Noah Smith

Recent and archived articles by Noah Smith

8 Dec 2018 | 7:00 AM

Huawei reveals the real trade war with China

IF you only scan the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking that the US-China trade war is mainly about tariffs.

Tech rivalry: The high-tech trade war shows that for all the hoopla over manufacturing jobs, steel autos and tariffs, the real competition is in the tech sector. — Reuters
20 Oct 2018 | 7:00 AM

Years of low interest rates didn’t go too far

THE American Economic Association’s (AEA) new online discussion forum gives the outside world the occasional glimpse of the way economists talk among themselves about important policy issues.

Low rate: A jogger runs past the Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC. From the end of 2008 through 2015, the Federal Reserve kept short-term interest rates at or near zero. — Reuters
9 Jul 2018 | 9:00 AM

Robots will make life grim for the working class: opinion

Marc Andreessen, venture capitalist and one of the pioneers of the world wide web, once declared: The spread of computers and the internet will put jobs in two categories. People who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.

If machine learning automates away low-skilled tasks, as some predict, it might not make working-class people obsolete, but it could make their existence miserable nonetheless. — SCMP
30 Jan 2018 | 10:30 AM

Amazon sweepstakes can be great for the losers: opinion

The saga of Inc’s search for a home for its second headquarters continues. The online retail giant recently announced that it has narrowed the field down to 20 cities.

Amazon’s urban sweepstakes will only have one winner. But it may prompt a lot of cities to wonder why they lost – or why they weren’t even in the running to begin with. — AFP
8 Jun 2017 | 11:00 AM

Uber still doesn’t look like the next Facebook: opinion

Uber has been in the news a lot lately. Allegations of a sexist workplace culture, a high-profile legal battle with Alphabet over self-driving car technology, reports of attempts to skirt local laws, and more woes have put the ride-hailing giant on the back foot.

Negative publicity and management squabbles are not helpful, but in the end, it will probably be the strength of the ride-hailing business model that determines if Uber – and rivals such as Lyft – live or die. — AFP
28 Dec 2016 | 7:00 AM

Why low rates failed to boost business investment

IF you applied for a mortgage in the past few years, you probably noticed that the record-low rates during much of that period were only available to a lucky few. Lending standards tightened a lot after the subprime fiasco.

4 Jan 2016 | 7:00 AM

Don’t blame uncertainty for the slow recovery

A few years ago, when the economic recovery had not yet begun, a lot of people were asking why growth wasn’t picking up. One explanation was that the Federal Reserve wasn’t doing enough monetary easing.