Authors: Shantayanan Devarajan and Wolfgang Fengler
Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP has grown five percent a year since 2000 and is expected to grow even faster in the future. Although pessimists are quick to point out that this growth has followed increases in commodities prices, the success of recent political reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of sustaining its boom for years to come.
Over the past several years, the most talked-about trend in the global economy has been the so-called rise of the rest, which saw the economies of many developing countries swiftly converging with those of their more developed peers.
The massive growth of hedge funds has sparked warnings of instability and demands that the industry be regulated. But the fear of hedge funds is overblown, based on a misunderstanding of their role in the international financial system. In reality, hedge funds do not increase risk; they manage it -- and policymakers, rather than clamping down, should make sure hedge funds have the tools to perform this function well.
As the effects of the financial crisis stretch beyond America and Europe, the world's emerging markets start to wobble and analysts wonder just how hard China, India, and other major developing nations will be hit.
Joshua Kurlantzick shares an excerpt from his new book, Democracy in Retreat, which revolves around a disturbing thesis: that after a steady increase in the number of democracies in the world for nearly a century, autocratic rule is on the march.
Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia
The Brazilian government faces a number of challenges and opportunities concerning its economic forecast in the coming years. After peaking at 7.5 percent growth in 2010, Brazil's recent economic slowdown has caused worry that the dream of a new high-growth economy had slipped out of reach.
Speakers: Robert Annibale and Shamshad Akhtar Presider: Isobel Coleman
Isobel Coleman hosts Robert Annibale, Global Director of Microfinance, Citigroup, and Shamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, for a discussion about how to reach the two billion people who do not have access to formal financial services.
This roundtable was generously supported by the Center for Financial Conclusion at Accion, which is leading the Financial Inclusion 2020 Campaign.
With concerns swirling over the prospect of another global economic slowdown, Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, questions the current consensus view, which is still bullish on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and bearish on the West. Sharma, the author of "Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles" and the May/June Foreign Affairs essay "Bearish on Brazil," argues against analyzing emerging markets under catch-all acronyms. He points out, for example, that Brazil's growth is dependent on a shaky premise: high prices for commodities like oil, coffee and iron ore. Meanwhile, the dismal image of Europe overlooks fiscally responsible countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, whose policies, institutions, and private sectors could enable them to become real growth economies. Sharma will discuss which nations will serve as pockets of future economic strength, and what this all means for the global economy, including the big powers of the West.
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.