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 as a solution for the prospective challenge of containing inflation, buttressing a collapsed housing market, and normalizing its bloated balance sheet.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker explain why the Fed's massive holdings of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are distorting its thinking about the conduct of monetary policy going forward.They propose a novel plan to rectify this, in which the Fed swaps its MBS with the Treasury in return for Treasury securities, which the Fed can sell as part of a normal "exit" from monetary stimulus.
After more than a decade of war and several years of a deep financial crisis, many Americans are asking whether the country should focus more of its attention—and more of its resources—at home. That said, the impulse to lead is still strong in both political parties and most polls show that Americans still feel both a moral and strategic imperative to remain fully engaged in the world.
The debt crisis that has hammered southern Europe since 2010 will have long-lived economic effects, despite the moderation in Spanish and Italian government borrowing costs since the European Central Bank's "Outright Monetary Transactions" initiative last September.
George Papandreou interviewed by Christopher Alessi
The EU and IMF should loosen the austerity requirements of Greece's bailout package to allow the indebted country to implement needed growth-enhancing policies, says former prime minister George Papandreou.
Micah Zenko argues, "The tolerance for threat inflation in the absence of plausible threats should be questioned and challenged by anyone interested in, or holding a stake in, the future of U.S. foreign policy."
Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia
Globalization refers to the increasing ease with which goods, services, capital and people can move across the world, which has been accelerated by advances in technology and government policies to reduce barriers. In terms of reducing poverty in as many countries as possible, there is no question that globalizationcontinues to be beneficial, even after the 2008 financial crisis. Poverty continues to fall worldwide at a rapid rate, and countries most integrated into the world economy have seen the biggest reductions in poverty. But it is also true that even before the crisis, the gains from globalization were not spread evenly. Though millions have been lifted out of poverty and everyone benefits from cheaper consumer goods and the opening of new export markets, there are still winners and losers.
Former co-chairs of the President's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson proposed a new deficit reduction plan on February 19, 2013, through their organization Moment of Truth. Their plan projects reductions by $2.4 trillion over the next decade, with cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and discretionary spending, and ending or curbing deductions and tax breaks.
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.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 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. Read and download »