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Rana Foroohar
Global Economics Analyst, CNN
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Rana Foroohar
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CNN’s Global Economics Analyst Rana Foroohar covers the intersection of business, economics, politics, and foreign affairs. In March 2017 she will assume a new role as The Financial Times’ Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor, sharing her insights about the shifts occurring in globalization and the political economy.

Her first book, Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business, was a finalist for the 2016 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. 

Foroohar frequently profiles movers and shakers in finance and business, including, Warren Buffett, Bill Gross, Howard Shultz, Mary Barra, Carl Icahn, and Fed chair Janet Yellen. Her high-level yet accessible analysis has made her a sought-after commentator on influential programs such as Fareed Zakaria GPS, Face the Nation, Morning Joe, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

The former Economics Columnist and Assistant Managing Editor for TIME, Foroohar has penned numerous cover stories and essays on China and the next global recession, Europe’s economic crisis, and what the rise of "localnomics” means for American business.

For 13 years Foroohar served as the deputy editor in charge of international business and economics for Newsweek and headed up coverage for the annual Davos special issue. She spent six years as Newsweek’s European correspondent based in London, covering business news throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Foroohar chairs panel discussions with world leaders, intellectuals, and economists at the World Economic Forum and elsewhere, including a Harvard Business School program on improving U.S. competitiveness.

The recipient of awards and fellowships from institutions such as the Johns Hopkins School of International Affairs and the East West Center, Foroohar is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Speaking Topics

Uncertainty and risk are everywhere you look in the global economy. But some risk factors matter more than others. What are the events on the horizon that could truly effect global economic growth, and which risk factors are overblown? Drawing from her on the ground global reporting, Foroohar analyzes and explains the things that worry her — across both geographies and sectors — and the things that don’t. She will cover topics like the Chinese real estate market, the Eurozone crisis, political dysfunction in Washington, and the divergence of growth in emerging markets, laying out the patterns in the world economy that leaders and investors should really be paying attention to.

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Capitalism 2.0

Modern capitalism has created more growth and prosperity for more people than ever before in history. Why, then, do only 18% of Millenials consider themselves “capitalists”? Why do a majority of Americans question the capitalist system itself, according to the Pew Foundation? As Rana Foroohar outlines in her book “Makers and Takers,” it’s because the capital markets themselves have stopped working as they should to support business. Today, only about 15 percent of money in the market gets funneled into business investment, which is a key reason for slower GDP growth and the polarized politics that have resulted from it. We’re at a tipping point – unless we fix things, we’ll see lower returns, flat growth, and even more of a push back against globalization. The good news — we have the tools and the technologies to create Capitalism 2.0. Foroohar will explain how the economy got where it is today, and how we can fix things, via new digital platforms ecosystems that will turn the sharing economy into a new form of more robust and inclusive capitalism (see my TIME story on that, here:

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Brexit and the Implications for Europe and the World
Makers and Takers: How to Create Sustainable Growth

Financial markets were set up to help business. That’s how Adam Smith envisioned capitalism working — Wall Street was the helpmate for Main Street, allocating capital to help business, and thus the economy, grow.

But today, something is broken in that equation — by some estimates, only 15% of cash washing around the financial system actually ends up in the real economy that businesses operate in. The rest is part of a closed loop of unproductive financial speculation. Finance has gotten rich — it’s an industry that creates 4% of jobs but takes 30% of corporate profits. But other industries have suffered; fewer businesses are being started, and companies are under huge pressure to provide “shareholder value,” which often forces CEOs to make decisions that favor short term profit making over longer term growth. How can business leaders please the Street while still nurturing their businesses for the long haul? In this speech, Rana Foroohar shares lessons on how corporate leaders can create long term, not just short term, growth and prosperity.

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How to improve American economic competitiveness is a perennial topic of debate. We talk about reforming education, building better infrastructure, and cutting red tape. But we hardly ever speak of a deeper and more endemic problem – how American business itself has moved away from its roots in technologically based innovation, and towards a culture of short term balance sheet management, which is threatening not only the long term profitability of many businesses, but the viability of our economy. How can we bring the focus of American business away from quarterly profit taking, and back towards the idea based innovation culture that made our economy great? Foroohar will look at lessons that can be taken from winning businesses and economic models in both the US and abroad. 

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How Finance Can Be A Force For Good

China is on track to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy within the next few years. Yet much of what we think we know about the Middle Kingdom is wrong. China does pose opportunities and challenges for the U.S., but they aren’t what we think. In this speech, Foroohar exposes and corrects several myths about China.  

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It hasn’t been easy to find a bright spot in the global economy in recent years. But lately, economists have begun to track the rise of a new emerging market, one that may end up being the largest and most powerful of all: women. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, women are now poised to drive the post-recession world economy, thanks to an estimated $5 trillion in new female-earned income that will be coming on line over the next five years. Worldwide, total income for men ($23.4 trillion) is still more than double that for women ($10.5 trillion), but the gap is poised to shrink significantly because the vast majority of new income growth over the next few years will go to women, due to a narrowing wage gap and rising female employment. That means women will be the ones driving the shopping — and, economists hope, the recovery. That growth represents the biggest emerging market in the history of the planet — more than twice the size of the two hottest developing markets, India and China, combined.

This talk show how this new emerging market is reshaping investment strategies, world politics, and the global economy.

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If there’s one economic fact that will influence the next decade more than any other, it may be this – by 2020, America is predicted to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia, and creating a new geopolitics of energy that will influence everything from politics in the Middle East to the direction of Chinese foreign policy to the stability of Russia, West Africa, and many other regions of the world. 

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In 2008, after Lehman Brothers fell and the financial crisis and global recession began, the conventional wisdom was that we were entering an era in which government would take back power from business. In fact, just the opposite has happened. Politicians have few solutions to the huge problems of the day — such as labor bifurcation, growth, and competitiveness. Markets want answers, but elected leaders can’t give them — in part because for them, nearly any sort of action poses political risk. This presents a huge opportunity for corporate leaders and organizations that are ready to leverage their balance sheets and talents in areas like education, vocational training, information technology, urban planning, and energy efficiency. In this speech, Foroohar will sketch the ways that the world’s most creative companies are taking on jobs that used to be part of the public sector and the risks and potential rewards that come with it. 

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Books & Other Works
  • Makers and Takers
  • TIME cover story: 'American Capitalism's Great Crisis'
  • TIME cover story: Made in China - The Next Global Recession
  • TIME cover story: What Starbucks Knows About America
  • TIME cover story: The Mechanic: Mary Barra’s Bumpy Ride at the Wheel of GM
  • TIME cover story: The School That Will Get You a Job
  • TIME cover story: The Sixteen Trillion Dollar Woman
  • TIME cover story: Master of the Universe: Why Carl Icahn Is the Most Influential Investor in...
  • TIME cover story: The Myth of Financial Reform
  • TIME cover story: Broken City: Detroit
  • TIME cover story: 'The Wimpy Recovery'
  • TIME cover story: 'Warren Buffett Is on a Radical Track'
  • TIME cover story: 'The End of Europe'
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