Bloomberg News

How will countries around the world cope with persistent inflation and high borrowing costs? Are central bankers helping to abate the cost-of-living crisis or are they moving us all closer to recession? On Stephanomics, a podcast hosted by Bloomberg Economics head Stephanie Flanders—the former BBC economics editor and chief market strategist for Europe at JPMorgan Asset Management—we combine reports from Bloomberg journalists around the world and conversations with internationally respected experts on these and other issues to bring the global economy to life.


United States


How will countries around the world cope with persistent inflation and high borrowing costs? Are central bankers helping to abate the cost-of-living crisis or are they moving us all closer to recession? On Stephanomics, a podcast hosted by Bloomberg Economics head Stephanie Flanders—the former BBC economics editor and chief market strategist for Europe at JPMorgan Asset Management—we combine reports from Bloomberg journalists around the world and conversations with internationally respected experts on these and other issues to bring the global economy to life.






Introducing: Elon, Inc.

At Bloomberg, we’re always talking about the biggest business stories, and no one is bigger than Elon Musk. In this new chat weekly show, host David Papadopoulos and a panel of guests including Businessweek’s Max Chafkin, Tesla reporter Dana Hull, Big Tech editor Sarah Frier, and more, will break down the most important stories on Musk and his empire. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. See for privacy information.


To Rebuild, Ukraine Needs Millions of Women to Return Home

Seventeen months after Russia invaded Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians remain scattered around the world, with no end to the war in sight. Many of those who fled are women and children. Unless they return when the fighting is over, some of the damage inflicted on their country's economy may become permanent. On this season’s final episode of Stephanomics, Kyiv bureau chief Daryna Krasnolutska explains why women are so critical to Ukraine’s recovery. Most men age 18-60 aren’t allowed to leave the country, which explains why 68% of Ukrainian refugees are women. Of them, some 2.8 million are working-age. Host Stephanie Flanders talks with Bloomberg Economist Alexander Isakov, who estimates that Ukraine’s economy would lose $20 billion a year, or about 10% of its pre-war GDP, should none of them return. The government, which says it needs 4.5 million workers to achieve its reconstruction goals, is working on incentives, including narrowing the gender pay gap, to lure them back. Flanders also chats with Marta Foresti, a senior fellow from the Overseas Development Institute in London, who discusses the importance of refugees (especially women) to their home economies, as well as her experience of working with returnees to Sierra Leone after its decade-long civil war. See for privacy information.


‘Cursed’ Nations Want to Turn Green Minerals Boom Into a Blessing

The green minerals boom has triggered a new scramble for natural resources across the developing world. From Southeast Asia to Africa, countries rich with raw materials necessary for things like electric vehicle batteries are trying to capitalize on it without falling victim to the “resource curse.” There’s a long and inglorious history of commodity-rich economies failing to get rich from their natural wealth. The money pours in from industrialized nations when global demand is high, but when boom turns to bust, they often end up worse than neighboring economies not similarly “blessed.” Those nations are hoping this time could be different. On this episode of Stephanomics, reporter Claire Jiao hears how Indonesia, home to a large chunk of the world’s nickel, has led the way by banning the export of processed forms of the metal so vital to the production of EVs. The idea is that instead of exporting its enormous reserves of raw nickel and bauxite, it can turn them into EV batteries, or even EVs themselves, for shipping abroad, thereby kickstarting local manufacturing. So far, it seems to be working. Host Stephanie Flanders then sits down with Jim Cust, senior economist for Africa at the World Bank, and senior reporter Jack Farchy to discuss whether Indonesia has set an example African nations could follow as they look to partake in this new gold rush, and whether pulling it off to the scale will be the exception or the rule. See for privacy information.


What the World Doesn’t Understand About China’s Ambitions

People in China are blocked from seeing much of what’s happening in the outside world. For outsiders, it can be just as difficult to see in. This week, Stephanie interviews Keyu Jin, professor at the London School of Economics and author of The New China Playbook. Jin discusses what she considers misunderstandings of China’s ambitions and goals in the world, and the risks that come with such views. She says that one of the biggest misconceptions is that China is trying to displace the US. What it’s really aiming for, Jin explains, is to improve living standards for its middle-income earners. She also discusses the current state of China’s economy, its relations with the US and Europe and the skills gap contributing to high youth unemployment. Within China, there’s widespread gratitude and deference toward the government, something outsiders often find surprising, Jin says. But she warns this could change if slower economic growth translates into fewer high-quality jobs. See for privacy information.


Some Cities Have Emerged Stronger From the Pandemic. Others Haven’t

Covid-19 was supposed to mean the end of the city as we know it. Buzzing urban centers would give way to boarded-up ghost towns as white-collar employees worked from home in perpetuity. Now, two months after the pandemic’s end, it’s clear that dystopian vision won’t come to pass. But among the best-known cities, winners and losers are emerging. Some have people and riches flowing in while others struggle to recover. On this week’s episode of Stephanomics, we start off in Dubai, a popular destination for wealthy Russians who fled when Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine. Bloomberg Television anchor Manus Cranny tells host Stephanie Flanders about the city’s massive increases in rent, and in particular his own experience. It’s a similar story in Singapore, says Bloomberg Senior Reporter Michelle Jamrisko. As Xi Jinping pushes his “common prosperity” mandate at home, the richest Chinese are looking to protect their assets by pouring money into the city-state. The influx of wealth has in turn turbocharged rents and restaurant prices, all at the expense of a shrinking middle class. When it comes to the losers in this post-pandemic shakeout, look no further than San Francisco. Once the glittering high-tech hotbed of wild wealth and exorbitant real estate, the outflow of people and money exacerbated by the recent tech downturn may have done irrevocable damage, says California Bureau Chief Karen Breslau. Flanders speaks with her and Bloomberg Opinion columnist Justin Fox about how San Francisco’s fate compares with other US cities, many of which are managing to climb back. See for privacy information.


Why a US Recession Might Happen in Time for 2024 Election

The US economy has proven resilient after more than a year’s worth of interest-rate hikes, with a steady drumbeat of recession predictions having been proven wrong. New data released this week continued to point away from a downturn. Still, some forecasters warn a recession might still be coming, and that it could coincide with the 2024 presidential election. On this week’s episode, we look at how the current leading candidates for the White House are framing the economy. Bloomberg Senior Reporter Nancy Cook describes the challenge facing President Joe Biden: the economy has thrived on his watch, especially in terms of record low unemployment, but the overhang of persistent inflation weighs heavy on voters’ minds. Meantime, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump haven’t put forward any economic plans and have largely focused on divisive social issues and the threats posed by China. Then Stephanie sits down with Michael Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank, and Bloomberg economist Anna Wong. They discuss how the US economy will evolve leading up to the 2024 vote, and how important it might be in deciding the election. Wong says that, while Biden’s signature economic legislation—the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law—are investments that will play out in the long term, short-term costs of higher inflation and recession risks may offset the benefits, and even outweigh them. See for privacy information.


Climate Change Drives Global Inflation Even Higher

Climate change is fast transforming the planet. Global warming is fueling drought, massive wildfires, rising sea levels and stronger hurricanes. Now scientists and economists are worried about another knock-on effect: faster inflation. On this episode of Stephanomics, we hear from reporter Laura Curtis, who explains how drought has lowered the water level of a lake feeding the Panama Canal, which could in turn boost shipping costs. A similar phenomenon is already playing out in Europe, where low water levels in the Rhine River are making it more expensive to transport key commodities across the continent. Then host Stephanie Flanders chats with Deutsche Bank macro strategist Henry Allen and Bloomberg economist Bhargavi Sakthivel about the economic impacts of El Nino, a period of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The system, which scientists say is becoming more frequent and intense thanks to global warming, is already placing upward pressure on prices of agricultural goods like coffee and sugar. That could lead to higher inflation and lower growth in several countries in the tropics and southern hemisphere. See for privacy information.


How 'Friend-Shoring' Has Made America More Like China

Globalization was once the watchword of Washington. Bill Clinton made it a centerpiece of his economic policy, from the North American Free Trade Agreement to ushering China into the World Trade Organization. But two decades later, America has become increasingly protectionist, pushing strategic industrial policies and trade barriers. Just the other day, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan turned heads when he said "the postulate that deep trade liberalization would help America export goods, not jobs and capacity, was a promise made and not kept." Indeed, the Biden Administration has been touting a new kind of trade policy, one known as "friend-shoring." It encourages friendly nations and their companies to shift manufacturing away from geopolitical rivals like China and toward allies. On this episode, Stephanie speaks with Mike Froman, who served as the US Trade Representative under President Barack Obama, about how trade policy has evolved since his administration and where it's heading. We also sit down with Senior Editor Brendan Murray, who takes us to Morocco, a country where globalization still holds sway. There, companies from China and Russia are manufacturing auto parts and sending them around the world. See for privacy information.


Why the World Can’t Quit Its Addiction to Chinese Goods

Joe Biden, like so many other presidents before him, put America’s re-industrialization at the center of his campaign for the White House. And like his predecessors, he’s found that the “Made in America” label remains hard to find. Indeed, more countries are trying to cut their reliance on imports from China, the global giant of manufacturing, citing everything from geopolitical tensions to human rights abuses and supply-chain snarls. But the reality is they still can’t seem to break away from the “world’s factory floor.” And when they try, it doesn’t work out well. On this episode we take you around the world to see what’s standing in their way. Bloomberg reporter Jeannette Neumann tours clothing factories in Los Angeles, the heart of America’s apparel industry, and struggles to find tags that don’t say “Made in China.” In India, Bloomberg editor Ruchi Bhatia and reporter Vrishti Beniwal explore toy stores in New Delhi, and find the selection lacking thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to cut out goods from his neighbor to the north. Finally, we have more from Milken Institute Chief Economist William Lee and his chat with host Stephanie Flanders. They discuss how realistic it really is for companies to even try to diversify their supply chains beyond China. See for privacy information.


The Key to Making AI a Benefit, Not a Hazard

The idea that artificial intelligence would someday replace humans in certain jobs is nothing new. Now, as some companies make plans for this new reality, it's still an open question as to whether AI should be feared--or embraced as a technology that will make the world a better place. On this episode, Daron Acemoglu, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells Stephanie that while it may be right to be concerned, people shouldn't be scared. They discuss a new book co-authored by Acemoglu, Power and Progress, and whether AI will yield benefits similar to those conferred by other technological and scientific advancements throughout history. The key to making AI work in the long run, Acemoglu says, is that workers maintain a role and a voice through protections like unions and government regulation. Without those guardrails, he warned, AI may indeed sideline more humans from the workforce. See for privacy information.


Unraveling America's Dance With a Debt-Ceiling Disaster

The US debt ceiling is all anyone in Washington (and increasingly elsewhere) can talk about these days. For months, politicians have been in a stalemate triggered by Republican demands for spending cuts as the price for paying America's debts. With next week seen as the point at which the Treasury may have to start issuing IOUs, any deal to avert a catastrophic default is going to come down to the wire. Recent sticking points are tied to potential spending caps, the GOP's insistence on slashing domestic spending for several years and the Biden administration's desire for more limited cuts. On this episode of Stephanomics, Senior Editor Chris Anstey and reporter Josh Wingrove give us the state of play, from explaining what exactly the debt ceiling is to laying out some scenarios of how things progress from here. Stephanie then sits down with economist Stephen King to talk about government debt levels more broadly, and if we should be worried given how high interest rates have climbed. See for privacy information.


How Japan Is Reckoning With Its Increasingly Tense Neighborhood

Some of the world's largest economies are struggling with a response to the rising influence of China and Russia. Specifically, how the ambitions of those two authoritarian nations tend not to conform with Western ideals. And nowhere is this more relevant than in Japan, for whom China, Russia and indeed North Korea are neighbors. Those tense relations and their economic implications are top of mind at this week's Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where we take you for this episode. From a city that suffered the unspeakable destruction of nuclear weapons, Bloomberg's Yoshiaki Nohara explains how the nation is now trying to balance its longtime aversion to war with the growing threats in its backyard. Stephanie then sits down with Richard McGregor, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, and Rory Medcalf, who leads the National Security College at the Australian National University. They discuss not only Japan's strategic role in the Indo-Pacific region, but also China's significance in the global economy. See for privacy information.


The High Cost of Eating Is Crushing Europe

Inflation rates may be slowing broadly across Europe, but you wouldn’t know it after a trip to the grocery store or dining out. And there’s only so much governments can do to help their people cope. In this week’s Stephanomics podcast, Bloomberg reporter Alessandra Migliaccio takes you across the continent to see how much more it costs to make some of the world’s most famous dishes, from France’s coq au vin to pizza margherita in Italy. Politicians have tried to limit the pain of high prices, but their efforts have barely made a dent. Bloomberg has been tracking custom food indexes around the world for close to a year, including the traditional English breakfast. Reporter Irina Anghel tells us about the latest reading, which showed the average basket of ingredients—including eggs, bread and milk—spiked almost 23% in the past year. Host Stephanie Flanders then chats with Joe Glauber, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, about the outlook for global food prices. See for privacy information.


Why the Next Victim of the Banking Crisis Is Small Business

The banking crisis that began in March continues to rapidly evolve. What started with the collapse of Silvergate Capital and Silicon Valley Bank went on to claim Signature Bank and push a vulnerable Credit Suisse into the arms of UBS. This week, another midsize California lender that couldn’t find its footing also dropped, as First Republic was acquired by JPMorgan. In the first episode of this season, we catch you up on the turmoil in the financial sector and how it’s straining US small businesses that rely on these banks for capital. Bloomberg reporter Mike Sasso takes us to Florida, where a couple that’s trying to create a space for people to eat and drink while playing the fast-growing sport of pickleball is struggling to get an affordable loan. The topic dominated discussions at this week’s Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. Host Stephanie Flanders sat down with Milken Institute Chief Economist William Lee, who warns that cutting off small businesses from borrowing would hit the labor market almost directly. However, he says that’s exactly what the Federal Reserve wants, as illustrated by a cycle of rate hikes that, after Wednesday's latest increase, may finally be at an end. And finally, Flanders speaks with Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who said the banking crisis highlights the complacency of regulators when it comes to financial risk. See for privacy information.


America’s Coming Demographic Crisis Is Bad News for Employers

We all might one day be replaced by robots or ChatGPT. But for now, businesses still need humans to make computer chips or staff daycare centers. Problem is, too few workers in the US are actually working and too few people are having babies. That’s a major concern for American industry, policymakers, and most immediately, tech giant Intel Corp. The company is trying to find 7,000 people in central Ohio to build its new semiconductor facilities and 3,000 more to staff them. On this, the season’s final episode of Stephanomics, we dig into the super-tight US labor market, which is expected to get even tighter as more of the nation’s skilled workers retire. First, senior reporter Shawn Donnan visits Licking County, Ohio, future home to a $20 billion chip plant that will pay workers an average annual salary of $135,000. The Biden administration hopes Intel’s project sparks a wave of manufacturing projects in strategic industries like semiconductors and electric vehicles. Then reporter Ben Steverman offers some insight into the roughly 2.6 million US workers who’ve gone missing since the pandemic began. A recent study by Harvard University economist Raj Chetty suggests many of them waited tables, cut hair and staffed gyms in relatively affluent neighborhoods. When these wealthy residents slashed their spending and stayed home as Covid-19 bore down, it created a wave of business closures and job losses. Many of those workers, Steverman explains, never returned. Meanwhile the nation’s working-age population is growing at its slowest pace since 1960, and total population actually dropped in at least 24 states, including Ohio. Host Stephanie Flanders follows up on America’s demographic challenges with University of Maryland economist Melissa Kearney, also director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group. The US birth rate, at just under 1.7 children per woman, is well below the so-called replacement rate of 2.1, and the share of working-age adults who are actually working is falling, says Kearney. Long term, fewer workers means fewer ideas and less specialization, she warns, all of which could mean lower income and living standards in the US and globally. See for privacy information.


'Wake Up!' Global Elites Confront a World Full of Risks at Davos

“My fear is that we are sleepwalking into this world. But hey, here is Davos! Wake up! Do the right thing!” That's the rallying cry of Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, imploring the global elite at this week's World Economic Forum to be vigilant as an almost unrivaled list of perils weighs on the world's leaders. Recession looks set to sweep across the globe, nations are leaning more heavily on coal amid tight energy supplies and the cost of servicing debt is soaring. Getting things wrong, Georgieva says, means dragging the “world into a place where we’ll be all poorer and we would be less secure.” In this week's episode of the Stephanomics podcast, host Stephanie Flanders chats with a star-studded list of international economists, finance ministers and corporate chieftains from Davos, Switzerland. Gita Gopinath, first deputy managing director of the IMF, explains why finance ministers and central bankers are caught in an almost impossible dilemma: High inflation requires central bankers to raise interest rates to cool the economy, even as governments spend more to help consumers hurting from soaring energy and food costs. Longer term, real interest rates may stay high unless countries can get more targeted with their relief programs, instead of spreading assistance universally, argues Raghuram Rajan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The US overspent during the pandemic, partly because “every constituency got a share of the spending simply because they couldn't make choices,” Rajan says. Next, Flanders has a decidedly more upbeat chat with Nandan Nilekani, chairman of Indian tech giant Infosys Ltd. With news that China's population has declined for the first time in decades, India is set to become the world's most populous country. What's more, Nilekani sees the country benefiting from manufacturers seeking an alternative to China, spooked by the latter nation's repeated factory shutdowns amid its Covid-zero policy. Per capita incomes may grow from $3,000 now to $15,000 in the next 25 years, and “that's much more than a middle-income country,” Nilekani says. Finally, Nela Richardson, chief economist at US-based payroll and business outsourcing firm Automatic Data Processing Inc., says real wages have declined across the world recently, even if nominal wage gains have created a myth that workers are “in the driver's seat.” Businesses would benefit from paying workers a living wage, which despite the apparent expense actually results in better productivity and lowers costs, Richardson tells Flanders. “Will inflation moderate enough and wages stay solid enough that workers actually benefit from lower inflation? We don't know that yet,” Richardson says. See for privacy information.


The Global War on Inflation Is Far From Over

Frustrated by prices at the grocery store? People in countries with advanced economies who have been grousing about single-digit inflation have nothing on Argentina and Turkey. There, inflation is above 90% and 60%, respectively. In the words of one tourist in Buenos Aires, carrying enough cash to pay for a flight leaves one feeling like a bank robber—with a stack of pesos as thick as a brick. With new consumer price data on Thursday, the US is getting a better idea where inflation is headed there. But as it reopens, China remains a wild card for the whole world. In this week’s episode of Stephanomics, we look at what’s driving prices up in two of the world’s inflation hot spots, and when prices may finally cool there and elsewhere. First, reporter Patrick Gillespie details the alternately quirky and harrowing state of Argentina’s currency. For tourists, using it is a relatively minor inconvenience. Because of strict government currency controls, travelers can get a far better exchange rate through non-bank sources like Western Union (and on the black market) than by going through Argentine banks. So, there are endless lines of tourists at Western Union locations, and it’s made the country something of a laughingstock: Brazilian soccer fans recently tore up near-worthless pesos to mock their Argentine rivals. Of course, Argentines are faring much worse. The poverty rate has soared from 25% to 40% in recent years. In the words of one nurse, “a pair of shoes is half my salary.” Meantime in Ankara, an inflation rate of 65% is actually an improvement from the 85% price increases the Turkish citizenry faced a short while ago. Reporter Beril Akman shares the dubious economic strategy pursued by the nation’s central bank and President Recep Erdogan. Whereas other nations are feverishly slashing interest rates to cool their economies and bring down inflation, Turkey is doing the opposite: keeping rates low and raising the minimum wage. The fallout? An Ankara flower shop merchant shares with Akman how electricity costs are so high he’s stopped using his refrigerator. Finally, host Stephanie Flanders zooms in on Turkey with Bloomberg economist Selva Bahar Baziki, and zooms out to look at the global picture with Chief Economist Tom Orlik. Baziki explains that while inflation is taking a toll on the Turkish people, “mystery money” flowing in from Russia is helping to soften the blow, at least for now. Orlik says global inflation peaked at around 10% in the third quarter of last year, and it should fall to 5% by the end of this year. The big risk is that growth in China will take off now that it's shedding its “Covid zero” restrictions. If so, that could cause inflation to go in the wrong direction again, Orlik said. See for privacy information.


The Consequences of the US-China Blame Game Have Arrived

If it feels like the US relationship with China is a tinderbox waiting to explode, chalk some of it up to political expedience. Leaders on either side of the Pacific have played the blame game for years, faulting each other for their troubles while failing to enact necessary reforms at home, says economist and China scholar Stephen Roach. Meantime, these “false narratives” have built up so much animosity that a new Cold War has emerged, he says. The fight, as Senior Editor Chris Anstey explains, potentially spans everything from rules governing the internet to the most mundane facet of consumerism. On this first Stephanomics episode of the new year, we feature a double shot of brewing economic and political conflict between the US and its Western allies on one side and China on the other. Host Stephanie Flanders talks with Roach about his new book, Accidental Conflict: America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives. Things didn’t have to be this bad, says Roach, a former chief economist for Morgan Stanley and now senior fellow at Yale Law School. Years ago, the US and China regularly held big economic and strategic forums. Nowadays, Chinese officials have Zoom calls, or Joe Biden and Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit, accomplishing “nothing,” Roach says. What happened? Roach says the deterioration of US-China relations stems from a zeal for blaming the other side for one’s own shortcomings. US leaders routinely blame China for the large trade imbalance favoring the Chinese, Roach says. To be sure, China is the biggest source of the imbalance, but countries run trade deficits because they fail to save. “And when you don’t save and you want to grow, you import surplus savings from abroad, and you run massive current account or balance of payments deficits,” Roach says. In China, leaders know they need to rejigger their economy to reduce dependence on exports and investment while bolstering domestic consumer consumption. But it’s easier just to blame the US for constraining its growth, Roach says. In a lighter segment, Anstey explains a growing rift between the US and China. He does so by way of the lowly desiccant, those small packets of silica gel that keep moisture out of everything from new sneakers to electronics. Last year, China decided the world needed a new production standard for desiccant packets, part of a much larger effort to influence standards on everything from desiccants to internet protocols. The latter would give Beijing a larger say in how things are made globally. Ultimately, US representatives helped kill the new desiccant standard, much to the delight of sneaker, textile and food companies who figure one desiccant is as good as the next. Still, the fight over production standards is heating up, and where moisture-reducing packets are low-risk, cybersecurity experts worry more about China’s efforts to influence internet standards. See for privacy information.


Introducing: Crash Course

Hosted by Bloomberg Opinion senior executive editor Tim O'Brien, Crash Course will bring listeners directly into the arenas where epic business and social upheavals occur. Every week, Crash Course will explore the lessons to be learned when creativity and ambition collide with competition and power -- on Wall Street and Main Street, and in Hollywood and Washington. See for privacy information.


The Stephanomics Guide to the Global Economy in 2023

A push for peace in Ukraine, a recovering China and good news for US consumers may be in the cards. Will China keep moving beyond its "Covid-zero" policy in the face of a massive infection wave? When and how will Russia's war on Ukraine end? Will Donald Trump really go ahead with his US presidential campaign next year? Groundhog Day won't arrive in the US until February, but until then the Stephanomics podcast has assembled a crack team of prognosticators rivaling Punxsutawney Phil himself to give a glimpse into 2023. In this annual look-ahead edition of the podcast, host Stephanie Flanders delves into the future with Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, and three Bloomberg experts, Chief Economist Tom Orlik, Washington Bureau Chief Peggy Collins and London-based TV anchor Francine Lacqua. First, with inflation and interest rates dominating economic headlines, Orlik gives a somewhat reassuring outlook for the US. Price hikes will fall rapidly from their perch above 7% in 2023, but they'll remain high enough that the Federal Reserve will keep tightening the money supply for now, Orlik says. In US politics, Trump's bid for a second term has gotten off to a slow start. Facing multiple criminal investigations and diminishing party support, some are wondering if his heart is really in it. However, since he's announced that he's running, we'd better assume the Republican might be on the ballot in 2024, even if potential rivals like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis don't clear a path for him, Collins said. The man who defeated Trump in 2020, President Joe Biden, has his own challenges next year now that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. Collins sees Biden circumventing a deadlocked Congress by making prolific use of executive orders, as many of his predecessors have done in the past. Across the Atlantic, Grant predicts the French, Italians and Germans, joined by the US, will eventually urge Ukraine to cede territory to reach a peace agreement, despite the tens of thousands of its citizens killed by Russia in its war. While some Eastern European nations are taking a hardline stance against the Kremlin, including pushing for regime change, Biden and his allies foresee having to work with Russia over the long term, Grant says, and may take a more diplomatic approach. Meantime, the continent has been spared a full-on energy crisis, in part because of a mild European winter and a large supply of natural gas in storage, Lacqua says. That could change, though, with the European Union's new cap on gas prices. Energy importers may choose to send their natural gas elsewhere and cause prices in Europe to soar, Lacqua warns. China currently faces a national crisis as coronavirus cases flood hospitals and threaten to kill more than a million people. It's a public health catastrophe that was triggered by Xi Jinping's sudden reversal of his "Covid-zero" policy. But in 2023, that turnabout may have Beijing's desired effects: After the infection wave recedes, Orlik predicts China's economy may finally turn the corner. He sees the country growing by 5.1% next year, with the risk being that it grows too quickly and puts a strain on the world's commodity supplies. For now, the US and Europe have been somewhat at odds over China, with the US more concerned about Beijing's accumulation of power and the threat to US security. Europe may be forced to side with its US allies, Grant says. "The more we get into a sort of new Cold War, the more inevitably the Europeans, however reluctantly, are forced to take sides and will take sides on the American side," he says. See for privacy information.