In April, voters in Indonesia's parliamentary elections shocked many observers, confounded most pollsters, and seemed to set back their own long-term interests by failing to deliver a massive victory to the main opposition party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook outlines the risk factors and warning signs of a solvency crisis in Egypt in this Contingency Planning Memorandum and offers policy options to prevent such a crisis or mitigate its consequences.
In his recent essay"Never Saw It Coming"(November/December 2013), Alan Greenspan makes two central arguments: first, that virtually no one foresaw the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and, second, that irrational "animal spirits" were the root cause.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker argue that the ECB's bank stress tests will roil rather than calm markets if recapitalization funds are not set aside in advance, as they were in the case of the highly successful U.S. tests in 2009.
These semiannual reports and testimony are required by the Federal Reserve Act and are submitted to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and to the House Committee on Financial Services. The Monetary Policy report and related testimony are the Federal Reserve's analysis of "the conduct of monetary policy and economic developments and prospects for the future."
"If the eurozone adopts the program outlined above, there should be no need for Germany to pick up any tab. But under the perverse policies that Europe has adopted, one debt restructuring has been followed by another. If Germany and the other northern European countries continue to insist on pursuing current policies, they, together with their southern neighbors, will wind up paying a high price."
The former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve asks how so many experts, including him, failed to see the 2008 financial crisis approaching. An important part of the answer to that question is a very old idea: Keynesian "animal spirits," the irrational elements of decisionmaking that have been left out of economic forecasting for too long.
Peter Orszag writes that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's limits on high loan-to-value mortgages are a model for the kind of actions the U.S. Federal Reserve could have taken to manage the U.S. mortgage market and reduce the risks that the housing bubble posed to the financial system.
"Much attention has been lavished on the speculators who reaped huge paydays betting against the subprime mortgages that stoked the financial crisis. Doomsayers like the hedge fund manager John Paulson and the cast of characters in "The Big Short," the Michael Lewis book, saw calamity coming, and their contrarian bets delivered when the housing market collapsed.
But what about the big long? During the dark days of late 2008, while other investors dumped their holdings or sat paralyzed on the sidelines, who decided that it was time to put money on the line? Who bought low and then sold high?"
"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."
"The International Monetary Fund proceeded with its record 2010 bailout of Greece despite deep internal divisions over whether it would work, according to confidential documents that contradict the fund's public statements."
"So far, the grand bargain between the core and the periphery has held up: the periphery continues austerity and reform while the core remains patient and provides financing. But the eurozone's political strains may soon reach a breaking point, with populist anti-austerity parties in the periphery and populist anti-euro and anti-bailout parties in the core possibly gaining the upper hand in next year's European Parliament elections."
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.
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.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
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 »