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September 19, 2018

United Nations General Assembly
The United Nations Braces for Donald Trump's Second Appearance—And He Should Prepare for Blowback

Next week Donald J. Trump returns to the United Nations for the annual opening of the UN General Assembly. While Trump exceeded expectations during his first UN appearance last year, he will face mor…

President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

October 3, 2018

Angola
How Much Change Will President Lourenco Bring to Angola?

Recent news out of Angola has raised the stakes in new President Joao Lourenco’s push to differentiate his tenure from that of his predecessor. Though he became president in September 2017, it was not until a year later that Lourenco assumed control of the ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), significantly bolstering his authority.

Angola-President-Joao-Lourenco

October 2, 2018

Nigeria
Nigerian and U.S. Flooding Similar, Linked to Climate Change

Nigerians fear that flooding in October 2018 could be as bad as or worse than it was in 2012, when two million Nigerians were displaced and 363 died. In 2015, floods displaced 100,000 and led to 53 deaths. In 2016, 92,000 were displaced 38 died. In 2017, floods affected 250,000. 

Nigeria-Flooding-Kogi-State-Climate-Change

September 27, 2018

Puerto Rico
Will the Proposed Restructuring of COFINA Bonds Assure Puerto Rico’s Return to Debt Sustainability?

Puerto Rico’s government and the bulk of the holders of Puerto Rico’s Sales tax backed bonds (COFINA) appear to have reached agreement on restructuring terms (details here). The deal will reduce Puer…

Will the Proposed Restructuring of COFINA Bonds Assure Puerto Rico’s Return to Debt Sustainability?

September 24, 2018

United Nations
The Role of the UN General Assembly

The UN General Assembly hosts a much-watched high-level debate of world leaders each year but has struggled to make its work more substantive. The seventy-third session will likely be dominated by is…

United Nations Headquarters

October 2, 2017

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Before Maria

My new discussion paper with Greg Makoff on economic and demographic trends in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Before Maria

August 15, 2018

Disasters
U.S. Disaster Relief at Home and Abroad

The U.S. government responds to scores of disasters each year, coordinating closely with state, local, and foreign partners. However, more frequent and severe storms, fires, and floods are straining …

Loren Elliott/Reuters

July 16, 2018

Puerto Rico
Looking Back on Fiscal 2018 as Puerto Rico Starts a New Fiscal Year

Sales tax revenues have recovered. Fiscal year 2019, which started in July, should be a good year thanks to Federal disaster aid. The real question though is what happens when Federal aid starts to f…

Looking Back on Fiscal 2018 as Puerto Rico Starts a New Fiscal Year

February 22, 2018

Puerto Rico
Counting Chickens Long Before They Hatch: Should Hurricane Maria Be Modeled as a Positive Growth Shock for Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico’s latest fiscal plan appears to use a best case scenario as its base case. It consequently doesn’t provide a realistic benchmark for evaluating Puerto Rico’s long-run capacity to pay.

Counting Chickens Long Before They Hatch: Should Hurricane Maria Be Modeled as a Positive Growth Shock for Puerto Rico?

July 2, 2018

Mexico
López Obrador and the Future of Mexican Democracy

Yesterday, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, best known by his initials, AMLO, won Mexico’s presidential election decisively. After 18 years on the campaign trail, including two previous failed presidential runs, thousands of rallies, and, by his count, a visit to every one of Mexico’s 2,400 municipalities, the Tabasco-born politician received the support of 53 percent of voters at the polls, according to an offical rapid count by electoral authorities. Meanwhile, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), López Obrador’s four-year-old political party, gained a majority in congress, and a majority of the nine governorships up for grabs.

Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures as he addresses supporters after polls closed in the presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico July 2, 2018.