Central bankers have always carried a mystique far beyond justification, whether they are cast as malicious, incomprehensible, or all-powerful. Neil Irwin's new book on monetary policy during the financial crisis should dispel these myths once and for all.
"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."
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.
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.
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 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 author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.