Davos prescriptions for the US economy: Chrystia Freeland
For a long time, the conventional wisdom among this crew has been that the deficit and the debt were the United States' chief economic problems. That's why I wasn't surprised when Martin Sorrell, the head of the global communications giant WPP , referred to the deficit as the country's most important economic issue at a breakfast discussion he moderated at the forum this week. The conversation was off the record, but when I asked Sorrell if I could quote his comment, he happily doubled down: Not only was the deficit the United States' most important economic woe, it was the most important economic issue in the entire world.
"This is the world's gray swan," Sorrell told me, in a play on the idea of unpredictable, powerful "black swan" events, popularized by the financial scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Most of the panelists (disclosure: I was one of them) at the WPP conversation agreed with Sorrell - but that Davos consensus may be on the verge of shifting. One of the most convincing signs of that switch came from an interview I did here with Lawrence H. Summers, a Harvard University economist.
Summers, as he put
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