Financial Crises

Op-Ed

Bernanke Is Calibrating the Markets Into Fits

Authors: Benn Steil and Dinah Walker
Financial News

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker explain the market massacre following Ben Bernanke's press conference on June 19. Bernanke's repeated statements that a key tool of current Fed policy, asset purchases, would be "calibrated" to employment data, each month's publication of which can imply a major shift in the unemployment trend line, suggests that Fed tightening could begin as early as the middle of next year—nearly a year and half earlier than the Fed had suggested in its pledge statement last fall.

See more in Financial Crises; Monetary Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Second Great Depression

Author: Bradford DeLong

The global economic downturn is hardly over, and without a more dramatic set of actions, the United States is likely to suffer another major crisis in the years ahead. A new book by Alan Blinder may be the best general volume on the recession to date, but it paints an overly optimistic portrait of the current situation.

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Must Read

How Austerity Has Failed

Author: Martin Wolf

"Austerity has failed. It turned a nascent recovery into stagnation. That imposes huge and unnecessary costs, not just in the short run, but also in the long term: the costs of investments unmade, of businesses not started, of skills atrophied, and of hopes destroyed."

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Op-Ed

Would a New 'Bretton Woods' Save the Global Economy?

Author: Benn Steil
PBS NewsHour

Benn Steil's op-ed for Paul Solman's PBS The Business Desk site looks critically at calls for "a new Bretton Woods." He argues that many of the critical precepts behind the 1944 American Bretton Woods blueprint were overturned by the Truman Administration a mere three years later, and that the operation of the Bretton Woods monetary system was far briefer and more troubled than is typically reckoned.

See more in Global; Financial Crises; International Finance

Audio

Media Conference Call: Benn Steil on Federal Reserve Exit Strategy

Speaker: Benn Steil
Presider: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

The prospective challenge of containing inflation, buttressing a collapsed housing market, and normalizing the Federal Reserve's bloated balance sheet has created an "exit strategy" dilemma for Chairman Ben Bernanke. CFR Director of International Economics Benn Steil urges the Federal Reserve to swap mortgage-backed securities with the U.S. Treasury in exchange for Treasury securities, which the Fed can then sell as part of a normal process of monetary tightening.

See more in Financial Crises; United States