Top Five Economic Threats of 2018

The American economy is booming. Stock markets are up.  Unemployment numbers are down. And consumer confidence is soaring. What could go wrong? According to the five highly esteemed economic thinkers who recently took to the Intelligence Squared U.S. stage: a lot.

Hear our debaters weigh in on 2018’s top economic challenges below.

A Housing Crisis

“We learned nothing from the financial crisis. Fannie and Freddie and other units like the Federal Housing Administration are doing the same thing. And I worry that we could see another housing panic.” – Stephen Moore, Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation & Former Adviser to Donald Trump


“The biggest risk we have is geopolitics. I have to say it’s become a veritable Jack-in-the-Box. Every day, you wake up and God knows what’s happening, in particular from the United States.” – Dambisa Moyo, Global Economist & Best-Selling Author

Immigration Reform

“I’m not sure the last time you had the opportunity to visit the perhaps greatest icon of American democracy.  I’m speaking, of course, about the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.  The last time I was there, not too long ago, it did not say on the inscription, “Send us your well-to-do people who are already well-educated and from nicely run democracies.” […] My greatest fear for next year, John, and going forward, is that we will go massively into an anti-immigrant phase.  Immigrants help move this country forward.” – Simon Johnson, Former Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund

A Wile E. Coyote Moment

“The price of risk right now is very low. Expectations are very high. If those get disappointed, there’s some chance of a Wile E. Coyote moment where you look down and there’s nothing beneath you, and you keep going down. ” – Jason Furman, Former Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers

North Korea

“Pyongyang stands for this incredible geopolitical risk which is rising right now. [..] I suspect that if anything’s going to derail the sunny economic picture over the next year, it’s not going to be about economics, and it’s not going to be something that anyone’s going to predict with an economic model.” – Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times

Watch the full debate, “Unresolved: America’s Economic Outlook,” here.

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