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The tendency to fight the last war stems from human nature. Recent events are most salient in shaping people's perceptions of how the world works. As central banks are now realising, a longer-term historical perspective offers wisdom derived from a wider variety of circumstances.

A generation of great international economists is passing from the scene. Richard Cooper, Robert Mundell and John Williamson each made important contributions on a variety of topics including to the ongoing debate about optimal currency arrangements.

There have been few US elections with such a discernible difference in the likely quality of the two candidates' economic policies. In this case, Biden's are better. Post-war Democratic presidents have been significantly better for the US economy than Republicans have. There is every reason to believe that trend will continue if Biden wins on 3 November.

According to a new World Bank report, China’s total income has now surpassed the US’s on a PPP-basis. But on a GDP basis, the US economy is still far ahead of China’s. Both measures have distinct implications for geopolitics, so must be considered separately.