U.S. policymakers who worry about the impact of energy developments on geopolitics typically think of high oil prices as bad news and low prices as an unalloyed good. But a sustained drop in oil prices can be dangerous as well. This paper investigates Mexican vulnerability to falling oil prices—and spillovers to the United States—to show how troublesome such a development might be.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that unless Japan begins to undertake structural economic reforms, its growth will be almost entirely dependent on easy money, increasing global economic tensions in 2015.
Thanks to the spending bill that House and Senate leaders have negotiated, the federal government will avoid a shutdown. And that's great. Unfortunately, though, that’s the highest praise that can be attached to the deal.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker analyze the market reaction to the publication of the European Central Bank's long-awaited bank stress test results. The ECB's coddling of stress-tested banks — through the use of inflated inflation estimates and generous treatment of tax offsets against future profits which may never arise — precipitated a sell-off of bank stocks in a period when broad European indexes were up significantly. Unlike with the successful 2009 U.S. stress tests, there is no credible backstop of public funds available for Eurozone bank recapitalization, which would account for the ECB's reluctance to draw attention to the sector's undercapitalization.
Once thought to challenge only affluent countries, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are now the leading cause of death and disability in low-income and middle-income countries. International efforts should focus on specific NCDs and risk factors that are prevalent in poor working-age (younger than 60 years) people in low-income and middle-income countries, and for which there are low-cost interventions that can be integrated with existing global health platforms.
The recent oil price crash came as a surprise to many observers due to several critical misconceptions about oil markets, writes Michael Levi. As for prices going forward, “only the reckless would bet with any confidence on one particular outcome.”
The gravest health threats facing low- and middle-income countries are not the plagues, parasites, and blights that dominate the news cycle and international relief efforts. They are the everyday diseases -- heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illnesses -- we understand and could address, but fail to take action against.
Falling oil prices provide a unique set of political opportunities. Leaders should use this chance to enact reforms that make sense no matter where the market goes next, writes Michael Levi.
The Wall Street Journal asks Michael Levi and Andrew P. Morriss whether the U.S. should act unilaterally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Levi answers “yes,” arguing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions now would enhance public health and the international credibility of the United States, and that reasonable action now would reduce long-term costs.
The recent U.S.-China climate deal has inspired both celebration and skepticism. Michael Levi responds to each, noting that while the terms of the agreement are in themselves insufficient to reign in global warming, the deal is a “genuine success” as diplomatic progress toward reducing climate risk.
This chart book shows the growth in foreign ownership of U.S. assets over time.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that with the European Central Bank's stress test completed, now is the time for Europe to get back on the path to growth by tackling its debt problem.
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.
Countries are increasingly turning to sanctions and other economic tools to advance their geopolitical interests. Jennifer Harris explains how attitudes toward these economic techniques of statecraft have evolved over the years.
Europe can no longer afford to put off its debt problem. Robert Kahn recommends that policymakers draw lessons from the Paris Club to provide a rules-based approach to debt relief that can get Europe back on the path to growth.
As oil prices continue to drop, Michael Levi argues that the benefit to American consumers will outweigh any damage to the U.S. economy. However, how you view this plunge in oil prices "depends a lot on where you live and what work you do."
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that standards may be needed to govern the use of financial sanctions so that they do not undo the benefits of globalized financial markets.
Peter R. Orszag writes that the common U.S. conception of state capitalism in China is dated and wrong, which creates dangerous complacency among policymakers about the risks of a Chinese economic slowdown.
Peter R. Orszag argues that the rise of tattoos reflects a broader trend of anti-establishmentarianism, and he predicts that tattoos will become even more popular as long as most Americans' sense of opportunity and upward mobility remains limited.
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