How Chinese merchants have become the anonymous Sam Waltons to the world's hardest-to-reach consumers.
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff know financial crises. In the preamble to their book, recommended by FP Big Thinkers Willem Buiter and Mohamed El-Erian, the two trace back the history of how, with each shock and economic trouble, the world believes that this time is different. It's not.
In a chapter of their new book, recommended by FP Big Thinker Paul Collier, George A. Akerlof and Robert Shiller explain why stories -- the human narratives we use to make sense of a complicated world -- are vital to understanding economics.
The iPhone is coming to China -- and so is a lot of technological trash.
While nobody was paying attention, Beijing was busy cornering the market on a little-known, but much coveted, strategic commodity.
America brought Europe back to life a half-century ago. Why not give Africa the same chance?
With financing slowing to a trickle, the world's most hyped architectural projects remain castles in the sky.
Going green has finally gone mainstream, and politicians from London to Seoul are spending billions on clean technologies they say will create jobs. But unless we are all willing to risk a little more pain, the green revolution could founder before it ever really starts.
As sagging demand in the United States and Western Europe has pushed General Motors into bankruptcy, the auto behemoth has actually been expanding in emerging markets and building new factories.
First they came for the iPods. Then the Europeans snatched up condos in Manhattan. Now they're coming for the companies.
The skylines of unfree societies used to bring to mind images of endless gray Soviet apartment blocks. But today, some of the world's most innovative and daring designs are breaking ground in the least free nations. Why are the world's best architects taking their most ambitious plans to modern-day autocrats? Two words: Blank slates.
Forget Branson and Buffett. Like Carlos Slim, many of the world's wealthiest people operate in the shadows of the global economy. Meet the tycoons you don't know but should.
Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest man. That honor now goes to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. But Slim's incredible fortune -- $59 billion and climbing -- is more than a story of one man's rise to riches. He is one of a growing list of tycoons from countries like China, India, and Russia who represent a new wave of wealth, power, and influence. Many are skilled businesspeople. But, in these fast-developing economies, being able to seize a political opportunity may count for a lot more.
Free markets were supposed to lead to free societies. Instead, today's supercharged global economy is eroding the power of the people in democracies around the globe. Welcome to a world where the bottom line trumps the common good and government takes a back seat to big business.
It likes to pretend it is a kinder, gentler alternative to the United States. But stagnant economies, suffering immigrants, and elitist rhetoric don't make a global powerhouse. With nothing less than the future of the European project at stake, the countries of Europe must now either unite behind much-needed reforms, or watch their differences tear them apart.
In the corner offices of New York and Tokyo, business leaders cling to the notion that their designs, technologies, and brands are cutting edge. Increasingly, however, that just isn't so. In industries ranging from steel and cement to automobiles and electronics, "Third World companies" are poised to overtake their Western rivals. Get ready for the biggest firms you've never heard of to become household names.
Rising instability is good news for the little guy -- and bad for everyone else.
Bankruptcies, terrorism, and high oil prices have rocked the airline industry. Customers complain about bad service and long lines. Are airlines doomed? Not a chance. The global economy cannot function without air travel. But the industry that emerges from the coming shakeout will need a whole new set of wings.