"In a monetary union, adjustment is hard without any transfers and without a fiscal union. I know of no plausible plan how the eurozone can manage the dual feat of economic adjustment and debt sustainability within the straitjacket of official policy. And as long as such a plan does not exist, the crisis is not over."
"In the last three to four decades, government and business have been part of a far-reaching economic transformation, made possible by remarkable advances in information, communication and transport technologies. The proliferation of internationally joined-up production arrangements – that is, global supply chains – has changed our economic and political landscape in fundamental ways."
Although the government shutdown was costly for both the economy and U.S. foreign policy, Micah Zenko points out that the United States will remain above-average and the ultimate impact was the "opportunity cost of applying finite time and resources to political theater rather than tangible policy accomplishments."
As the Tea Party's scorched-earth tactics threaten to burn down the Republican Party's house, Julia Sweig reflects on the role of factional politics and democratic expansion in U.S. history, and on the crossroads we have reached in the present day.
Ambassador Cameron Munter and Daniel Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia, discuss U.S.-Pakistan relations and the significance of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Washington.
"America's borrowing costs are on the cusp of exceeding the rest of the world for the first time since 2010 after a political stalemate over public funding triggered a 16-day government shutdown and jeopardized the nation's ability to pay its debt. Yields on Treasuries, which averaged less than 1 percent as recently as May, are now within 0.2 percentage point of the 1.57 percent for sovereign debt outside the U.S., according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes."
Peter Orszag and John Bridgeland argue that the federal government needs to do a better job of figuring out what programs work, giving more funding to the programs that are effective, and cutting funding from that programs that are not.
Michael Spence argues that continued U.S. debt ceiling brinkmanship will reinforce perceptions that American politics are helplessly parochial, encourage other nations to diversify away from holding U.S. sovereign debt, and accelerate the decline of America's global economic influence.
After Congress passed a budget and raised the debt ceiling after a sixteen day government shutdown, President Obama spoke on three agenda items: passing a budget, reforming immigration, and subsidizing farms.
Because a binding U.S. debt ceiling creates constitutional contradictions that cannot be resolved in a non-destructive way, Martin Wolf writes that the debt ceiling is too dangerous a law to remain on the books.
"Managing a bond fund these days is a peculiar business. Global central banks have aggressively supported government bonds, driving up—many would say distorting—their prices. Market observers generally agree that support will eventually ebb, bringing prices back down and bond yields up, but no one can be certain when. What is an investor to do?"
"Japan is also a global trendsetter in other, more troubling ways. If the policy makers of Europe and North America want a sense of the social, economic and strategic challenges they may face in the coming years, they should visit Japan…"
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.