This roundtable series is made possible by the generous support of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Below you will find a chronological list of current Center research projects. You can search by issue or region by selecting the appropriate category. In addition to this sorting control, you can search for specific subjects within the alphabetical, regional, and issue categories by choosing from the selections in the drop-down menu below.
Each project page contains the name of the project director, a description of the project, a list of meetings it has held, and any related publications, transcripts, or videos.
This roundtable series is made possible by the generous support of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
The Squam Lake Working Group on Financial Regulation is a nonpartisan, nonaffiliated group of fifteen academics who have come together to offer guidance on the reform of financial regulation.
The group first convened in fall 2008, amid the deepening capital markets crisis. Although informed by this crisis—its events and the ongoing policy responses—the group is intentionally focused on longer-term issues. It aspires to help guide reform of capital markets—their structure, function, and regulation. This guidance is based on the group’s collective academic, private sector, and public policy experience.
To achieve its goal, the group is developing a set of principles (along with their implications) that are aimed at different parts of the financial system: at individual firms, at financial firms collectively, and at the linkages that connect financial firms to the broader economy.
This roundtable series brings together policymakers, scholars, and journalists to explore current policy challenges that have both economic and national security dimensions.
Part of CFR's Renewing America initiative and made possible by the generosity of the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation, this roundtable series brings high-level attention to issues that affect the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. Meetings have addressed issues such as reform of the U.S. corporate tax system, the effectiveness of the WTO dispute settlement process, and the U.S. approach to inward and outbound foreign investment.
This study will test the hypothesis that an incentive-based policy is more effective in promoting market economies and democratic politics than an approach in which Washington relies on the ostensibly transformative effects of civil society, regime change in Iraq, regional peace, or the willingness of Arab leaders to pursue reform.
This project will result in a pamphlet examining current immigration reform attempts in the context of past immigration law reform.
This project will result in a book analyzing how the U.S. ought to manage immigration, taking into account policies, sociology, economics, and international relations. He calls for a benign attitude toward illegal immigration, even in the wake of September 11.
This project will result in a book considering the prospects for the regionalization of the international monetary system. The authors will begin by comparing the various exisiting and soon-to-exist forms of currency consolidation and then examine the prospects for future monetary unions, particularly among NAFTA, MERCOSUR, and East Asian nations.
This roundtable series examines the prospects for regional monetary integration and other developments likely to affect the organization and functioning of the international monetary system.
America's ability to encourage innovative ideas has helped to establish it as the world's economic and military leader. However, technological developments over the past thirty years have spawned an increasingly globalized world and created new challenges to American pre-eminence. This roundtable series investigates how the government's response to these challenges will affect America's global economic and political standing.
This roundtable series explores current issues at the intersection of U.S. foreign policy and private sector activity. Meetings in the past have focused on the possible effects of anti-Americanism in Europe on U.S. brands, the negotiations between the European Union and the United States over genetically modified foods, and the impact of the European Union's satellite navigation system (Galileo) on U.S. strategic interests. The aim of the series is to inform the current debate on those policies important to both corporate executives and government officials, and to provide them with constructive and thoughtful recommendations.
This roundtable series brings together key players from the private markets, government, Federal Reserve, IMF, World Bank, and think tanks to discuss pressing policy issues in international economics. The group, which meets monthly, has so far discussed issues such as the impact of terrorism on economic prospects, the outlook for emerging markets, and U.S. trade policy.
Tremendous controversy swirls around the issue of whether emerging economies would be better off or worse off by embracing the kind of financial market structures that have been developed in the U.S. and other advanced industrial countries during the past two decades or so. This evolution, which we call the “Americanization of Finance” essentially involves the transformation of a financial system centered around traditional commercial banks to a more free-wheeling system organized around open capital markets.
This monthly speaker series brings the world's foremost economic policymakers and scholars to address a high-level audience from the business and financial community on current topics in international economics, such as outsourcing, monetary policy, and competition policy.
"History is an argument without end. That is why we love it so."
These words come from the late scholar of the New Deal, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Schlesinger in turn was quoting a colleague, the historian, Pieter Geyl. It is in Schlesinger's collegial spirit that the Council on Foreign Relations and NYU/Stern host scholars to discuss findings new and old about the single most important economic event in America's history, the Great Depression. What caused the Depression? What was the role of financial institutions in panic and recovery? What was the New Deal's role in this crisis? What lessons can we take away for dealing with our current crisis? Given the current challenges to the economy, a second look at that most relevant period becomes crucial. Nobel Prize winning economists, scholars, historians, writers, and policymakers will converge from across the country to both "get granular" and begin to draw broad conclusions in this day-long inquiry.
The conference is also supported by a special grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Symposium Summary Report (PDF, 160K)
Connections between climate change and national security are receiving unprecedented attention from policymakers and analysts. In March 2007, Senators Richard Durbin and Chuck Hagel introduced a bill requesting that the National Intelligence Council draft a National Intelligence Estimate to assess the security implications of climate change. In April 2007, the CNA Corporation released a report overseen by retired generals that documents the links between climate and national security. The British government initiated a similar discussion in the United Nations Security Council in the same month.
This Council Special Report (CSR) will move the discussion from broad assessments of the links between climate and security to a plan for action. It will examine whether climate change poses a direct security threat to the United States, and will identify the security assets that will be affected by climate change. Finally, it will outline the policies that the United States should adopt to protect critical infrastructure, and military bases from these effects.
In the past three years, many countries have adopted or expanded regimes to review inward foreign direct investment (FDI) for either “national” or “economic” security purposes. The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation reforming the Committee on Foreign Direct Investment with the United States, which is charged with reviewing the security risk posed by inbound investments. France has adopted a new regulation requiring reviews of foreign investments (excluding EU investments) in nineteen sectors of their economy. Russia is close to adopting a law, modeled largely on the CFIUS process, requiring reviews in thirty-nine sectors. China has adopted a regulation allowing the government to block investments that harm “economic security,” and Korea and Canada are debating new restrictions.
State-owned multinationals are increasingly prominent, especially in developing countries. In 2005, twenty-four of the top 100 multinationals headquartered in developing countries were majority state-owned. Of particular note is the rising number and size of developed-country firms being acquired by developing-country sovereign funds of central banks and/or fiscal authorities. The recent Chinese investment in the U.S. private-equity firm Blackstone is one notable example.
This CSR will examine the scope, nature, causes, and consequences of rising restrictions to inward FDI around the world. It will discuss what best practices and principles should guide governments in formulating and implementing policies to govern national security reviews of FDI inflows, including how to prevent legitimate national security reviews from becoming tools for economic protectionism. It will also consider what should be the policy responses from advanced countries and important leadership groups, such as the G-8, APEC, and the OECD, to the emergence of new FDI restrictions. The recommendations will also cover ways to avoid actions in the United States being used as justification for other countries to restrict foreign investment.
Professor Robert J. Lalonde, professor of economics at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, is writing a Council Special Report on job displacement and the experienced worker. In this report, Professor LaLonde examines evidence on the causes of job loss, both through trade, technological change, and other factors, and suggests policies for aiding workers most harmed by job displacement—long-tenured, displaced workers. The report outlines the merits of a wage insurance program that would supplement the earnings of long-tenured workers displaced by international trade and other factors. The report contends that without policies to aid the workers most adversely affected by job loss, public support for further economic liberalization will likely diminish.
In April 2006, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund made a set of proposals aimed at enhancing the legitimacy and efficiency of the Fund and involving it more directly in the resolution of large imbalances involving the major economies. Some of his proposals were endorsed at the 2006 Annual Meetings of the Fund, and others are being implemented by the Fund's Executive Board. The most important reforms involve a redistribution of IMF quotas, which determine, among other things, voting power in the Fund. This Council Special Report provides a brief history of the Fund, stressing the changes that have occurred as a great many developing countries, large and small, have joined the Fund. It strongly endorses most of the managing director's proposals, although it criticizes others, including the way that the managing director would have the Fund involve itself in resolving major international financial imbalances. It argues that the United States should strongly support measures to enhance the legitimacy of the IMF because the United States cannot readily accomplish unilaterally what the Fund can accomplish multilaterally.
Immigration is a toxic political issue in the United States. This report by University of California, San Diego, professor Gordon Hanson indicates that the economic costs of illegal immigration roughly match the economic benefits. That is, the net economic impact of illegal immigration is close to zero. Thus, the political debate must revolve around how other sources of costs, or efforts to curb illegal immigration, such as increased border enforcement, would result in a net loss to the U.S.economy. He also finds that illegal immigration provides a labor supply that more closely tracks shifts in the need for labor across time and geography, while legal immigration—even when temporary—cannot keep up with these cyclical shifts. Any policy aimed at addressing the demand for low-skilled labor must also address the need for flexibility.
In More Money than God, Sebastian Mallaby has written the first authoritative history of hedge funds—from their rebel beginnings to their role in defining the future of finance. 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 Termites in the Trading System, Jagdish Bhagwati reveals how the rapid spread of preferential trade agreements endangers the world trading system. 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