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.
The popularity of e-cigarettes presents an enormous opportunity for public health, which the United States is at risk of squandering by regulating these products as tobacco, writes CFR's Thomas Bollyky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each year, state and local governments in the United States spend more than $80 billion, or roughly 7 percent of their total budgets, on tax breaks and subsidies to attract investments from auto companies, movie producers, aircraft makers and other industries. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss explore the possiblity of ending such compensation.
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 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