Greider was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 6, 1936 to Harold William Greider, a chemist, and Gladys (McClure) Greider, a writer, and raised in Wyoming, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb. William Greider went on to study at Princeton University, receiving a B.A. in 1958.
His 2009 book was Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (And Redeeming Promise) Of Our Country. Before that he published The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy, which explores the basis and history of the corporation, the existence of employee-ownership as an alternative form of corporate governance, environmental issues, and how important people's contributions are to make the economy a humane one. Given its anticipation of the issues raised by the 2008 securities crisis, Occupy Wall St., and works with a similar theme by Gar Alperovitz, Richard Wolff, Michael Moore, Noreena Hertz, and Marjorie Kelly, it can be considered an underrecognized work. He is national affairs correspondent for The Nation, a liberal political weekly. Prior to his work at The Nation, he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine during the 1980s and 1990s, and worked as an on-air correspondent for Frontline on PBS.
Greider also wrote a book on globalization – One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (1997) – which suggested vulnerabilities and inequities of the global economy. The credibility of this work was heavily criticized by economist Paul Krugman, who claimed that Greider ignored the fallacies of composition that run rampant in the work, misinterpreted facts (some of which were incorrect), and misled readers with false assumptions – all possibly due to his lack of consultation with economists.
Greider's most well-known, powerful and far-reaching work is Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (1987), which chronicles the history of the Federal Reserve, and especially from 1979 to 1987 under the chairmanship of Paul Volcker, during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
A former reporter and editor at the Washington Post, Greider is credited with coining the term "Nader's Raiders" in a Post article dated November 13, 1968. During an October 1, 2008 broadcast interview on the impending passage of the "Wall Street bailout" despite widespread public opposition. Greider observed:
"(T)his is a very revealing moment in American democracy. We’re seeing the real deformities and power alignments that govern issues like this, particularly the financial system. (A)ll of the power centers in politics and finance and business are discredited by these events. (W)e had this moment Monday (September 29, 2008) when, for complicated political reasons, a majority in the House rose up and said no. (O)f course...the broad public...regards this bailout as a swindle and backwards. (The public wonders 'w)hy are you giving all this money to the people who caused this crisis and taking the money from the public assets of the victims?'"
On January 29, 2009, in an interview with Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now!", Greider commented regarding the United States' financial system's financial crisis:
"I’ve been writing for some months, the system is not just broken and not just injured; it is collapsed. And as long as the government continues to play putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, I think it will fail. That's not an ideological statement. It's just—I think it's the reality."
The commercial balance or net exports (sometimes symbolized as NX), is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports of output in an economy over a certain period, measured in the currency of that economy. It is the relationship between a nation's imports and exports. A positive balance is known as a trade surplus if it consists of exporting more than is imported; a negative balance is referred to as a trade deficit or, informally, a trade gap. The balance of trade is sometimes divided into a goods and a services balance.
From Classical economic theory, those who ignore the effects of long run trade deficits may be confusing David Ricardo's principle of comparative advantage with Adam Smith's principle of absolute advantage, specifically ignoring the latter. The economist Paul Craig Roberts notes that the comparative advantage principles developed by David Ricardo do not hold where the factors of production are internationally mobile. Global labor arbitrage, a phenomenon described by economist Stephen S. Roach, where one country exploits the cheap labor of another, would be a case of absolute advantage that is not mutually beneficial. In 2010, economist Ian Fletcher authored a significant work entitled, Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace It and Why, where he has supported a strategic approach to trade rather than an unconditional or unilateral approach.