Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies Publications Archive

Foreign Affairs Article

America’s Brewing Debt Crisis

Author: Robert E. Litan

“Although short-term debt poses one of the greatest threats to the financial stability of the United States, Dodd-Frank has done little to mitigate it. Fortunately, several experts have proposed ambitious ways of dealing with the problem, including expanding federal insurance of bank deposits, allowing the Federal Reserve to lend money to more firms in the case of a panic, and banning unregulated financial institutions from issuing runnable liabilities,” writes Robert E. Litan.

See more in United States; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Foreign Affairs Article

The Lost Art of Economic Statecraft

Authors: Robert D. Blackwill and Jennifer M. Harris

Despite boasting the most powerful economy on earth, the United States too often reaches for the gun instead of the purse in its foreign policy. The country has hardly outgrown its need for military force, but over the past several decades, it has increasingly forgotten a tradition that stretches back to the nation’s founding: the use of economic instruments to accomplish geopolitical objectives, a practice we term “geoeconomics.”

See more in United States; Economics

Foreign Affairs Article

The Clean Energy Revolution

Authors: Varun Sivaram and Teryn Norris

If the world is to avoid climate calamity, it needs to reduce its carbon emissions drastically by the middle of this century—a target that is simply out of reach with existing technology. Varun Sivaram and his co-author present the case for a massive investment in clean energy research and development to reach that goal. 

See more in Global; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

The IMF’s Next Five Years

Author: Robert Kahn

In the next five years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will face new challenges as it struggles to come to terms with a rapidly changing global marketplace and with lending rules poorly suited for the crises the institution will likely face. These challenges will force the IMF to scrutinize and adjust its lending rules. A broader issue is also at play: financial markets are becoming bigger more quickly than the institution’s resources are, and IMF rescue alone may be insufficient in the future . How the financing burden is shared with other official creditors will help determine whether the fund is an effective leader of the global effort to prevent and resolve economic crises in the coming decades.

 

See more in Global; International Finance; International Organizations and Alliances

Foreign Affairs Article

Beyond Break-Even Prices

Author: Michael A. Levi

When oil prices plunged in 2014, many analysts predicted that major exporters would have to drastically cut supply or else risk fiscal and geopolitical instability. Michael Levi explains why these predictions have been proven wrong.

See more in Global; Oil; Financial Markets

Foreign Affairs Article

Leading From Between: How California and Germany Can Fix the Climate Agenda

Authors: Varun Sivaram and David Livingston

Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if coordinated effectively. Varun Sivaram and David Livingston argue that California and Germany can “lead from between” to bridge international and subnational climate action.

See more in United States; Germany; Environmental Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

Go East, Young Oilman

Author: Michael A. Levi

Most observers agree that the United States, propelled by its boom in oil and gas production, is becoming increasingly central to global energy. As oil prices have plummeted, American oil producers have taken credit. As U.S. imports have fallen, foreign policy thinkers have suggested that Washington could rely far less on the Middle East.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Vindicating Volatility

Authors: Michael A. Levi and Robert McNally

While oil prices over the last three years were the smoothest in decades, volatility is back and here to stay argue Michael Levi and Robert McNally. Levi and McNally explain how price fluctuations, rather than high prices, endanger global economic growth.

See more in Global; Oil

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

Foreign Affairs Article

Putin's Lehman Moment

Author: Robert Kahn

Robert Kahn argues that the West should be ready to impose more robust economic sanctions against Russia, in order to deter it from further infiltrating or destabilizing Ukraine. Russia's economic complexity means sanctions would meaningfully reduce Russian wealth and growth, since Russian oligarchs and business leaders have significant financial stakes in the West.

See more in Russia and Central Asia; Sanctions