disappoint with a mere 80,000 new jobs for June (see “The Jobs Week That Wasn’t” for longer term implications.) The IMF revised growth estimates down to…

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The Week That Was (and Wasn’t)

Walking Backwards into the Future – In a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama’s healthcare bill the U.S. finally joined the rest of the developed world of 60 years ago with universal coverage. China joined the space world of 50 years ago with a successful orbital docking mission, including a safe return to earth of…

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Blinded by the Euro Light

Hopes for a breakthrough on several fronts in the global economy came to naught this week. EU leaders met, and discussed, and discussed some more. Solutions to the spread of financial distress affecting France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Cyprus appeared at hand. Markets rallied after the European Stabilization Fund was announced which would buy sovereign…

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Walking Backwards Into the Future

In a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama’s healthcare bill the U.S. finally joined the rest of the developed world of 60 years ago with universal coverage. Perhaps Americans can now rest a bit easier knowing that in 2014 they won’t be denied healthcare for pre-existing conditions. The 20-30% annual premium increases may even…

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Mid-Day Note: Global Economic Data Disappoints

U.S. economy still lags. Today’s U.S. housing and consumer confidence figures failed to signal a real economic rebound. This after Moody’s downgrades of fifteen banks last week, including Goldman Sachs, and earlier Federal Reserve data* showing U.S. household net wealth plunging over 40 percent between 2007-2010. That’s an entire generation of wealth creation gone in…

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