Backgrounders

Current political and economic issues succinctly explained.

Renewing America

Renewing America

Gasoline Prices

Author: Toni Johnson

With the Middle East unrest ongoing and the global economy recovering, gasoline prices are rising considerably. But policies to ease U.S. consumer impact take time and policymakers are divided over the course of action.

See more in United States; Oil; Energy Policy

Poland's Economic Model

Author: Christopher Alessi

Poland has maintained economic growth despite the global financial crisis and eurozone woes, while asserting itself as a leading advocate for greater European integration.

See more in Economic Development; Poland

Venezuela's Chávez Wins Fourth Term

Author: Brianna Lee

Longtime Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez's fourth term as president allows for the continuation of his "socialist revolution," but questions over his health remain a wildcard in assessing Venezuela's future.

See more in Venezuela

The Role of the European Central Bank

Author: Christopher Alessi

As Europe's central bank moves aggressively to staunch the continent's crisis, some critics are asking if it has exceeded its mandate by stepping into the breach left open by elected leaders.

See more in Europe; Monetary Policy

Renewing America

Renewing America

The Dodd-Frank Act

Author: Steven J. Markovich

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank"), signed into law in July 2010, is one of the most significant regulatory reform measures since the Great Depression.

See more in United States; Financial Regulation

Understanding the Libor Scandal

Authors: Christopher Alessi and Mohammed Aly Sergie

The manipulation of interbank lending rates by a host of global financial institutions could have significant repercussions for financial markets, consumer loans, and regulatory policy.

See more in United Kingdom; Financial Markets

Greek Elections and the Eurozone's Future

Author: Christopher Alessi

Greek elections this weekend could render a verdict on the country's eurozone future, with analysts fearing serious consequences for the global economy, says this CFR Backgrounder.

See more in Greece; Elections