Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies Publications Archive

Op-Ed

The Myth of Bretton Woods

Author: Benn Steil
Wall Street Journal

Benn Steil's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal debunks the popular notion that the famous 1944 Bretton Woods agreements—establishing the IMF, the World Bank, and a dollar-based fixed exchange-rate system—were important in reviving global trade and growth after World War II. In fact, dependence on bilateral trade and inconvertible currencies was greater in the early postwar years than it was in the 1930s. The Marshall Plan and the creation of the GATT were, he argues, far more powerful instances of effective, enlightened, and enduring internationalism emerging from the war.

See more in Global; Economics

Op-Ed

Rebooting China

Author: A. Michael Spence
Project Syndicate

A. Michael Spence urges China's leaders to be steady-handed and sensible in their foreign policy and domestic reform agendas so as to maintain the kind of economic stability necessary for complex structural changes to work their way through the Chinese economy with minimal disruption.

See more in China; Financial Markets; Economic Development

Foreign Affairs Article

Taper Trouble

Author: Benn Steil

Benn Steil's essay in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs looks at the international consequences of U.S. monetary policy action. He argues that developing-nation governments are coming to see the need for engineering current-account surpluses and large dollar-reserve stockpiles as a means of insulating themselves against Fed-induced capital-flow whiplash. As this amounts to "currency manipulation" in the eyes of U.S. policymakers, trade tensions are apt to grow.

See more in Ukraine; United States; Monetary Policy; International Finance

Op-Ed

Beijingís Actions in the South China Sea Demand a U.S. Response

Authors: Elizabeth C. Economy and Michael A. Levi
Washington Post
The China National Overseas Oil Coorporation (CNOOC) began drilling in Vietnamese-claimed waters late last week, accompanied by more than seventy vessels, including armed Chinese warships. Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi write that the United States needs to face up to the full magnitude of the Chinese challenge to have any hope of successfully confronting it.

See more in China; Vietnam; Territorial Disputes; Oil

Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 45 Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States

Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States

Authors: Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss

Each year, U.S. state and local governments waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars competing to lure or retain business investment, with little impact on business behavior. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss lay out incremental steps for curbing the subsidy war, beginning with greater disclosure and cost-benefit analyses, and building up to a multistate agreement that creates strong disincentives for continuing subsidies.

See more in United States; Economics