Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Why Is Paul Krugman Still Calling for Fiscal Stimulus?

Author: Benn Steil
Weekly Standard

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.

See more in United States; Monetary Policy

The Trump-Sanders China Syndrome

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
Wall Street Journal

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.

See more in China; United States; Monetary Policy; Elections

Preparing for Change

Author: Daniel S. Markey
The Cipher Brief

For over six decades, the United States and Pakistan have suffered through a tormented and often tumultuous relationship, one defined at its apex by wartime alliance and at its nadir by stiff U.S. sanctions. In many ways, the period since 9/11 has mirrored that longer history, with expectations inflated and dashed, overblown rhetoric, and in the end, more frustration than satisfaction.

See more in United States; Pakistan; Diplomacy and Statecraft

How to Break the Deadlock Over Data Encryption

Authors: Adam Segal and Alexandre Grigsby
Washington Post

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

‘Pandemic,’ by Sonia Shah

Author: Laurie Garrett
New York Times

Over Christmas, headlines across Britain screamed that Victorian-era diseases had returned. The past five years had apparently witnessed a 136 percent increase in scarlet fever cases, a remarkable 300 percent rise in the confirmed ­cases of cholera along with reported occurrences of other once-vanquished diseases like tuberculosis, measles and whooping cough.

See more in Haiti; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Can Taiwan Show Beijing and the World How Disputed Islands Should Be Used for Peace?

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
South China Morning Post

In this op-ed, published following the visit of outgoing Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou to Taiping Island in the South China Sea, Cohen outlines how peaceful initiatives could be developed on the island to help address tensions in the South China Sea and other parts of East Asia.

See more in Taiwan; China; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Regional Security