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Understanding world economics
Clear, compelling talks on big issues facing the global economy.
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The rise of the new global super-rich
15 minutes 10 seconds
Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds -- and so is economic inequality, says writer Chrystia Freeland. In an impassioned talk, she charts the rise of a new class of plutocrats (those who are extremely powerful because they are extremely wealthy), and suggests that globalization and new technology are actually fueling, rather than closing, the global income gap. Freeland lays out three problems with plutocracy … and one glimmer of hope.
The hidden force in global economics: sending money home
16 minutes 49 seconds
In 2013, international migrants sent $413 billion home to families and friends — three times more than the total of global foreign aid (about $135 billion). This money, known as remittances, makes a significant difference in the lives of those receiving it and plays a major role in the economies of many countries. Economist Dilip Ratha describes the promise of these “dollars wrapped with love” and analyzes how they are stifled by practical and regulatory obstacles.
Is China the new idol for emerging economies?
16 minutes 9 seconds
The developed world holds up the ideals of capitalism, democracy and political rights for all. Those in emerging markets often don't have that luxury. In this powerful talk, economist Dambisa Moyo makes the case that the west can't afford to rest on its laurels and imagine others will blindly follow. Instead, a different model, embodied by China, is increasingly appealing. A call for open-minded political and economic cooperation in the name of transforming the world.
How we can predict the next financial crisis
16 minutes 47 seconds
The 2007-2008 financial crisis, you might think, was an unpredictable one-time crash. But Didier Sornette and his Financial Crisis Observatory have plotted a set of early warning signs for unstable, growing systems, tracking the moment when any bubble is about to pop. (And he's seeing it happen again, right now.)
Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator
13 minutes 51 seconds
Why doesn't the government just get out of the way and let the private sector -- the "real revolutionaries" -- innovate? It's rhetoric you hear everywhere, and Mariana Mazzucato wants to dispel it. In an energetic talk, she shows how the state -- which many see as a slow, hunkering behemoth -- is really one of our most exciting risk-takers and market-shapers.
New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century
20 minutes 50 seconds
French economist Thomas Piketty caused a sensation in early 2014 with his book on a simple, brutal formula explaining economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth). Here, he talks through the massive data set that led him to conclude: Economic inequality is not new, but it is getting worse, with radical possible impacts.
In praise of macro -- yes, macro -- finance in Africa
5 minutes 43 seconds
In this short, provocative talk, financier Sangu Delle questions whether microfinance — small loans to small entrepreneurs -- is the best way to drive growth in developing countries. "We seem to be fixated on this romanticized idea that every poor person in Africa is an entrepreneur,” he says. "Yet, my work has taught me that most people want jobs.” Delle, a TED Fellow, makes the case for supporting large companies and factories — and clearing away the obstacles to pan-African trade.
What we learned from teetering on the fiscal cliff
19 minutes 31 seconds
At the end of 2012, the US political system was headed for the "fiscal cliff" -- a budget impasse that could only be solved with bipartisan agreement. Adam Davidson, cohost of "Planet Money," shares surprising data on how bipartisan we truly are -- and hints at the disconnect between representatives and the people they represent.
Bitcoin. Sweat. Tide. Meet the future of branded currency.
10 minutes 38 seconds
Currency -- the bills and coins you carry in your wallet and in your bank account -- is founded on marketing, on the belief that banks and governments are trustworthy. Now, Paul Kemp-Robertson walks us through a new generation of currency, supported by that same marketing ... but on behalf of a private brand. From Nike Sweat Points to bottles of Tide (which are finding an unexpected use in illegal markets), meet the non-bank future of currencies.