Articles

This is a collection of my recent and favorite pieces.

Inheritance and the Millennial Wealth Divide
Milken Institute Review | 1 December 2020
There’s $68 trillion coming, maybe, but most of it won’t reach those really waiting for it.


Social Security: Testing the Third Rail
Milken Institute Review | 31 August 2020
If a blue wave sweeps through Washington this November, a handful of fiscal initiatives are bound to be high on the agenda. 


Who Will Pay for All Those Empty Stadiums?
Milken Institute Review | 21 May 2020
For years, economists have cautioned — well, scolded — that the common practice of financing sports venues with taxpayer-backed bonds was buying trouble. 


Asian Review: More $000s Than Heroes Of Late
Forbes | 13 December 2018
At this fall’s Forbes Global CEO Conference in Bangkok, I asked a panel of wisemen: Where is the transformative national leader of our day, akin to Lee Kuan Yew in 1960s Singapore or (forgetting Tiananmen) Deng Xiaoping in China?


Nobel-winning economist: The economy will rebound quickly from coronavirus
Zenger News | 7 April 2020
Vernon Smith thinks the U.S economy won’t suffer long-term effects from the pandemic—as long as the government stays out of the way.


It’s a Dog’s Life – You Wish
Milken Institute Review | 14 March 2020
The 1970s were infamously the time in which the U.S. middle class began its long decline. But while their version of the American Dream has been going to the dogs since, the fate of pet canines in many of those same homes has vastly improved.


The Secret Lives of Credit Unions
Milken Institute Review | 15 January 2020
Media reports that Google will establish “smart checking accounts” for the digital-banking set starting next year included mention that it would partner with Citibank and the Stanford Federal Credit Union to handle the back end — which is to say, the financial side.


Green Meals on Wheels?
Milken Institute Review | 26 March 2019
If the app-driven, on-demand economy sometimes seems to parody itself, DoorDash’s latest ingestion of $400 million in venture capital is a reminder that some very serious investors are ready to bet that the joke’s on you.


In Praise of the News Librarian
Forbes | 27 July 2011
A valued colleague named Susan Radlauer has been promoted to director of research services at FORBES, which gives me a “peg” to go on a bit about her and the importance of what she does for our editorial operation.


Sweet Nothings From Beijing? We’ll Pass
Forbes | 9 November 2018
“Openness has become a trademark of China.” With that Trump-like whopper, Xi Jinping welcomed multitudes to his import fair in Shanghai this week.


Indonesia Can Pause To Spotlight Fisheries’ Friend
Forbes | 23 October 2018
Indonesians are hosting a big international oceans conference in a few days, and this will be a welcome opportunity to show off not just Bali but some special policy attributes of the country’s uneven governance.


Cold Reality Sets In On China-U.S. Relations
Forbes | 2 October 2018
Five months ago, in a round of Asian talks, I said the U.S. and China were in for a long, bumpy stretch but not a full trade war. Half right, I guess!


Crazy Rich Asians And The World That’s Their Oyster
Forbes | 5 September 2018
Even many of the favorable reviewers of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians concede it is familiar romantic-comedy fare from Hollywood, save for the faces. Yet therein lies the basis of a cultural moment, as Asian characters assume mainstream roles for a largely Western audience.


On A Stopover In Ever-Tested Taiwan
Forbes | 25 July 2018
These are trying times for Taiwan. Intimidation by Beijing is virtually nonstop, and its target, President Tsai Ing-wen, must scramble just to keep her government’s international footing.


Financial Links Are World Economy’s Vulnerability
Forbes | 6 June 2018
At Hong Kong and Singapore meetings in early May, I noted that the good but not great global economy is akin to a sturdy old guitar but with very taut strings, poised to play the financial chords that have stopped the international music before (think 2008) and remaining subject to sudden upsets.


They Gave An Election In Malaysia And Everyone Came
Forbes | 14 May 2018
Even in autocratic Asia, the flush of popular democratic change seems to have appeal. Especially when, as in Malaysia last week, it triggers a peaceful–and remarkable–transition of power. 


Mapping ‘Antidemocratic Forces On The March’ In Asia
Forbes | 1 May 2018
If past performance is a guide, Malaysia’s election May 9 will be a messy referendum on the country’s ruling clique.


Tycoons Turnover: A Changing of the Guard
Forbes | 4 April 2018
Even in autocratic Asia, the flush of popular democratic change seems to have appeal. Especially when, as in Malaysia last week, it triggers a peaceful–and remarkable–transition of power.


Handling Xi Jinping, ‘President For Life’
Forbes | 26 March 2018
After spending an hour with three American Sinologists discussing the now-unlimited term of Chinese strongman Xi Jinping, a formal development in recent weeks that is broadly described as making him president for life, I asked the trio how much longer they thought Xi actually would serve.


Robert Kuok: Man and Memoir
Forbes | 7 March 2018
I’ve been at Forbes long enough to remember when Billionaires was a much shorter list. There were ten-digit types, of course, and not just the Old World fortunes and Japanese real estate windfalls. But it took special initiative to gain access to them for what was then just an American magazine audience.


China-U.S. Rubs Only Get More Raw
Forbes | 24 January 2018
Long anticipated—and feared—the chill in China-U.S. relations is upon us.  It portends an adversarial stretch that could last years, even if it never gets to the Thucydides Trap of rising- vs. declining-power conflict.


Sustaining India: Payroll Work, Work, Work
Forbes | 28 November 2017
Corporate-speak billows with words about vision, sustainability and inclusion. Most are verbiage, but at an event this month in New York hosted by Columbia biz school’s Chazen Institute, I got to hear–in entertaining turns of phrase–from a practitioner of those concepts.


Asia’s Top Business Dynasties and the Missing Tatas
Forbes | 7 October 2015
We at Forbes measure money wealth because that is what we know to measure. So now we hazard to rank the top 50 business dynasties of Asia by how much of that measured capitalization they have accumulated (to our knowledge).


The Local Cost of Colleges
Forbes | 4 August 2011
Forbes’ ranking of top college values among 650 U.S. institutions is out, and we pay special attention to getting bang for the buck.  That’s important because tuition and other charges continue to shoot up.