Chrystia Freeland

Revolutions are all about jobs

By Chrystia Freeland
March 4, 2011

There’s nothing like a few revolutions to focus the mind. The lesson the world’s smartest authoritarians are drawing from Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and its neighborhood copycats is simple: It’s all about jobs.

Colbert riffs on the global super-elite

By Chrystia Freeland
March 2, 2011

On the Colbert Report last night, Stephen Colbert took off and ran with the idea from Chrystia’s recent Atlantic essay that the super-elite “are increasingly a nation unto themselves.” “Let the rich start their own country,” Colbert said. “Call it ‘America Plus.’ We already live in gated communities. I say we just connect them all with really long driveways.”

Barton and Kleinfeld’s tips for Uncle Sam

By Chrystia Freeland
March 1, 2011

During the depths of the financial crisis, Alcoa announced that it would lay off 13% of its global workforce, or about 13,500 people. Since then, they have built up their presence in China and Russia, finalized a new mine in Brazil, and started construction of the world’s largest aluminum facilities in Saudi Arabia. Alcoa’s rate of job creation in its home country of the United States, however, has been rather tepid in comparison.

The revolutionary significance of job growth

By Chrystia Freeland
March 1, 2011

It was striking to hear how encouraged both Klaus Kleinfeld and Dominic Barton sounded when Chrystia asked them about the effects of the recent turmoil in the Middle East on the business environment there. Barton believed the regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt were “the dawn of a new good thing that’s occurring” and noted that it is likely that new capital will come into these countries as a new leadership emerges. Kleinfeld, whose company is in the process of building the world’s largest integrated aluminum system in Saudi Arabia, said that Alcoa is still very comfortable in the region and that the only surprises with their Saudi partners have been positive surprises. For Kleinfeld, the most assured way to bring about stability in a region plagued by unrest is to have businesses come in and create jobs:

The view from Alcoa and McKinsey

By Chrystia Freeland
March 1, 2011

At this morning’s Newsmaker “Thriving in the New Global Economy,” Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and McKinsey Global Managing Director Dominic Barton told Chrystia their outlook for the world economy. From his perch atop one of the world’s leading aluminum producers, Kleinfeld was “really positive” about global growth prospects. Coming off a strong year in which aluminum demand rose 13 percent, the Alcoa chief forecast that aluminum demand will grow at a slightly slower rate of 12 percent this year thanks to China’s efforts to slow down its economy: