The dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has become a facet of U.S. power, allowing the United States to borrow effortlessly and sustain an assertive foreign policy. But the capital inflows associated with the dollar's reserve-currency status have created a vulnerability, too, opening the door to a foreign sell-off of U.S. securities that could drive up U.S. interest rates. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Capital Flows Quarterly, Francis E. Warnock argues that a sell-off came close to happening in 2009. How the United States uses this reprieve will affect the nation's ability to borrow for years to come, with broad implications for the sustainability of an active U.S. foreign policy.
Newly developed long historical time series on public debt, along with modern data on external debts, allow a deeper analysis of the cycles underlying serial debt and banking crises. The evidence confirms a strong link between banking crises and sovereign default across the economic history of great many countries, advanced and emerging alike
Some of Obama's budget proposals are sound policy, but congressional gridlock and faster economic reforms in China and Europe could jeopardize U.S. competitiveness, says Economist.com editor Ryan Avent.
Gerald F. Seib views the federal budget deficit as a potential national security threat, emphasizing that budget deficits make America vulnerable to foreign pressures, allow Chinese power to grow as a result, put long-term national-security budgets at risk, and underme the American model before the rest of the world.
Many of the economic reforms under discussion now, including the fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending, were central in the original New Deal package. But as Amity Shlaes argues in this New York Post op-ed, many of these reforms didn't work well then, and some failed outright.
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