M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Paul Sheard

DATE: February 12, 4:00-5:30 M-RCBG Conference Room, B-503

Economic policy debates can often become confusing and confused. Who should claim credit for the strong performance of the US economy, President Donald Trump or Fed Chair Jerome Powell? Is it possible for monetary and fiscal policymakers to run out of policy “ammunition”? Was former Governor of the Bank of Japan Masaaki Shirakawa correct to assert that the cure for deflation in Japan is structural reform to raise the potential growth rate? Does the construction of the euro area, as a monetary union but not a fiscal union, make sense? When and how should the central bank act as a lender-of-last-resort? Does China need to grow at 6% in order to absorb the flow of new workers from the countryside every year?

This Study Group will attempt to cast light on these and related issues, drawing on Paul Sheard’s quarter-of-a-century experience as a financial markets economist at several major financial institutions. It will apply some basic economic concepts and frameworks, including from national income accounting, growth accounting, and MMT (Modern Monetary Theory).

Background reading:
Paul Sheard, 2016: “Global Growth Challenges: Horses For Courses,” Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services RatingsDirect, March 17, 12pp

Study Group Handout

Photo of Paul Sheard speakingPaul Sheard is a veteran central bank watcher and markets economist, who has written and spoken widely on QE and unconventional monetary policies. He most recently was Vice Chairman of S&P Global, after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Economist and earlier Executive Managing Director and Chief Economist of Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Previously, he held chief economist positions at Nomura Securities and at Lehman Brothers and was Head of Japan Equity Investments at Baring Asset Management. Earlier, Sheard was Lecturer in Economics at the Australian National University (ANU) and Osaka Gas International Cooperation Associate Professor of Economics at Osaka University, and was Visiting Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Foreign Visiting Scholar at the Bank of Japan. Sheard is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Economic Agenda and was a member of the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the International Monetary System (2010-2012). He served on committees of the Japanese Government’s Economic Deliberation Council, as an appointee of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto (1997-98) and as an appointee of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi (1998-1999), and was a member of the oversight board of the Japanese Government’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (2001-2006).  From 2003 to 2010, he was a non-executive director of ORIX Corporation. In 2006, Sheard was recognized by Advance as one of a 100 Leading Global Australians. Sheard is on the board of the Foreign Policy Association and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of New York. He speaks regularly at conferences around the world, and his views on the global economy and policy issues are frequently cited in the international press. Author or editor of four books and numerous academic articles, Sheard’s 1997 book in Japanese, Mein Banku Shihon Shugi no Kiki: Biggu Ban de Kawaru Nihongata Keiei (The Crisis of Main Bank Capitalism: How Japanese-style Management Will Change with “Big Bang”), won the Suntory-Gakugei Prize in the Economics–Politics Division. Sheard received a BA (Hons) from Monash University and a Master of Economics and PhD in Japanese Economy from the ANU. While a Senior Fellow, he will work on a project called, “Rethinking and Retooling the Macroeconomic Policy Framework.” His faculty sponsor is Jason Furman, Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy.  Email: paul_sheard@hks.harvard.edu