What CFR.org Editors are reading the week of April 4–8, 2016.
What CFR.org Editors are reading the week of April 4–8, 2016.
In the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, debate has revived in the regime over how far to open up to outside trade and finance. It has become a struggle over Iran’s identity, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, CFR President Richard N. Haass discussed the “slow motion crisis” that is growing U.S. debt, as well as its principal causes and its consequences for U.S. national security.
Over the past two decades, many developing countries have turned away from free market capitalism and toward modern state capitalism, which is a combination of traditional state economic planning and elements of free market competition. In his new book, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick argues that modern state capitalism is ultimately “more protectionist, more dangerous to global security and prosperity, and more threatening to political freedom” than free market economics.
Penny Pritzker discusses the Commerce Department’s mission to use America’s commercial power to influence policy in markets around the world.
Benn Steil’s latest op-ed in The Weekly Standard examines Paul Krugman’s continuing calls for fiscal stimulus, as well as his defense of government wage intervention and mercantilism. These have all been grounded in the assertion that the United States is in a “liquidity trap,” in which monetary policy is ineffective. Steil explains why the theory of liquidity traps is logically inapplicable when the central bank’s policy rate is positive, as it has been in the United States since December, and concludes that it operates as a fig leaf behind which to advocate policies with less scientific rationales.
On the current trajectory, spending on health care, Social Security and interest on the debt will consume allfederal tax revenues by 2045.
CFR’s Global Monetary Policy Tracker compiles data from 54 countries around the world to highlight significant global trends in monetary policy. Who is tightening policy? Who is loosening policy? And what is the policy stance of the world as a whole? Learn more!
The American economy today faces many threats, but perhaps the biggest is a sense of diminishing expectations.
In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Elizabeth Economy discussed the economic components of the “rebalance to Asia” and its prospects going forward. She recommended that the U.S. Congress ratify TPP, continue to support the Ex-Im Bank, and increase support for NGO operations across the Asia-Pacific in fields such as legal education and anti-corruption that help promote good economic governance. She also called for greater coordination between commercial diplomacy and strategic economic plans and greater support for the proposed U.S. New Silk Road initiative.
Benn Steil’s op-ed in the March 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with Emma Smith, looks at presidential campaign charges that China is engaged in “currency manipulation” to boost net exports. They show that the aims of China’s pegged exchange rate regime have varied over the past two decades, and have not always been mercantilist. In recent months, with capital flowing out of China at a prodigious rate, its interventions have been to keep its currency up—not down. Launching a trade war with China over currency management, as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders intend, would therefore be nonsensical—as well as damaging to U.S. interests.
Last week, Nigeria’s Senate passed President Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed 2016 budget, which projected a deficit of $15 billion due to falling oil prices. In an email interview, Matthew Page, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed the impact of falling oil prices on Nigeria’s economy and politics.
The mayor’s economic expert is making all the Remain arguments
Africa’s largest economy is struggling to find its feet. Sliding oil prices threaten to derail President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to put Nigeria’s public finances back in order, fund planned infrastructure spending, and field much-needed social programs.
U.S. trade deals may not be spurring the large price increases and shifts away from lower-cost generics that many predicted.
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Alyssa Ayres recapped the trajectory of U.S.-India economic ties over the past decade and a half, and proposed ways to take the relationship forward.
The government of India filed suit on March 3 in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to overturn a new U.S. tax on high-skilled migrants that India says discriminates against its citizens and would damage some of its most successful companies. The case marks the first time that a country's immigration laws have been challenged using the rules of a trade agreement, writes CFR’s Edward Alden.
Experts discuss the factors that led to Puerto Rico’s crisis, the options for restructuring its more than $70 billion debt, and solutions for helping fix the island’s economy.
Robert Kahn testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, describing the crisis risks generated by persistently low oil and gas prices. He argued that the risks are especially acute for energy exporters such as Venezuela and Nigeria, and that such countries need sizable policy adjustments in the immediate future.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers gave a speech on March 2, 2016, about the UN Security Council vote North Korea sanctions.
To ensure the success of Myanmar's historic democratic transition, the United States should revise its outdated and counterproductive sanctions policy.
Blackwill and Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia.
Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
Kurlantzick offers the sharpest analysis yet of what state capitalism’s emergence means for democratic politics around the world. More
In a cogent analysis of why the United States is losing ground as a world power, Blackwill and Harris explore the statecraft of geoeconomics. More
Takeyh and Simon reframe the legacy of U.S. involvement in the Arab world from 1945 to 1991 and shed new light on the makings of the contemporary Middle East. More
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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