Edward Hadas is Economics Editor at Reuters Breakingviews. He joined Breakingviews in both 2004 and 2011, with a year in between at the Financial Times as Assistant Editor of the Lex column. Before becoming a journalist, he worked for 23 years as an equity analyst in Europe and the US. He has written a book, Human Good, Economic Evils: A Moral Approach to the Dismal Science (ISI Books, 2007), and a course-book about political philosophy for the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. Edward has degrees from Columbia University, Wadham College, Oxford and the State University of New York at Binghamton. He has a website, edwardhadas.com. Follow Edward on Twitter @edwardhadas
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As world leaders remember a great statesman, they may ponder South Africa’s middle-income trap. Compared with other post-colonial economies, even stagnation would be a tribute to Mandela’s peace-making. It’s up to those who followed him to buck recent trends and escape the trap.
Larry Summers seems to think years of negative real interest rates can end “secular stagnation”. That’s too optimistic. If the torpor is demographic and technological, it’s probably incurable. In that case, more money-printing will only bring new financial messes.
Economists generally set out to be value-neutral, but many of their theories are implicitly pro-rich, or at least not pro-poor. Pope Francis is no economist, but his teachings on poverty could improve the profession. Politicians and billionaires could also benefit.
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