Special Report

Economy Issue

Economy Issue

Debt-ridden and hidebound, Europe may be on the verge of a painful breakup. America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis. Even China and India — the new engines of global growth — seem to be sputtering these days. Worse yet, the usual wonkish prescriptions don’t seem to be working anymore. So we asked 13 of the smartest people we know to give us their one out-of-the-box idea for fixing the global economy. Here’s what they recommend.


  • 1. Write off the World’s Debt
    By Paul Kedrosky

  • 2. Hire Everybody
    By Diane Coyle

  • 3. Get Better Data
    By Paul Saffo

  • 4. Cut Defense Spending
    By Barney Frank

  • 5. Whip Up Inflation, Now
    By Menzie Chinn and Jeffry Frieden

  • 6. Spend $1 Trillion on the Future
    By Justin Yifu Lin

  • 7. Raise the Minimum Wage. A Lot.
    By James K. Galbraith

  • 8. Think Small
    By Vivek Wadhwa

  • 9. Tame the World’s Crazy Currency System
    By David M. Smick

  • 10. Buy More Yachts
    By Robert H. Frank

  • 11. Get Healthy, Get Wealthy
    By Esther Dyson

  • 12. Build Green Cities
    By Alex Steffen

  • 13. Take a Vacation
    By Daniel C. Dennett