Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan was once hailed as the omnipotent “maestro” of the U.S. economy, but his reputation suffered in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. In The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, a new biography based on five years of research and unmatched access to Greenspan, Sebastian Mallaby presents a nuanced assessment of one of the most influential economic statesmen of the twentieth century and issues a warning about the future of finance. The story of Greenspan, according to Mallaby, is the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.
The biggest revelation offered by Ben Bernanke’s memoir of his time as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve is just how much the public, the media, and especially elected officials have misunderstood the real lessons of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession—events that defined Bernanke’s tenure, which began in 2006 and ended in 2014.
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.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations' Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, Robert Kahn argues that although Greece's direct trade and financial links to the U.S. economy are small and there is less of a direct systemic threat to the United States than when the crisis began in 2009, the risks are still material.
Kenneth S. Rogoff, a Harvard University professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, will contribute his expertise to the Council on Foreign Relations as a senior fellow for economics in the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies. He will continue to be the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
Can Western governments learn anything from the Greek fiasco that will produce a better result in Ukraine? There are countless differences between the two situations, but one big similarity should worry us: In both countries an economic crisis has begotten a political crisis, and the two have begun to feed on each other.
Crises are an inevitable outgrowth of the modern capitalist economy. So argues Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator for the Financial Times, in his authoritative account of the 2008 financial crisis. Instability reveals itself in the form of shocks; even a seemingly small deviation from the norm can set off a major crisis.
A recent book of essays by top economists suggests that many of the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis were ones that should have been learned long before the meltdown. The problem is that during good times, people forget.
During a seemingly successful trip to Asia in November, Barack Obama announced several breakthroughs. Among them was a promise that the United States and Asian nations would proceed toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a free-trade deal that, if enacted, would create a free trade area with a total gross domestic product of more than $27 trillion.
Greece’s new political leadership is set to challenge the German-led austerity policies in Europe, which could spur the rise of more anti-establishment movements across the continent, says political risk analyst Ian Bremmer.
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CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby reviews economic historian Barry Eichengreen's newest book Hall of Mirrors, which argues that history should have guided U.S. and European central bankers toward better decisions during the 2008 financial crisis.