Economics

Economics

Brazil defies (positive) expectations

Roiled by two years of recession, the impeachment of one president and indictment of another, and its worst corruption scandal ever, Brazil is not exactly on the path predicted at the beginning of this century, when it was hailed as one of the globe's most promising rising economic powers. What happened? Inequalities and imbalances at home may have been papered over in boom times, but they didn't go away, and now Brazil's leaders face the challenge of finding a more sustainable and equitable way forward.

Economics

South Africa's cautionary tale

It wasn't so long ago that South Africa was seen as the natural leader of its continent, with bright economic prospects and a nascent, post-apartheid democracy. It developed strong trade ties with China, and, in 2010, was named one of the BRICS countries — with Brazil, Russia, India and China, the economies seen by some investors (the term was coined by a Goldman Sachs executive) to be the era's dynamic up-and-comers. But it hasn't quite turned out that way. This year, South Africa dipped into recession, with unemployment near 30 percent. What happened?

Economics

How to bring high-speed trains to the US

Japan's high speed trains run upwards of 200 miles per hour while Amtrak's Acela can only go its top speed of 150 for short stretches. The reason? Outdated infrastructure. After World War II, the US invested in cars, not trains, and today its passenger railways lag far behind countries in Europe and Asia. Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter lays out a new vision for US transportation in her book "Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead."