Immigration, AI, climate change are risks to companies’ bottom lines


Immigration will benefit the U.S. in the long term by addressing the worker shorter and supplement benefits of retirees according to New York University Professor Emeritus of Economics and International Business Nouriel Roubini.

He spoke with CNBC on why a selective but open immigration policy has helped U.S. growth. Most billion-dollar startups in America have been founded by immigrants, and companies such as Google, Tesla and Apple have had CEOs from immigrant backgrounds.

“Many people are against immigration because they fear that it’s going to lead to job losses or income losses. But the evidence is not consistent with that. We have a shortage now of labor because of the aging of populations. That reduces potential growth, reduces productivity, creates a larger fiscal deficit and implicit liability for the government, those deriving from a pay-as-you-go Social Security and health-care system. So we need more younger workers to be able to pay for the benefits of those who are retiring,” he said.

Roubini explained that the future of technology and the singularity are concerning as artificial intelligence is integrated into the workplace.

“Some people talk about singularity. Some people talk about AGI or artificial general intelligence or similar types of concepts. They all have to do with the view that eventually the machines may become better than any human, not only for specific tasks. … Will AI make the machines and the robots be so much more intelligent than us? Or there could be a merger between the AI and the human brain so that we actually become ourselves super intelligent,” said the author of “MegaThreats: Ten Dangerous Trends That Imperil Our Future, And How to Survive Them.”

Another “megathreat” Roubini discussed is global warming and how companies claiming to reach net zero are behind.

“Firms and corporations have to be involved. And of course, the government and countries have to be involved. Unfortunately, many of the commitments to net zero done by many businesses or even financial institutions are more like corporate PR rather than real plans. Everybody says we’re going to reach net zero, but there’s a lot of greenwashing and green wishing rather than real specific plans. That’s why we still have a significant amount of global climate change. And this is going to be the hottest year in history and next year is going to get worse,” the economist said.

Watch the video above to see the full interview.


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