This module, with Teaching Notes by author and CFR Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics Benn Steil, features discussion questions, essay questions, activities, and additional materials for educators to supplement the use of the CFR book The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order in the classroom. In this book, Dr. Steil challenges the notion that Bretton Woods was the product of an amiable Anglo-American collaboration, and explains that it was in reality part of a much more ambitious geopolitical agenda hatched within President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Treasury and aimed at eliminating Great Britain as an economic and political rival.
Thomas Bollyky and Anu Bradford discuss the newly launched Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations and its potential for overcoming the real barrier to global trade and commerce – divergent or duplicative regulatory policies.
Benn Steil and Dinah Walker explain the market massacre following Ben Bernanke's press conference on June 19. Bernanke's repeated statements that a key tool of current Fed policy, asset purchases, would be "calibrated" to employment data, each month's publication of which can imply a major shift in the unemployment trend line, suggests that Fed tightening could begin as early as the middle of next year—nearly a year and half earlier than the Fed had suggested in its pledge statement last fall.
Peter Orszag explains that employment, in and of itself, may provide health benefits in the form of decreased rates of depression, increased mobility, and improved life expectancy as compared to those who are unemployed or retired.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn analyzes debt and austerity in Europe and other major developments and trends affecting macroeconomic policy and financial markets.
"The United States is more entangled in the global energy system than it has ever been," argues Michael Levi, "and ever-rising world demand for energy will remain at the root of transformations in American energy for years to come."
Benn Steil's article in the June 2013 edition of History Today takes a critical look at John Maynard Keynes's performance as a diplomat during World War II, concluding that Britain had made a mistake sending him to Washington. His temperament and overinvestment in his personal legacy resulted in Britain paying a high political and economic price for American financial assistance.
Michael Spence writes that cooperation between the United States and China on issues surrounding the environment, trade, investment, and financial stability will be critical not only for the continued well-being of the two countries, but also for the successful rebalancing of the world economy.
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