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Kenan Institute 2022 Annual Theme: Stakeholder Capitalism
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Finance Professor Stephen Arbogast discusses why embargoes on Russian oil aren’t working, why renewable energy sources aren’t the fix and how the missing link in increasing production could stabilize Europe’s energy outlook.

Further embracing renewable energy sources can help in the long term, but short- and medium-term solutions will require other answers. Join us for a virtual discussion at 11 a.m. June 20 as Stephen Arbogast, Kenan-Flagler Business School Finance Professor and director of the Energy Center, talks with Chief Economist Gerald Cohen about how focusing on the global energy supply can help Europe select the best options for creating a more stable energy outlook.

Much attention is being focused on energy supply security issues, especially for European oil and gas supplies. The latest Russian decision to halt natural gas sales to Poland and Bulgaria has reinforced that continent’s awareness of the perils of unreliable suppliers. Europe’s short-term focus is on sanctioning Russia and then backfilling the forgone oil and gas from other sources.

Concerns about further supply-chain troubles are on the rise. Just a few months ago the “temporary disruptions” stemming from covid were predicted to work themselves out in 2022. However, businesses are now faced with the possibility of disruptions much more severe than those experienced to date. These stem from two sources: interrupted supplies in essential raw materials and agricultural commodities resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the potential for a rapid (and massive) spread of COVIC-19 in China resulting in suspensions to manufacturing operations there.

Society faces a series of major problems, such as climate change, which require transformative technological change as part of the solution. From our 2022 Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference, MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Jacquelyn Pless, Duke University Professor Emeritus Eric Toone and Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen explore the potential and limits of entrepreneurship in solving these problems.

Mar 15, 2022

The World Has Changed

Out of the rubble of World War II, we collectively and deliberately built an institutional order that established norms of acceptable behavior and placed constraints on powerful nations. While work remains to create broader economic opportunity and some regions have suffered terrible conflict, the economic and financial globalization that this order fostered nevertheless yielded the greatest period of peace and economic prosperity that humanity has ever known. The more than 70 years since the war’s conclusion are, however, very atypical, and we are now returning to a setting far more familiar to any student of history, where strength and power supersede norms and rules. The world is characterized by a renewed struggle between illiberal autocracy and liberal democracy.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the movement toward globalization that has benefited investors since the end of the Cold War. This development, combined with inflationary pressures not seen in three decades, should prompt individual and institutional investors to reconsider their approach to managing their money, Director of Research Christian Lundblad recently shared with the Raleigh News & Observer.

Stakeholder Capitalism

Together with many business and economic leaders around the globe, we at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise support the harshest feasible sanctions against Vladimir Putin in the immediate interest of Ukraine and its people. More broadly, we view such measures as vital to the long-term survival of democratic values. But as the Russian invasion continues, seemingly unabated by unprecedented economic and financial sanctions, we must ask: what more is feasible? And for how long can such restrictions be sustained?

Consumers will long associate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic with seemingly apocalyptic searches for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and PPE. But even now, amid continued surges of the Delta variant, many global supply chains continue to experience disruptions at record rates. This week’s Kenan Insight invites our experts to weigh in on the immediate impact of these disruptions for business and society, the longer term effects across industries and the roles government and emerging tech should be playing to drive solutions.

As the Consumer Price Index rises, businesses sound the alarm over supply-chain bottlenecks, and federal stimulus checks spur spending, the chatter around inflation is increasing. In this Kenan Insight, we explore what this potential perfect storm for an inflation spike could have on a recovering U.S. economy.

Apr 14, 2021

The Global-K Recovery

The 2020 COVID-fueled economic downturn generated what has been referred to as a K-shaped recession, with both big losers (such as restaurants and the hospitality sector) and big winners (such as high tech and online retail). In this Kenan Insight, we explore how a nascent K-shaped recovery will likely affect U.S. businesses and households.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed flaws in the global supply chain that have existed for years, with disruptions that have led to a scarcity of goods as diverse as PPE, food and toilet paper. In this Kenan Insight, we examine how threats to supply chains are forcing companies to rethink how they can position themselves to mitigate future risk.