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A researcher's viewpoint on the regional economies.
Name Shawkat Hammoudeh
Current Position Educator
Company Name Le Bow College of Business, Drexel University
Sector Energy
Age 60
Academic Background Hammoudeh received a post graduate degree in Finance from Drexel University and a Ph.D in Economics from The University of Kansas. His dissertation title was "Optimal Oil Pricing Policy for Saudi Arabia"
Hammoudeh did his MA in Economics from University of Kansas with a minor in Political Science. Hammoudeh did his BA from University of Baghdad.
Biography * 1988-89 & 1991UN Development Program, Amman - Jordan.
* 1983-1988 Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) Kuwait
Senior Economist.
* 1981-1983 Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Kuwait Associate Research Scientist.
* 1972 – 1975 Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jordan, Diplomatic Attaché, Amman, Jordan.

* Received Bennet S. LeBow College of Business’s Summer Research Grant "Dynamic Relationships among Petroleum Prices and Oil-Sensitive Stock Markets,” summer 2002.
* Received Bennet S. LeBow College of Business’s Summer Research Grant “Empirical Exploration of the World Oil Price Under the Target Zone Model,” summer 2001.
* Received Bennet S. LeBow College of Business’s award for Excellence in Service, summer 1999.
* Received COBA Summer Research Mini Grant, "Target Zones and Target Price Readjustment," summer 1998.
* Received the Peter C. Stercho Award for Excellence in Research in Economics, 1994.
* Received the Peter C. Stercho Award for Excellence in Service to the Department of Economics, 1993.
Shawkat Hammoudeh
About Me
Are The World’s Economies Decoupling
Posted: 28-May-2010

I am raising a question which I do not have an answer to at this time.  Are the world’s economies decoupling after falling together from grace as a result of the international financial crisis? The American banking crisis created an international contagion and turned into an international crisis. Will there be a counter-reaction where certain economies under own woes decouple from others?

There are people who think the BRIC countries will become larger, more self-reliant, less export-dependent and masters of their own destiny to the point that they will decouple from the United States in the sense that their economic growth will be twice that of the former. In general, emerging market economies which include the BRICs, now called the new engine of economic growth, accounted for more than half of global economic growth during this decade.

There are also those who think that the United States under its debt burden will decouple from Europe which is suffering from its own crisis. Those people think that the European sovereign debt crisis will only prove to be a drag on U.S. companies that trade with Europe but the American recovery is sustainable but at a slower pace than expected. Tim Geithner seems to be of this opinion. He believes that U.S. economy is in a state of momentum and growth and the recovery is taking traction [1]. Fed’s Chairman Ben Bernanke confirms this belief. Bernanke thinks that the U.S. economy will not fall back into recession, but growth will remain slow [2]

I do not know what the Middle East will do? It seems that this region is getting closer to the Far East. Let it be, let it be!  For example, Saudi Arabia is China's first oil exporter and Iran is the fourth exporter. As one contributor to a Zawya.com site once wrote, the oil exports of the six GCC countries account for 35% of China's crude imports. China has overtaken the U.S. as the largest exporter to these GCC countries. Overall, I hope the Middle East will play catch-up with the Chinese, the Koreans, the Taiwanese and others.

There are causes that may make decoupling possible. These include strict domestic regulations, currency devaluations, barriers to trade such as tariffs and quotes, crack on immigrants and political unrest. There is also a call from the IMF asking emerging market economies to deploy capital controls. It stated in a recent report that those countries that deployed capital controls in the run-up to the current crisis were among the least hard hit from the global financial crisis.

Economic decoupling will create new gainers and losers in the world and should lead to different economic implications for investors and governments. Investable money will chase the countries with the highest economic growth which will most likely belong to BRICs.  Large capital inflows will usually give rise to financial crises. But will this world be better or worse? Is this the next answer to globalization? Let’s wait and see.

[1] http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Geithner-US-can-withstand-apf-770952657.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=6&asset=&ccode=




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