Hans-Werner Sinn
For Hans-Werner Sinn's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Aug 27, 2009
Promise and peril of global change
MUNICH — Panta rhei. Everything flows.
May 3, 2009
World's biggest shock absorber
MUNICH — Since last autumn, Germany has been accused by a number of Anglo-American economists, above all by the 2008 Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, of not doing enough to combat the world economic crisis and of free-riding on other countries' stimulus programs.
Jan 3, 2009
Why does Germany's chancellor hesitate?
MUNICH — "Where is Angela?" is the question The Economist asked when Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown and Jose Manuel Barroso met to prepare a European economic stimulus plan without Chancellor Merkel being present. Indeed, Germany is currently the spoiler in the competition to provide billions to prevent a breakdown of the world economy. Why is Germany so hesitant when it comes to economic stimulus programs?
Oct 17, 2008
Plugging U.S. equity leaks
MUNICH — With pain and misgiving, the U.S. Congress has bailed out Wall Street to prevent a meltdown of America's financial system. But the $700 billion to be used may flow into a leaky bucket, and so may the billions provided by governments throughout the world.
Jul 4, 2008
A wave of migrating brains and barbarians
MUNICH — Europe is experiencing a huge wave of migration between east and west. This movement resembles the Great Migrations (Volkerwanderung) of the fourth to sixth centuries.
Apr 30, 2008
New regulations needed to curb bad banking
After the 1982 debt crisis, the U.S. savings and loan (S&L) crisis in the United States in the late 1980s, and the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the subprime mortgage crisis is the fourth major banking crisis since World War II, and by far the biggest. According to the International Monetary Fund, the total loss in terms of balance sheet write-offs will be nearly $1 trillion worldwide, of which the lion's share probably will be borne by U.S. financial institutions. Given that the combined equity capital stock of all U.S. financial institutions is roughly $1.2 trillion, this is a breathtaking sum.
Mar 10, 2008
The global economic party has ended
MUNICH — With the United States teetering into recession, the global economic boom has ended. The boom was unusually long and persistent, with four years of roughly 5 percent growth — a period of sustained economic dynamism not seen since around 1970.
Dec 6, 2007
Put production of food ahead of biofuel
PRAGUE — When United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon recently visited Antarctica, he was impressed by the melting ice he saw there. Then he was in Brazil, where he was impressed by the country's use of biofuel to power a quarter of its automotive traffic. Oil pressed from rapeseed can be used as diesel fuel, and corn or sugar beets can yield ethanol to replace gasoline.
May 5, 2007
Can France get back on track?
MUNICH — The new president of France, be it Nicolas Sarkozy or Segolene Royal, will face a tough challenge when it comes to putting the French economy back on its feet. While the world economy is booming for the fourth consecutive year, with a historically unprecedented growth rate of about 5 percent, the French economy is limping. In 2006, it grew by only 2.2 percent, while growth rates of only 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent can be expected for 2007 and 2008, respectively, according to a recent forecast by the German Economic Research Institutes. This is significantly below the average of the old EU countries for these three years — 2.7 percent, 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
Mar 5, 2007
Eastern challenge to West European jobs
MUNICH -- In January, the European Union expanded eastward once again. Following the "Big Bang" enlargement of 2004, which added 75 million new EU citizens, the accession of Romania and Bulgaria has added 30 million more. What does this mean for the labor markets of Western Europe?
Sep 3, 2006
Merkel's reforms drift toward dead end
MUNICH -- A year ago, Angela Merkel, Germany's charming new chancellor, was in the final phase of her election campaign. The incumbent, Gerhard Schroeder, lagged so far behind her Christian Democrats (CDU) in public opinion polls that she thought she would win a landslide victory and could therefore afford to expound on the cruelties of the liberal austerity program delineated in her electoral campaign. She even announced a value-added tax increase (which her new government has, indeed, decided to implement in 2007).
Apr 29, 2006
May Day madness in Europe
MUNICH -- May 1, 2006, is a crucial date for Europe, for it is the deadline for implementing the European Union's directive on freedom of movement into national law. Most countries have already changed their immigration laws, or have promised to do so before the deadline. Only Belgium, Italy, Finland and Luxembourg lag behind.
Mar 4, 2006
Reshaping the welfare state
LONDON -- A market economy is efficient, but it is not just. Because wages are determined by the law of scarcity, some people cannot earn enough money to live a decent life.


Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?