Sebastian Mallaby uses the framework of central bank power to examine the rise and recent decline of the cult of the expert. He concludes that, ironically, experts need to play the political game if they hope to maintain their legitimacy; and that a healthy democracy is well served by a mix of public accountability and technocratic independence.
The traditional U.S. economic agenda in East Asia needs to be complemented with a push for the policies needed to bring East Asia’s savings down to a level that the region can more easily absorb internally.
In this intriguing prequel to his upcoming book, Sebastian Mallaby reveals a new side to controversial former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan was often accused of trusting too much in markets and being blind to the effects of bubbles, but Mallaby shows that Greenspan, in fact, was the man who knew.
Speaker: Kenneth S. Rogoff Presider: Matthew Bishop
Kenneth Rogoff discusses the 'Curse of Cash,' his new book about phasing out most paper money to fight crime and tax evasion—and to battle financial crises by tapping the power of negative interest rates.
Now, almost a decade after the Great Recession hit, the story of its origins and course has become familiar. It began in December 2007, soon after the U.S. housing bubble burst, triggering the widespread collapse of the U.S. financial system. Credit dried up, as banks lost confidence in the value of their assets and stopped lending to one another.
Today, there is essentially one accepted narrative of the economic crisis that began in late 2007. Overly optimistic homebuyers and reckless lenders in the United States created a housing price bubble. Regulators were asleep at the switch.
With another interest rate rise potentially on the horizon, please join Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard for a discussion on the economic outlook of the United States and the monetary policies of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Benn Steil’s May 20 op-ed on the PBS NewsHour Making$ense site, co-authored with Emma Smith, explains the practical and political barriers to further monetary or fiscal loosening in nations representing at least 60 percent of the global economy. This spells trouble ahead if economic conditions worsen.
Benn Steil’s latest op-ed in The Weekly Standard examines Paul Krugman’s continuing calls for fiscal stimulus, as well as his defense of government wage intervention and mercantilism. These have all been grounded in the assertion that the United States is in a “liquidity trap,” in which monetary policy is ineffective. Steil explains why the theory of liquidity traps is logically inapplicable when the central bank’s policy rate is positive, as it has been in the United States since December, and concludes that it operates as a fig leaf behind which to advocate policies with less scientific rationales.
Benn Steil’s op-ed in the March 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with Emma Smith, looks at presidential campaign charges that China is engaged in “currency manipulation” to boost net exports. They show that the aims of China’s pegged exchange rate regime have varied over the past two decades, and have not always been mercantilist. In recent months, with capital flowing out of China at a prodigious rate, its interventions have been to keep its currency up—not down. Launching a trade war with China over currency management, as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders intend, would therefore be nonsensical—as well as damaging to U.S. interests.
Benn Steil and Emma Smith’s article explains the difference between using rate hikes and balance-sheet reductions to tighten monetary policy and shows why Richard Koo is mistaken in arguing for the Fed to do the latter.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 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 »