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Megan Greene

M. G.


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Articles by M. G.

IIF Annual Meetings: US Economic Outlook

April 17, 2020

I joined Beth Ann Bovino, Jonathan Pingle and Elina Ribakova this week to speak on a panel about the US Economic Outlook at the IIF Annual Meetings, which usually occur alongside the IMF/WB meetings. We discussed what indicators we’re watching closely to see when we may have found a bottom, how the US has handled the shock to the labour market (compared with Europe), whether we should worry about inflation, prospects for the oil market and what that means for the economy and why we all need to care about Emerging Markets right now.
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Realities bite in the US

April 16, 2020

I joined Asset TV to talk about US earnings this far and what they suggest about the US economy, whether we have the right tools to funnel cash where it’s needed in the economy, how long this lockdown will last and what the choreography of reopening the economy might look like and what shape the economic recovery is likely to take. Tune in here: https://www.asset.tv/player/assettv-non-login-player/107510 
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The Shock of Coronavirus: Hard Truths

April 15, 2020

Adam Tooze and I had the pleasure of joining Leslie Vinjamuri at Chatham House in this hour-long discussion about the implications of the coronvirus on the US economy, the policy responses in the US vs Europe, what the shape of the recovery might look like and what the most likely vs best paths are for reopening the economy.
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EM and developing economies face tough slog

April 15, 2020

Many EM and developing economies are facing a very rough road ahead.Michael Klein (Fletcher School, Tufts University) and I flesh out why and how in our latest Econofact memo. This issue will no doubt be front and center at the IMF/WB spring meetings this week.
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V, U, W or Nike Swoosh?

April 12, 2020

Here’s a BBC World/BBC News interview I did on the shape of the economic recovery we are likely to face after this eye-watering recession
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The Mother of all Recessions

April 10, 2020

Yep. That’s what we’re facing into. And the recovery probably won’t be V or U-shaped. It might look more like a Nike Swoosh, with the back end zig zagged to reflect intermittent isolation. Or it may look like a square root sign.

In an interview with my alma mater, Phillips Academy Andover, I share some insights on the COVID-19 pandemic and how this crisis is like nothing the world has ever seen before.
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Pandemic economics

April 6, 2020

I joined Richard Baldwin and George Papaconstantinou for a webinar on pandemic economics this morning. In it we covered:

What will be the likely economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the world?

What are the factors determining the length and depth of the crisis and the shape of the recovery?

What are governments doing to mitigate the economic costs of the health crisis, protect jobs and incomes, and ensure economies recover when the worst of the pandemic is over?

Is the $US2 trillion package in the US the right policy instrument? Is it appropriately targeted?

In Europe, is the 750 billion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme of the European Central Bank sufficient in the current circumstances?

Is there a need for the use of the European

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Policy Response to Coronavirus

March 11, 2020

I had the great pleasure of joining David Beckworth on his Macro Musings podcast to discuss what monetary and fiscal policy can do to fight the negative impact of the coronavirus, as well as the future of monetary policy given the soon arrival of the effective lower bound. Have a listen!
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Immunise Your Portfolio from the Coronavirus

February 21, 2020

Investors have been assuming the effects of the coronavirus will be temporary and central banks will step in to clean up the mess if that’s wrong. Here is my latest in the Financial Times on why and how you should immunise your portfolio from the coronavirus.
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Monetary Policy Strategy Reviews a Disappointment

January 29, 2020

In my latest column in the Financial Times, I argue that the policy framework reviews under way at the Federal Reserve and now the European Central Bank are the monetary equivalent of swimming upstream: a lot of energy will be expended, but they won’t really get anywhere. To the extent that these reviews continue to focus on tweaking inflation targets as a strategy, they will be largely pointless. I offer up some alternative tools and strategies that might be more useful.
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Inequality–Up or Down?

January 28, 2020

Here’s a link to a segment I did on CNBC Squawk Box–see if you can spot the scowl on my face as the presenter laid out his argument that inequality has decreased under the so-called “Trump economy,” so the Democrat candidates shouldn’t bother focusing on the issue in their campaigns. I hadn’t realized there was general confusion about this…stay tuned for some writing on this topic!
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What Will the New Decade in Global Trade Bring?

January 14, 2020

I was honoured to be the first to contribute to a series of publications and roundtable discussions as part of the Chatham House Global Trade Policy Forum. Given it’s a new year and a new decade, I wrote an outlook for global trade. The markets kicked off January euphoric about a Phase One Deal between the US and China, but with tensions remaining between those two countries and likely escalating between the US and Europe, expect trade uncertainty to continue to drag on global growth.
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What’s Ailing the Global Economy?

January 13, 2020

A depressing consensus prevailed among economists at the recent AEA/ASSA annual meetings: the developed world is stuck with low growth, low inflation and low interest ratesfor years to come. Even worse, there is no consensus on why.

Supply and demand for goods and services are basic economic concepts. But when it comes to interpreting shocks to either in the real world, things get murky. Some economists blame prevailing conditions in the industrialised world on flagging supply, others on weak demand. Here’s my take, and what to do about it, in the Financial Times.
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Jobs Day and Women

January 10, 2020

Jobs day last week revealed continued strong jobs growth and weak wage growth. I broke down the data and what it means for the US economy on Bloomberg Daybreak with an all female panel (that never happens!) here.

For the first time, more than half of the NFP jobs added went to women in December. See my comments on what drove that shift and whether we can expect it to continue with NPR here.
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Fed on hold

December 16, 2019

Find my latest views on the Fed’s reaction function and my outlook for 2020 in this appearance on Squawk Box here.
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Should central banks get involved in climate change?

December 12, 2019

At her first press conference today, new ECB President Christine Lagarde said “We will take up climate change…and see where and how we can participate in that particular endeavor.” You can’t be a self-respecting central banker without talking about climate change these days. But is there really a role for central banks to play? There is a clear risk to financial risk stemming from climate change, so supervisors should be engaging with this. But the role for monetary policymakers is murky. See here for my latest in the Financial Times.
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Wealth taxes don’t work

December 6, 2019

The wealth taxes proposed by Senators Warren and Sanders have two primary objectives: one is to increase tax revenues to pay for universal healthcare, climate change initiatives and the elimination of student debt. The other is to reduce inequality: over the past 40 years, the share of the country’s wealth held by the top 0.1 per cent of Americans more than doubled to 20 per cent.

But the history of such taxes shows they come up short on both counts. Read my latest in the Financial Times on why here. For the TV clip version, watch my CNBC interview here.
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The Eurozone’s Japanification–Nov 4

November 4, 2019

The eurozone has some worrying Japan-like qualities—potential growth is weak, demographics are unfavorable and the European Central Bank has extended its foray into unconventional monetary policy to not only buy up bonds but to impose negative rates as well. With most investors and analysts convinced the worst of the euro crisis is behind us, will we look back when the next downturn hits and think “what a wasted recovery?” What does the eurozone need to avoid Japanification and put the euro crisis behind it for good, and what are the prospects for any of that happening? In answering these questions, we’ll take a look at the new leadership in Europe not only in national capitals but in Brussels at European institutions and in Frankfurt at the ECB as well.

This talk will be held at

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Don’t Hold Your Breath for Fiscal Stimulus

November 4, 2019

From the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Conference to the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, the policy takeaway of this year is that coordinated monetary easing is not going to be enough when the next recession comes. Fiscal stimulus will be necessary to maintain global growth. The economics are sound, but the politics are problematic. Here’s my latest in the Financial Times on why I wouldn’t hold my breath for fiscal stimulus.
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Strong labor market, despite GM

November 4, 2019

I co-hosted Bloomberg’s Daybreak Americas with Alix Steel and we broke down the jobs data. The labor market continues to look strong, despite a GM strike that distorted the numbers. There was an overall drop in manufacturing jobs–high wage, high hour jobs (the good kind that we want to be adding)–but not as many as we expected given the GM strike. This means other manufacturers added about 20k jobs to the labor force last month–that isn’t a bad result!

Here is a clip from the segment dissecting the jobs data: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2019-11-01/fed-can-pat-themselves-on-the-back-after-jobs-report-harvard-s-greene-video

Here is another clip with Kristin Dziczek (Center for Automotive Research) discussing the nitty gritty of the GM strike and the implications for the

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Boeing is dragging down the US economy

October 28, 2019

US Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell says the cross-currents dragging on the US economy include trade and weak foreign demand. But there’s a less obvious item he might add to the list: Boeing. The woes of the aircraft manufacturer do not just drive news headlines, they drive American economic data as well. Read my latest on this in the Financial Times.
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Why inflation is stubbornly weak

October 28, 2019

The U.S. economy is in its longest expansion on record. As unemployment touches historic lows, a striking feature of this expansion is that contrary to what economic theory would predict, inflation too remains strangely low. Here is a video I recorded with Michael Klein explaining why the traditional theory doesn’t seem to be working. Michael is the Executive Editor at Econofact, a nonpartisan organization that seeks to cut through fake news by addressing timely and relevant issues with just the facts. If you aren’t using them as a resource already, you should be!
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Greece’s Economy: Resurgent, but Still Fragile

October 2, 2019

Describing the Greek economy these days as a phoenix ascendant from the ashes of crisis is, given the country involved, an apt metaphor. Yet it may be too early to mythologise the Greek economy. Fast money has done well investing in Greece, but the stickier long-term investors that Greece so desperately needs remain sceptical. Until the fundamentals improve, this phoenix still has one wing tied down. Click here for my latest column in the Financial Times.
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Agents of Change: the Economics and Politics of Reforms

September 27, 2019

I had the great pleasure to teach a course on structural reforms and sovereign debt crisis at the European University Institute near Florence, Italy on Sep 16-17. My partners in crime were George Papaconstantinou (the Greek finance minister when Greece was pushed into its first bailout), Bob Traa (former IMF senior representative in Greece) and Nicola Giammarioli (Secretary General of the ESM).

The course covered the economics behind structural reforms and sovereign debt crises, how to design a reform programme, how to rehaul government budgets and how to devise multiannual budgets. First hand examples were sprinkled throughout, with the teachers representing a bailout country (Greece), the institutions (IMF and ESM) and the markets.

A million thanks to George

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Consumers cannot carry the US economy for ever

September 12, 2019

They don’t call us dismal scientists for nothing. Nearly 75 per cent of economists surveyed in July by the National Association for Business Economics see a US recession by the end of 2021. But ask for data supporting that forecast and you get no real consensus. There are plenty of theories about trade wars. US growth has slowed. But the usual bubbles and imbalances that trigger recession aren’t yet evident. With consumption accounting for nearly 70 per cent of growth, a recession has to be transmitted through the US consumer. See my latest in the Financial Times for what that might look like.

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Central banks can no longer afford to act in isolation

August 29, 2019

My main lesson learned at the Kansas City Jackson Hole’s Economic Symposium: just as the world’s politician’s are increasingly adopting a go-it-alone attitude, central banks are realizing that monetary policy needs to do the exact opposite. Here’s my latest column in the Financial Times.
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