April 24, 2017
By Web Desk

Barack Obama missed the chance to renew the World Bank’s global legitimacy, by failing to give up the American monopoly on its leadership. Donald Trump risks further weakening America’s influence on the global financial architecture by cutting the bank’s funding, as his so-called skinny budget proposes. Reinforcing the world economy’s recovery is the top priority of central bank governors and finance ministers, who are gathering in Washington for the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. But Mr Trump’s hostility to both Bretton Woods institutions, embodied by plans to cut the World...


By Martin Sandbu

It’s not just Trump: the US has always been the most insistent among large economies that its current account deficits are the fault of other large economies that either deliberately run external surplus or stubbornly refuse to “correct” them. The Trump administration’s obsession with not just the overall deficit but each sectoral and bilateral deficit is the extreme aberration of a pre-existing concern: the belief that surplus economies’ governments can and should act to reduce their surpluses, and that failing to do so harms the deficit countries. The same debate plays out inside Europe. Reforms during the...


By Web Desk

Apart from free trade, there can be few issues on which public opinion and the views of economists differ more than on forcing companies and the public sector to buy locally and hire locally. The last time the US government embarked on a big fiscal stimulus with an investment component, Barack Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the decision to include so-called Buy American provisions to direct contracts to US companies was a hard-fought battle. Similarly, US work permits and particularly the H-1B visa for skilled workers have proved to be highly controversial among US workers in the tech sector, where their use is...


By Web Desk

If you utter the words “ hard versus soft” in Washington policy circles, it usually signals the start of an earnest foreign policy debate. Not right now, however. For as the presidency of Donald Trump approaches its 100-day milestone, a mystery is opening up around the US economy about what the “soft” and “hard” economic signals mean. This is a debate that investors urgently need to watch - not to mention policymakers too. The issue at stake is that if you look at recent so-called soft economic signals - those linked to sentiment - Mr Trump seems to be enjoying extraordinary success. Since he won the...


By Ihtasham Ul Haque

INSIGHT The decision taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the infamous Panama leaks has raised many questions amid the critics, as well as the well wishers of the country. Many now wonder if there would be a violent reaction in the coming days by those who believe the judgement was unfair, which might lead to renewed political volatility and resultant economic instability. Although the stock market index jumped further to 2000 points after the Supreme Court verdict, the uncertainty continues to haunt the economy, which is already struggling to achieve any real turnaround. The economy, particularly in the presence of increasing fiscal...


By Khurram Schehzad

MARKET Pakistan equities have been occasionally, but severely, affected by three major factors, despite mostly being a bottom-up story. These include but are not limited to; i) political uncertainty, ii) security/law and order, and iii) corporate performance. Of course, these all are somehow interrelated. I call Pakistan equities more a bottom-up story (corporate-driven performance) than a top-down one (macro-driven performance). The listed Pakistani corporations have been highly resilient and performed undeterred in the last many years -- corporate earnings growth averaged well over 20 percent in the last six to seven years. The rate...


By Andy Home

METAL Copper´s bull momentum from the start of the year is fading as the disruption premium from supply hits at the world´s two largest mines unwinds and broader risk-off turbulence also joins the mix. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) slid through $5,600 last week to hit $5,568.50 a tonne, its lowest level since January. And though it staged a small bounce later in the week, at $5,630 copper´s year-to-date gain stands at a little more than 2 percent, having been up almost 11 percent in February. On the supply side, a strike at Escondida in Chile has ended, albeit after a longer than expected 43...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS Many people had hoped that the Panamagate case would become a test case for Pakistan to check corruption among the ruling elite of the country, which would ultimately serve as a major deterrent to graft in other sections of the society. The Supreme Court last week handed down a historic judgment, as it is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan that an inquiry has been ordered against sitting prime minister and his family for alleged corruption. But if one looks at positions taken by the political parties after the decision, it seems that the issue of corruption has remained as politicised as ever even after this landmark...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

MANAGEMENT In spite of the fact, that I have been writing this column for close to three years, dear reader, you got attracted to read this piece, in view of its, ‘appealing title’. You have been lured. It is not about what you expected; you now stand beguiled by the title. Indeed, I wish to write this essay on love and affection at work place. But this ‘love’ is not the debased everyday meaning attached to it by its ruthless misuse. It is about the sublime nature of love, with all its purity is enshrined by destiny within our bosoms. Love that provokes sentiments and emotions of care, concern and affection. So it...