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

In Iraq, Obama Has Two Terrible Choices

Author: Meghan L. O'Sullivan
Politico

In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.

See more in Iraq; United States; Defense Strategy

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