CFR's Michael Levi says the Obama administration faces tough negotiations on a global climate change agreement at the December Copenhagen meeting without clear support from Congress. But he says Obama has other legislative options.
Eileen B. Claussen interviewed by Stephanie Hanson
Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says U.S. domestic climate legislation might pass in 2010, after Congress deals with health care reform. But a global climate agreement, set to be discussed in Copenhagen in December 2009, is dependent on U.S. policy, she says.
Gillian Tett of the Financial Times assesses the new U.S. plan for regulating derivatives markets and says regulators must balance the need to create transparency against the risk of stifling financial innovation.
CFR's Sebastian Mallaby says the G-20 summit could mark the beginnings of a profound shift in global financial regulation. But he says challenges lurk in the way the IMF is funded and how it monitors economic governance.
Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese businessman who promotes good governance and entrepreneurship in Africa, says foreign investors, whether they are corporations, funds, or donor nations, must take the lead in bringing transparency and accountability to Africa's government and business sectors.
CFR economic expert Sebastian Mallaby credits President Obama with highlighting the long-term structural reforms needed to repair the U.S. economy and competitiveness, but says the scope of reforms may be too ambitious.
Elizabeth Economy, CFR's director of Asian Studies, says that China's economy is now "losing steam very quickly" and that the "global economic crisis is going to make it much harder for China to address its own domestic economic problems."
CFR President Richard N. Haass, who worked on previous presidential transitions, says that given the current world situation, he believes the first priority for President-elect Barack Obama lies in "the financial and economic side," and that "the near-term foreign policy challenges are probably Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, [and] a little bit of Iraq."
Daniel Markey, a former State Department specialist on South Asia, says Pakistan "is going through another series of really tough times" brought on by the economic downturn that has hit the country, and by the continuing problems fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The Financial Times' Martin Wolf argues that massive accumulations of currency reserves enabled housing bubbles in developed economies and sparked the current financial crisis. The shakeout, Wolf says, could take years.
David Rubenstein, founder of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, sees more pain ahead for global markets. He says the "entire economic construct" of recent decades may have to undergo radical change before the present crisis subsides.
In Market Madness, Blake C. Clayton shows that predictions of dwindling oil supplies and a rise in prices have been empirically proven incorrect. Technological advances and geopolitical shifts have repeatedly prompted sudden, severe drops in oil prices—exactly like the one we are experiencing today.
In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy. China is now engaged in a far-flung quest, hunting around the world for resources, and deploying whatever it needs in the economic, political, and military spheres to secure them. More
In Money, Markets, and Sovereignty, the authors present a fascinating intellectual history of monetary nationalism from the ancient world to the present and explore why, in its modern incarnation, it represents the single greatest threat to globalization. More
In The Closing of the American Border, Edward Alden goes behind the scenes to tell the story of the Bush administration's struggle to balance security and openness in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More
In this report, Benn Steil shows that the financial crisis is the inevitable bust of a classic credit boom, and explains how monetary, taxation, and home ownership promotion policy combined with other features of the financial system to fuel an unsustainable buildup in debt. He recommends significant reforms to reverse the debt financing bias and make the system more resilient to falls in asset prices. More
In order for policymakers to tackle today’s global economic crisis, this report argues, they must go beyond bailouts and stimulus packages and focus on one of the crisis's root causes: imbalances between savings and investment in major countries. More