Op-Eds & Articles

Op-Ed

Why the Oil Price Drop Matters

Author: Michael A. Levi
World Economic Forum

After three years of unusual stability around $100 a barrel, oil prices fell steeply in the second half of 2014, dropping from $115 a barrel in June to around $60 by December. With oil critical to national economies, international security and climate change, what does the apparent new world of oil mean?

See more in Global; Oil

Op-Ed

How the Fed Flubbed It

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Atlantic

CFR Senior Fellow Sebastian Mallaby reviews economic historian Barry Eichengreen's newest book Hall of Mirrors, which argues that history should have guided U.S. and European central bankers toward better decisions during the 2008 financial crisis.

See more in United States; Financial Crises

Op-Ed

Europe’s Dodgy Bank Stress Tests

Authors: Benn Steil and Dinah Walker
Wall Street Journal

Benn Steil and Dinah Walker analyze the market reaction to the publication of the European Central Bank's long-awaited bank stress test results. The ECB's coddling of stress-tested banks — through the use of inflated inflation estimates and generous treatment of tax offsets against future profits which may never arise — precipitated a sell-off of bank stocks in a period when broad European indexes were up significantly. Unlike with the successful 2009 U.S. stress tests, there is no credible backstop of public funds available for Eurozone bank recapitalization, which would account for the ECB's reluctance to draw attention to the sector's undercapitalization.

 

See more in Europe; Banks and Banking

Op-Ed

Why the World Missed the Oil Price Crash

Author: Michael A. Levi
The Washington Post

The recent oil price crash came as a surprise to many observers due to several critical misconceptions about oil markets, writes Michael Levi. As for prices going forward, “only the reckless would bet with any confidence on one particular outcome.”

See more in Global; Oil

Op-Ed

Should the U.S. Take Unilateral Action on Climate Policy?

Authors: Michael A. Levi and Andrew P. Morriss
Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal asks Michael Levi and Andrew P. Morriss whether the U.S. should act unilaterally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Levi answers “yes,” arguing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions now would enhance public health and the international credibility of the United States, and that reasonable action now would reduce long-term costs.

See more in United States; Environmental Policy

Op-Ed

What the 2014 Oil Crash Means

Author: Michael A. Levi
Politico Magazine

As oil prices continue to drop, Michael Levi argues that the benefit to American consumers will outweigh any damage to the U.S. economy. However, how you view this plunge in oil prices "depends a lot on where you live and what work you do."

See more in Global; Oil; Financial Markets

Op-Ed

What Tattoos Tell Us About the Economy

Author: Peter R. Orszag
Bloomberg View

Peter R. Orszag argues that the rise of tattoos reflects a broader trend of anti-establishmentarianism, and he predicts that tattoos will become even more popular as long as most Americans' sense of opportunity and upward mobility remains limited.

See more in United States; Labor; Society and Culture

Op-Ed

Why Climate Change Policy Won’t Hinge on International Talks

Author: Michael A. Levi
Fortune.com

World leaders gathered at a United Nations summit to kick off 15 months of negotiations aimed at finalizing a climate pact next December in Paris. Michael Levi argues that domestic policies rather than international climate talks will determine the fate of global efforts to tackle climate change.

See more in Global; Climate Change

Op-Ed

Europe's Bargain

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

A. Michael Spence argues that the eurozone has an opportunity to jumpstart economic recovery by relaxing fiscal constraints on the condition that member states use the reprieve to initiate public sector investment and structural reforms.

See more in Europe; Monetary Policy; Budget, Debt, and Deficits