News & Commentary:

June 2011 Archives


Wising Up to the Costs of Aging Recommended!
Finance and Development Jun 1, 2011
A look at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF’s Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.

Blowing Up
Laurence Neville (Global Finance) Jun 1, 2011
Emerging markets were touted as global economic saviours. Now EM inflation could harm global recovery.

Asia’s New Growth Model
Michael Spence (Project Syndicate) Jun 1, 2011
Emerging markets’ share of the global economy has risen steadily, led by Asian economies – home to almost three-fifths of the world’s population. If these economies take roughly the same route as their predecessors to advanced-country status, the impact on natural resources and the environment would be enormous – and probably disastrous.

The ECB’s stealth bailout
Hans-Werner Sinn (VoxEU) Jun 1, 2011
The Eurozone crisis lingers on. This column argues that the Eurozone payments system has been operating as a hidden bailout whereby the Bundesbank has been lending money to the crisis-stricken Eurozone members via the Target system on the order of €300 billion. Urgent corrective action is needed, the author argues, as the scope for this sort of transfer is limited. If markets sense the end of the line, the Eurozone may face a crisis like the one Britain faced in 1992.

Houston, we have a problem: Iceland’s capital controls
Thorvaldur Gylfason (VoxEU) Jun 1, 2011
The global crisis has brought many countries to their knees, none more so than the small island of Iceland whose losses amount to seven times its GDP. Yet while Iceland’s recovery has in many ways been remarkable, this column argues that the country’s capital controls stand in the way of further progress.

Wrong choice for the IMF
Sebastian Mallaby (WP) Jun 1, 2011
Lagarde won’t help to foster legitimacy.

The Vigilante
Megan McArdle (Atlantic) Jun 1, 2011
Why the man who runs the world's largest mutual fund sold all his Treasury bonds.

Globalization and Unemployment Foreign Affairs Subscription Required Recommended!
Michael Spence (Foreign Affairs) Jun 1, 2011
The May employment report is expected to show slow jobs growth, renewing pessimism about the U.S. economy. Spence, a Nobel Prize-winning economist writes that economic growth and employment in the United States have started to diverge, increasing income inequality and reducing jobs for less-educated workers.

France BRICS up emerging economies
M K Bhadrakumar (AT) Jun 1, 2011
Russia, India and China, core members of the BRICS grouping also comprising Brazil and South Africa, have joined with Western countries that have closed ranks and staked their claim in unseemly hurry to keep the top International Monetary Fund job as their exclusive preserve, in the form of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. The saga has badly bruised BRICS and dented its credibility.

China takes IMF back seat
Antoaneta Becker (AT) Jun 1, 2011
Beijing appears unready to take its battle for global recognition to the high echelons of the International Monetary Fund and have its own nominee succeed former managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The domestic consensus seems to be that the current IMF is not the IMF that a Chinese would like to head.

Feast and Famine
Siddhartha Deb (Boston Review) Jun 1, 2011
India Is Growing, But Indians Are Still Starving.

Oil: Expect $100 a Barrel for the Next Five Years
Martin Sosnoff (Forbes) Jun 1, 2011
Uncertainties abound, but the bets of professional traders and oil producers hedging forward production paint a remarkably stable picture.

“Doha Light” Takes Shape as WTO Members Lower Ambitions
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 20 Jun 1, 2011
After weeks of consultations following an impasse in the long-running Doha Round negotiations, WTO members say they are now ready to pursue clinching an “early harvest” package focused on least-developed countries (LDCs) by the end of the year.

US Trade Pacts with Colombia, Korea, Panama Face New Setback
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 20 Jun 1, 2011
The pending free trade agreements that the US is pursuing with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea hit another roadblock this past week, as US President Barack Obama’s administration insisted that the US Congress reauthorise the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programme before ratifying any of the deals.

Critics Slam Proposed EU Trade Preference Overhaul
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 20 Jun 1, 2011
A recent proposal to reform the EU’s Generalised System of Preference (GSP) was panned by civil society representatives and some MPs last week in Brussels. The controversial 10 May European Commission (EC) proposal would massively overhaul the GSP system, which aims at supporting developing countries’ exports by granting them unilateral tariff concessions.

Risky Advice
Andy Stirling & Alister Scott (Project Syndicate) Jun 2, 2011
Too often, expert opinion is thought most useful to policymakers when presented as a single “definitive” interpretation. As a result, experts typically understate uncertainty, and, to the extent that they acknowledge it, they tend to reduce unknowns to measurable “risk.”

When Will China’s Economy Overtake America’s?
Yao Yang (Project Syndicate) Jun 2, 2011
As China’s economy continues to grow and eventually matches US GDP, the demand that the Chinese assume greater responsibility for the global economy’s health will become stronger. By almost all recent estimates, they have little time to prepare.

Are We Prepared for a Multipolar World Economy?
Justin Yifu Lin & Mansoor Dailami (Project Syndicate) Jun 2, 2011
By 2025, six emerging economies – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Russia – will collectively account for more than half of all global growth. As dynamic emerging economies evolve to take their place at the helm of the world economy, a rethink of the conventional approach to global economic governance is needed.

Food for Revolution
Harold James (Project Syndicate) Jun 2, 2011
Participants at this year's G-8 summit in Deauville are talking about interesting but peripheral issues, such as the economic impact of the Internet. Worse, they are talking about important issues, like food security, in a peripheral way.

Do We Need a Weak Dollar?
Robert P. Murphy (Mises Daily) Jun 2, 2011
Last week I testified before a Congressional subcommittee on the Fed's role in rising gasoline prices. All of the economists on the panel agreed that oil prices were rising (partly) because of the dollar's fall against other currencies. However, Dean Baker — prominent Keynesian pundit and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research — testified that the dollar's fall was inevitable, and even a good thing in light of the US trade deficit.

Ignoring the core can keep inflation at bay Financial Times Subscription Required Recommended!
Lorenzo Bini Smaghi (FT) Jun 2, 2011
For central banks around the world core inflation has not been a good indicator for forecasting headline inflation. If anything, the opposite has been true.

Arguing over the ABC and D of the crisis Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Jun 2, 2011
Fiscal consolidation is necessary now. The doubts are simply over timing, speed and flexibility, because today private indebtedness is high, banks fragile and interest rates low.

Battle to regulate banks has just begun Financial Times Subscription Required
Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig (FT) Jun 2, 2011
The question is not whether banks are successful but whether their resources are most usefully employed.

Brazil's economy: Too hot
Economist Jun 2, 2011
Latin America’s biggest economy is more fragile than it appears.

China as an Economic Savior
Thomas Fricke (Globalist) Jun 2, 2011
Why is Europe well positioned to take advantage of China's new economic dynamics?

The Eurozone Needs a Plan B, as 'Quarantining' the Weak Is Too Costly
Andrew Balls (PIMCO) Jun 3, 2011
The eurozone’s peripheral debt crisis is morphing into a tussle between politics and economics and the strains are beginning to show. Greece and Ireland are on programs that are neither working in terms of restoring stable debt dynamics, nor in keeping current investors engaged or attracting new ones. Portugal is now following the same approach. There is a fat, political tail-risk that the Greek political system will not be able to deliver on the demands to “do more,” ending in disorderly default. The better and more realistic approach for the eurozone as a whole might be to acknowledge the Greek plan is not working and move to Plan B – address the need for a restructuring of Greece’s public debt and perhaps that of other countries too.

Choosing the IMF’s Next Leader
Joseph E. Stiglitz (Project Syndicate) Jun 3, 2011
Sooner than expected, the IMF will have a new managing director, and it will most likely be a European, as in the past. But whether the Fund's leader is selected in an open, transparent process, and continues to implement important governance reforms, is more important than who wins the post.

The Euro’s PIG-Headed Masters
Kenneth Rogoff (Project Syndicate) Jun 3, 2011
Europe is in constitutional crisis: no one seems to have the power to impose a sensible resolution of its peripheral countries’ debt crisis. Indeed, it is hard to see how the single currency can survive much longer without a decisive move towards a far stronger fiscal union.

The EU’s Rules to Default
Daniel Gros (Project Syndicate) Jun 3, 2011
By Greece’s troubles with its ballooning public debt are again throwing Europe’s financial markets into turmoil, because the entire regulatory framework for the financial system was built on the assumption that government debt is risk-free. We now know that it is not, though EU regulators are still encouraging banks to take on as much of it as they want.

Global: The Deep Divide
Spyros Andreopoulos (MS GEF) Jun 3, 2011
The Great Policy Divide between the Fed and the ECB runs deep: we think that the Fed will allow more inflation over the medium term than the ECB.

Democracy, quality of government, and the average voter
Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Ugo Panizza (VoxEU) Jun 4, 2011
Is democracy the most efficient method to guarantee good governance? This column argues that democratic institutions work well only when the electorate is sufficiently educated.

Exchange consolidation: Are regulators once more sowing the seeds of instability?
Avinash Persaud (VoxEU) Jun 4, 2011
Competition in the banking sector is seen by many as a way to reduce the chances of instability and a repeat crisis. This column highlights one area – the market for securities exchange, clearing, and settlement – where such competition is at risk of being undermined.

Should the Eurozone enlarge?
Kari EO Alho (VoxEU) Jun 5, 2011
Even in times of crisis, there is room for looking at long-term prospects. This column tries to evaluate the likely effects of Sweden joining the Eurozone.

Ingredients of a European political union Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Münchau (FT) Jun 5, 2011
The first, and probably most important change would be the creation of the office of a eurozone treasury secretary – with the power to override national policies if those conflict with the community interest.

When China becomes number one Financial Times Subscription Required
Gideon Rachman (FT) Jun 6, 2011
One camp argues that China is the world’s emerging superpower. The other insists that China is an intrinsically unstable country, at risk of an economic and political crisis. In fact, both ideas are true. China will be a strange superpower.

The global fallout of a eurozone collapse Financial Times Subscription Required
Kenneth Rogoff (FT) Jun 6, 2011
Unfortunately, the euro is looking very much like a system that amplifies shocks rather than absorbs them.

Accurate GDP forecasts prove vital to equities performance Financial Times Subscription Required
Jim O'Neill (FT) Jun 6, 2011
Managing economic expectations is key to maintaining steady markets. It is the shocks that cause violent fluctuations.

Time to stop propping up Egypt’s currency Financial Times Subscription Required
Khairi Abaza (FT) Jun 6, 2011
Egypt is likely to come close to having no hard currency reserves by the end of the year, plausibly leading to a currency collapse, and yet more economic and political turmoil.

Portugal Votes for the IMF
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard (VoxEU) Jun 6, 2011
Judging from the press coverage of Europe's sovereign debt crisis, you would think that citizens of Greece, Portugal and other errant countries are in full scale revolt against the measures being imposed to get them back to solvency. But this weekend's election result in Portugal illustrates the need to separate dramatic television pictures of street protests with actual electoral results in Europe. Far from rejecting austerity and harsh IMF-inspired economic reforms, Portuguese voters elected a leader who explicitly campaigned on a promise to "do everything possible to honor the agreement established between the Portuguese state, the EU and the IMF to regain the confidence of markets."

Good servants can make bad masters Financial Times Subscription Required
Samuel Brittan (FT) Jun 6, 2011
The free movement of artificial electronic money across frontiers is not on a par with that of goods and services.

How the Brics are building on their history Financial Times Subscription Required
Tristram Hunt (FT) Jun 6, 2011
As China and India rise towards global pre-eminence, they are becoming less neurotic about their imperial pasts.

Kicking the Can New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 6, 2011
Without debt relief, Greece can't grow and the economic crisis won't end.

How to Steal a Russian Airport New York Times Subscription Required
Joe Nocera (NYT) Jun 6, 2011
A canceled I.P.O. shows why the Russian economy needs the rule of law.

The Global Debt Crisis: How We Got In It, and How to Get Out
Ellen Brown (Global Research) Jun 6, 2011
Countries everywhere are facing debt crises today, precipitated by the credit collapse of 2008. Public services are being slashed and public assets are being sold off, in a futile attempt to balance budgets that can’t be balanced because the money supply itself has shrunk. Governments usually get the blame for excessive spending, but governments did not initiate the crisis. The collapse was in the banking system, and in the credit that it is responsible for creating and sustaining.

A French Cure for the Resource Curse
George Soros (Project Syndicate) Jun 6, 2011
French President Nicolas Sarkozy should be applauded for supporting a new initiative promoting strict transparency standards for petroleum, gas, and mining companies listed on European stock exchanges. France, at the heart of the EU and President of both the G-8 and G-20 this year, is in a strong position to encourage such a regulatory move.

Has Economic Power Replaced Military Might?
Joseph S. Nye (Project Syndicate) Jun 6, 2011
Military power, which some call the ultimate form of power in world politics, requires a thriving economy. But whether economic or military resources produce more power in today’s world depends on the context.

Was the global food crisis really a crisis?
VoxEU (Project Syndicate) Jun 6, 2011
Have rising food prices hurt the world’s poorest? The broad consensus, which is based on simulation analyses, is that they have. This column begs to differ. Self-reported food insecurity data from the Gallup World Poll contradict the consensus, and this column argues that the FAO and the World Bank need to do a much better job of measuring the impacts of higher food prices on the poor.

China, Patents and U.S. Jobs Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Matthew J. Slaughter (WSJ) Jun 6, 2011
A new report suggests better intellectual property protection by Beijing could create 2.1 million American jobs.

Why Can’t More Poor People Escape Poverty?
Jamie Holmes (TNR) Jun 6, 2011
A radical new explanation from psychologists

Bob Rodriguez: The man who sees another crash
Mina Kimes (CNN) Jun 6, 2011
He's the mutual fund manager with the best record in the past quarter-century, and he correctly predicted the last two stock market crashes. So why aren't people listening when Bob Rodriguez says another calamity is looming?

Is protectionism dying?
Shimelse Ali, Uri Dadush & Rachel Esplin Odell (VoxEU) Jun 7, 2011
The limited resort to protectionism during the financial crisis is often attributed to the WTO or to sensible macroeconomic policy. This column argues that there is more to the story. The combination of national laws, regional agreements, and powerful interest groups has worked to stop protectionism in its tracks.

The value-added content of trade: New insights for the US-China imbalance
Robert Johnson & Guillermo Noguera (VoxEU) Jun 7, 2011
Roughly two-thirds of international trade is in intermediate goods. As a result, measures of trade flows that tally the gross value of goods at each border crossing lead to a distorted view of world trade. Using a value-added measure, this column finds that the controversial US-China imbalance is in fact around 40% smaller than many people think.

This crisis has an exit
Ellen Brown (AT) Jun 7, 2011
Contrary to popular belief, particularly amid the continuing financial crisis, most of our money today is not created by governments. It is created by private banks as loans. There are more sustainable ways to run a banking and credit system. It merely requires taxpayers to take back their money - and their power - from private banks.

Failure to lift US debt ceiling risks fresh crisis
Glenn Hutchins (FT) Jun 7, 2011
Hard choices will have to be made, decisions on spending and taxation that must not be undone by subsequent administrations.

The road to recovery gets steeper
Martin Wolf (FT) Jun 7, 2011
The biggest danger remains prolonged semi-stagnation in the post-crisis era, not excessive growth and high inflation.

It's Bubble Time as Asia Braces for Fed's QE3
William Pesek (Bloomberg) Jun 7, 2011
Pretend you're Darmin Nasution, Indonesia's central bank governor, and inflation is running at about 6 percent. Do you raise interest rates or cut them? This isn'ta trick question, but one facing Asia’s monetary authorities as they brace for a possible third round of U.S. quantitative easing, an effort by the central bank to get more money into the economy.

Doha "Plan B" Hits Early Roadblock
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 21 Jun 8, 2011
WTO members have agreed to try to strike deals this year on certain issues within the long-running Doha Round of global trade talks, while postponing attempts for a comprehensive multilateral accord. The challenge for them now is to identify what might become part of a so-called 'early harvest' (if the term can be used nearly seven years after the talks were first scheduled to conclude).

US Proclaims Victory in Wind Power Case; China Ends Challenged Subsidies
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 21 Jun 8, 2011
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced yesterday that China has ended a controversial public fund for wind power manufacturing. The subsidies were the subject of a formal WTO dispute between the US and China that commenced late last year.

Heated US Spending Battle Puts Brazil Cotton Deal at Risk
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 21 Jun 8, 2011
The wrangling over US spending cuts has put the spotlight on Washington's federal farm subsidy programme, which has been a source of ongoing contention both domestically and abroad. Last week's meetings of the US House Appropriations Committee, which is tasked with allocating government expenditures, saw three cotton-related amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 pass by voice votes.

A Greek crisis of cronyism and corruption Financial Times Subscription Required
John Sfakianakis (FT) Jun 8, 2011
We can be sure that debts amassed by the Greeks will never be paid in their entirety. A haircut and restructuring of the debt is therefore unavoidable.

Do emerging markets deserve developed status? Financial Times Subscription Required
Alan Taylor (FT) Jun 8, 2011
Emerging markets' growth in contrast to developed markets shows they are stronger than in previous moments of euphoria.

G8 urged to speed up North Africa aid
Phil Thornton, Jon Marks and Taimur Ahmad (EM) Jun 8, 2011
The G8 group of rich nations has come under pressure to spell out details of its $20 billion pledge for nations embroiled in the Arab Spring revolution.

Money Magic
Raghuram Rajan (Project Syndicate) Jun 8, 2011
More than any other area of official policymaking, monetary policy suffers from the sense that there is a free lunch to be had. But there is a high price to be paid for the ultra-loose monetary policy that many countries are maintaining – and not only in terms of higher inflation.

On the contribution of monetary policy to economic fluctuations
Olivier Coibion (VoxEU) Jun 8, 2011
What effect do interest-rate changes have on economic growth? Most studies suggest that the answer is “not much”. This column points out that a lot of these studies use US data from the early 1980s when monetary policy was under the “Volcker experiment”. When this episode is excluded, this column finds that the implied contribution of policy shocks to historical US business cycle fluctuations is much larger than found in much of the literature.

Protectionism backfires on FDI
Holger Görg & Christiane Krieger-Boden (VoxEU) Jun 9, 2011
The global financial crisis has raised the threat of protectionism. This column argues that the worst offenders will suffer a drop in foreign direct investment inflows.

In India, Dynamism Wrestles With Dysfunction New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 8, 2011
Economic growth is often the product of a private sector improvising to overcome the inadequacies of the Indian government.

More Trade and More Aid New York Times Subscription Required
Matthew J. Slaughter & Robert Z. Lawrence (NYT) Jun 8, 2011
If America fails to resolve a dispute over free-trade agreements, our economic future will be bleak.

Whither Globalization?
Pascal Lamy (Globalist) Jun 8, 2011
Is the globalized world of the 21st century being managed with a system — and a mindset — designed for a century that has faded away?

Understanding Recent Market Movements
Mohamed A. El-Erian (PIMCO/CNBC) Jun 8, 2011
The U.S. economy faces structural impairments in housing, credit, public finances, and the functioning of the labor market. The situation in Europe is another factor undermining market sentiment. Structural problems require structural solutions that are adopted within a clearly communicated overall vision.

The end of cheap goods?
Economist Jun 9, 2011
Some are predicting the end of the cheap “China price”; others are more sanguine.

Greece's debt crisis: Bail-out 2.0
Economist Jun 9, 2011
The latest plan to rescue Greece merely puts off the inevitable day of reckoning.

Tutors to the world
Economist Jun 9, 2011
Business schools are globalising at a furious pace—which is largely a good thing.

Queasy feeling
Economist Jun 9, 2011
The equity markets are struggling in the face of slower growth and central-bank inaction

Can the BRICs Take the IMF?
Sebastian Mallaby (FA) Jun 9, 2011
As the race to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF heats up, emerging markets finally have a shot at the head table. Here's why they might fail to seize it -- and what it will mean.

Immigrant Skills on the Rise
Audrey Singer (Brookings) Jun 9, 2011
Despite public perception of immigrants as being poorly educated, the high-skilled U.S. immigrant population today outnumbers the low-skilled population. U.S. global competitiveness rests on ensuring that these new arrivals and their children thrive economically and contribute to the nation’s productivity.

How to Kill a Dollar
Barry Eichengreen (Project Syndicate) Jun 9, 2011
Many complain that the Fed's near-zero interest-rate policy is debasing the dollar and eroding the currency’s purchasing power. But, if there is a threat to the dollar, it stems not from monetary policy, but from the fiscal side.

Is there a hidden Eurozone bailout?
Karl Whelan (VoXEU) Jun 9, 2011
In a recent Vox column, Hans Werner Sinn of the prestigious Institute for Economic Research claims that the German Bundesbank is effectively propping up banks across the Eurozone’s periphery. He adds that doing this risks a major crisis. Here, Karl Whelan of University College Dublin argues that Professor Sinn’s analysis is incorrect and that his policy prescriptions are extremely unhelpful and even dangerous.

Home, sweet home? International banking after the crisis Recommended!
Jan Schildbach (DB Research) Jun 9, 2011
The financial crisis dealt international banking a serious blow. This paper reviews 1) the extent to which financial markets have become global in recent years as well as the damage inflicted on cross-border linkages by the financial crisis, 2) the reasons for the internationalisation process and 3) prospects for international banking in the “new-normal” environment. Apart from market developments, this reflects a new focus in the political and regulatory debate aimed at increasing the – mostly domestic – grip on the banking industry.

China: A Global Growth 'Bright Spot'
IMF Survey Jun 9, 2011
China’s economy, projected to grow at a rapid 9½ percent this year, remains on a strong footing, propelled by vigorous domestic and external demand, the IMF says in its latest assessment, adding that many of the drivers behind inflation should soon start to dissipate.

Euro May Have to Coexist With a German-Led Uber Euro
Anil Kashyap (Bloomberg) Jun 10, 2011
There is no inherent reason the European project cannot proceed with two currencies and the citizenry may force this outcome.

Global: Delaying the Fed Exit
David Greenlaw (MS GEF) Jun 10, 2011
We are seeing a temporary soft patch rather than a lasting downturn in the US and four factors should help to deliver a 2H rebound.

European countries plot heist of IMF top job once again
Bretton Woods Update No. 76 Jun 10, 2011
Plus: IFC financial intermediary lending: cause for complaint?; IEG faults IFC poverty focus; World Bank's Africa strategy remains rutted in comfort zone; IMF's European austerity drive goes on; and more.

Will Greece Make It?
Dani Rodrik (Project Syndicate) Jun 10, 2011
Greece has bought some time with a new package of financial support, but it remains to be seen whether the Greek government's promise of souped-up austerity policies will be politically acceptable and sustainable. History suggests some grounds for skepticism.

India Gives
Shashi Tharoor (Project Syndicate) Jun 10, 2011
For decades after independence, India was seen as an impoverished land of destitute people, desperately in need of international handouts. But India has now emerged as a significant donor to developing countries in Africa and Asia, second only to China among countries of the global South.

BRICs: Add “T” for Turkey
Stephan Richter (Globalist) Jun 10, 2011
Ahead of Turkey's June 12 parliamentary elections, an analysis of how the country is successfully modernizing by blending religion with economic and social progress.

The future of the Eurozone
Kai A Konrad & Holger Zschäpitz (VoxEU) Jun 10, 2011
A year after the rescue of Greece, the Eurozone is still on life support. This column argues that Europe’s policymakers have got their strategy desperately wrong.

What's Behind the Squabble Over a New Aid Package for Greece?
Jacob Funk Kirkegaard (PIIE) Jun 10, 2011
As euro area members jockey over who will pay to keep Greece afloat in the next two years, political grandstanding by elected leaders is to be expected. A lively display of those tactics is under way ahead of the euro area and European Union (EU) meetings later this month, from June 20 to 24. So are the various countries' maximalist negotiating positions, outlined for domestic consumption, in discussing possible new terms for the EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout program.

A finance minister for Europe?A finance minister for Europe?
Charles Wyplosz (VoxEU) Jun 11, 2011
The outgoing president of the European Central Bank has floated the idea of a finance minister for Europe. This column argues that such a statement from someone who has been in charge through the worst financial crisis in living memory is significant. It asks what the academic literature has to say on the matter.

How to avoid our own lost decade Financial Times Subscription Required
Lawrence Summers (FT) Jun 12, 2011
Within a couple of years after the only two deep recessions of the post first world war period, the US economy grew in a way that seems inconceivable today.

Why debt rescues will boost the scenario of a closer union Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Münchau (FT) Jun 12, 2011
A miniature fiscal union will not rid member states of economic sovereignty but will involve some loss of political control but future perceptions are hard to predict.

Stepping Up the Fight Against AIDS New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 12, 2011
The U.N.'s ambitious plan to curb the AIDS epidemic is a fight well worth fighting, even in these tough economic times.

Asia’s supply chain: Implications for rebalancing
Adil Mohommad, Olaf Unteroberdoerster & Jade Vichyanond (VoxEU) Jun 12, 2011
Persistent global imbalances are raising concerns about the sustainability of the global recovery and economic growth in general. This column argues that a proper appreciation of the influence of exchange rates and demand on global imbalances requires taking into account an important feature of Asia’s trade – cross-border supply chains or “vertical integration”.

How Strategic Deficit Reduction Could Spur Growth
Saumil H. Parikh (PIMCO) Jun 13, 2011
Much of the evolution of our secular economic outlook for advanced economies will depend upon the degree and success of structural policy changes. To date, few such policies have been implemented. We think the U.K. is implementing what is probably the best combination of fiscal and monetary policies to address deficit reduction with an eye to structural issues. In the U.S., we see great economic benefit from shifting some public spending from consumption to investment – for example, to the energy sector, where the U.S. has a large deficit vs. the rest of the world.

The ASEAN Heart of Asia
Sirin Pitsuwan (Project Syndicate) Jun 13, 2011
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations stands at a defining moment. Its members are being evaluated for their potential as a market for investments, goods, and services, and their effort to forge a community free from external intervention is shaping a new regional order based on common security and shared prosperity.

Supporting Aging Populations as Demographics Shift
IMF Survey Jun 13, 2011
Demographic changes are threatening the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young, says the IMF’s Finance & Development magazine in a cover story. The world’s population is projected to rise to 9 billion by 2050.

How cooperation evolves: History, expectations, and leadership
Daron Acemoglu (VoxEU) Jun 13, 2011
Economists are increasingly recognising the importance of social norms in determining economic outcomes. While some argue that these norms are set in stone, this column introduces a new framework exploring how these norms emerge, how they can change, and how leadership by individuals can play a pivotal role.

Is education policy innovation policy?
Ralf R Meisenzahl & Joel Mokyr (VoxEU) Jun 13, 2011
The industrial revolution is, for many, the start of modern economic growth. But what started the industrial revolution? The consensus view is that scarce labour stimulated labour-saving inventions and induced innovation. This column begs to differ. It argues that it was the technical competence of the British mechanical elite that allowed great ideas to turn into economic realities.

WTO Judicial Appointments: Bad Omen for the Trading System
Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE) Jun 13, 2011
The office of the US Trade Representative has taken the little noticed but highly unfortunate step of blocking Jennifer Hillman’s second term on the WTO Appellate Body. This is a bad omen, both for the World Trade Organization and the United States. The Appellate Body (AB) decides appeals from panel decisions in trade disputes. Since its creation in 1995, the AB has decided about 80 cases, and is now widely regarded as the most successful international court in history. The WTO doesn’t call them "judges," but in fact that’s what the AB members are. The seven judges are appointed for four-year terms, by consensus of WTO countries, and each judge can be reappointed once. While any WTO country can nominate a judge to the Appellate Body, by unwritten tradition the United States, the European Union and Japan always have a representative on the AB, while nominees from other countries rotate. Again by unwritten tradition, a judge who serves one term and is willing to serve again is reappointed automatically. Both traditions are now in jeopardy.

Monetary Policy When One Size Does Not Fit All
Fernanda Nechio (FRBSF) Jun 13, 2011
The European Central Bank recently raised its target interest rate for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. When compared with a simple interest rate rule, this rate hike appears consistent with the euro area's nascent economic recovery and rising inflation. However, economic conditions vary greatly among the countries in the euro area and the ECB's new target rate may not be suitable for all of them.

Time to put the southern Silk Road on the map Financial Times Subscription Required
Stephen King (FT) Jun 13, 2011
There are many hurdles still to cross but they are slowly falling, paving the way for a period of turbocharged South-South trade growth.

A plan to rescue Greece and save the euro Financial Times Subscription Required
Sony Kapoor (FT) Jun 13, 2011
This means that haircuts on Greek government bonds are arithmetically unavoidable, given EU taxpayers are unlikely to provide almost €100bn to Greece in aid.

Zombinomics and volatility
Spengler (AT) Jun 14, 2011
The so-called American economic recovery won't die, because it's undead. It was a zombie to begin with. And the actual volatility of US stock prices is remarkably low for a declining market: the economy is stuck in the mud; it can't go forward, but neither can it be expected to move fast in reverse.

The bubble end point
Doug Noland (AT) Jun 14, 2011
New credit, irrespective of its source, stimulates economic output through increased spending, incomes and/or asset inflation. But at some inevitable - if not predictable - point, such as when governments lose their capacity to perpetuate the credit bubble, the markets will care tremendously whether a credit system is sound or not.

Cooperation and the beneficial race for second-worst
James Andreoni & Laura Katherine Gee (VoxEU) Jun 14, 2011
How should a small organisation – a firm, a university, a sports team – encourage good behaviour? While punishment can often make things worse, this column proposes and tests a method the authors call the “hired gun”. By punishing only the worst offender, everyone is given an incentive to be the second-worst offender. If everyone follows that strategy, good behaviour soon follows.

Why are reforms so politically difficult?
Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia (VoxEU) Jun 14, 2011
Most economists agree that the global crisis has exposed the need for economies to reform, particularly those along Europe’s periphery. The problem is making these reforms politically viable. This column notes that many governments fear electoral defeat if they enforce unpopular policies. But it also argues the risk of punishment in the polls is the lowest in times of crisis.

Erdogan's Economic Revolution
Ibrahim Ozturk (Project Syndicate) Jun 14, 2011
Since 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been governing Turkey with remarkable success in economic terms. Now Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will begin a third term in office, a period during which Turkey is expected to "graduate" to developed-country status.

How China could yet fail like Japan Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Jun 14, 2011
Sustaining rapid increases in productivity and managing huge structural shifts as the economy becomes more sophisticated is hard.

On and off target
Hans-Werner Sinn (VoxEU) Jun 14, 2011
Since the crisis, substantial mismatches in intra-Eurozone payments have arisen, and these have given rise to so-called Target2 imbalances. In the original Vox column on this, Hans-Werner Sinn argued that they were a hidden bailout – an assertion that has been criticised. In this column, Sinn responds to the critics.

Why are reforms so politically difficult?
Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Gino Gancia (VoxEU) Jun 14, 2011
Most economists agree that the global crisis has exposed the need for economies to reform, particularly those along Europe’s periphery. The problem is making these reforms politically viable. This column notes that many governments fear electoral defeat if they enforce unpopular policies. But it also argues the risk of punishment in the polls is the lowest in times of crisis.

Why Brazil is both catching up and falling behind
Markus Jaeger (DB Research) Jun 14, 2011
Brazil’s medium-term economic prospects underpinned by solid fundamentals, favourable demographics and strategic natural resource exports are bright. Nonetheless, while per-capita income growth has picked up tangibly over the past few years, it remains way below that of Brazil’s East Asian “peers”. Per-capita GDP in China and Korea, as a share of Brazil’s, increased from 7% and 62% in 1980 to 60% and 270% in 2010, respectively. Even if Chinese growth declines a couple of percentage points from current levels, its per-capita income will exceed Brazil’s by 2020.

Markets, Politics, and the Euro
Nicolas Véron (PIIE) Jun 14, 2011
One of the most memorable quotes of the financial crisis was delivered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2010, when she declared that "in a way, it is a struggle between politics and the markets. We must re-establish the primacy of politics over the markets." Though unusually stark, this formulation echoes a widespread perception in Europe. Disorderly market movements, such as the successive increases in Greece's borrowing costs, are overwhelmingly blamed by political leaders on speculators, abetted by their dubious sidekicks, the credit rating agencies.

People on the Move – Part I
Joseph Chamie (YaleGlobal) Jun 14, 2011
Failure to contain illegal immigration from North Africa will alter Europe’s political landscape

A Post-Crisis World of Risk
Michael Spence (Project Syndicate) Jun 15, 2011
The global economy’s most striking feature nowadays is the magnitude and interconnectedness of the macro risks that it faces. That is because the post-crisis period has produced a multi-speed world, as the major advanced economies struggle with low growth and high unemployment, while the main emerging economies have restored growth to pre-crisis levels.

America’s Dangerous Debt Ceiling Debate
Mohamed A. El-Erian (Project Syndicate) Jun 15, 2011
The world economy is hard-wired to the assumption of a strong America, and Americans benefit from this. But the more their politicians argue over the US government's debt ceiling, the greater the risks that the wiring will become irreparably frayed.

Development as freedom: New empirical evidence (1975-2007)
Jean-Pierre Chauffour (VoxEU) Jun 15, 2011
The Arab Spring is again raising fundamental questions about the place of freedom and entitlement in economic development. Reviewing the performance of more than 100 countries over the past 30 years, this column finds evidence that economic freedom and civil and political liberties are the root causes of why certain countries achieve and sustain better economic outcomes than others.

Divergent Paths Plague Bonn Climate Talks
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 22 Jun 15, 2011
A clear divergence among countries on the future direction of climate negotiations is holding up progress at the ongoing talks in Bonn, Germany. The first four days saw discussions nearly at a standstill, with parties fighting over the agenda contents for two of the main negotiation groups - the Subsidiary Bodies on Technical and Scientific Advice and on Implementation (SBSTA and SBI, respectively). Upon resolving that hurdle, talks took on a slightly more constructive tone, with delegates expressing gratitude for the chance to get down to business.

US, Africa Push for AGOA Extension at Tenth Annual Forum
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 22 Jun 15, 2011
This year's annual forum on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) saw United States and African ministers and officials express an overall satisfaction with the current state of the US-Africa trade relationship under the bill. Officials on both sides are pushing for the US Congress to renew the bill prior to its expiration on 30 September 2015.

Australian Cigarette Packaging Law Hits a Nerve with Developing Countries
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest Volume 15, Number 22 Jun 15, 2011
A debate pitting public health considerations against private intellectual property rights took centre stage at last week’s meeting of the WTO’s Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). At the 7-8 June meeting, members voiced diametrically opposed views on Australia’s recent bill on cigarette packaging.

Only an aid rethink can save Afghanistan Financial Times Subscription Required
Dennis de Tray (FT) Jun 15, 2011
The coalition has signalled to Afghans that their government is both incompetent and incapable.

Global economy menaced by return of living dead Financial Times Subscription Required
Stephen Roach(FT) Jun 15, 2011
A failure to learn the lessons of Japan will leave the US and the global economy in a tough place for years to come.

After the Scandal, More of the Same at the I.M.F. New York Times Subscription Required
Kenneth s. Rogoff (NYT) Jun 15, 2011
Dominique Strauss-Kahn supported a merit-based approach for choosing his successor, but the gender factor has altered the process.

People on the Move – Part II
Steven Borowiec (YaleGlobal) Jun 16, 2011
Immigration policies that promote inequality and restrict integration weaken South Korea.

Europe’s Competitiveness Trap
Simon Tilford (Project Syndicate) Jun 16, 2011
European policymakers are obsessed with national “competitiveness,” and genuinely appear to think that prosperity is synonymous with trade surpluses. But economic growth, even in traditionally export-led economies, is driven by productivity growth, not by the ability to capture a growing share of global markets.

Can We Prevent the Next Bubble?
Jonah Lehrer (Wired) Jun 16, 2011
It’s been three years since the collapse of the last economic bubble, so it’s probably time to start worrying about the next one.

The world economy: Sticky patch or meltdown? Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jun 16, 2011
How politicians could carelessly turn a temporary softening of the global recovery into something worse

The New Urgency of Emerging Markets
Udayan Gupta (II) Jun 16, 2011
Investors eager to gain exposure to these countries’ dynamic growth rates are expanding their allocations across multiple asset classes, moving deeper into bonds, private equity and small and midcap stocks.

Round two: the rest versus the rest Financial Times Subscription Required
Philip Stephens (FT) Jun 16, 2011
Rising powers have aspirations and instincts in common, but also rivalries that are often deeper than those with the west.

A sorry end to too fleeting a Greek dream Financial Times Subscription Required
Mark Mazower (FT) Jun 16, 2011
The onus is on Europe’s leaders to rise above short-termism and wishful thinking and to make a plausible plan for growth.

Policymakers can’t kick the can down the road for ever Financial Times Subscription Required
Chris Giles (FT) Jun 16, 2011
A compromise that will see the IMF disburse the €3.3bn tranche of loans to Greece to avert its imminent ‘disorderly default’ has postponed the day of reckoning

Beware sticky summer: no time for the beach
Gillian Tett (FT) Jun 16, 2011
If there was ever a moment in the calendar when it seems foolish to embark on market gambles, August is surely that point.

The appropriate use of risk models: Part I
Jon Danielsson & Robert Macrae (VoxEU) Jun 16, 2011
Risk models are at the heart of the financial sector’s self-monitoring as well as supervision by regulators. This column, the first of two, addresses the question of how risk models are misused in practice by practitioners and supervisors alike. This misuse causes risk management to fail when it is most needed.

The appropriate use of risk models: Part II
Jon Danielsson & Robert Macrae (VoxEU) Jun 17, 2011
Financial risk models have been widely criticised for both theoretical and practical failures, especially during the recent financial crisis. In the second of two columns, the authors outline why the shortcomings of risk models matter before making suggestions for how the financial industry and supervisors should use models in practice.

Political institutions and the curse of natural resources
Antonio Cabrales & Esther Hauk (VoxEU) Jun 17, 2011
The natural-resource curse is now a staple in the development economist’s diet. Natural resources have tended to lead to lower economic growth, except in democratic countries or those with robust institutions. This column presents a political economy model to explain this phenomenon, focusing on the threat of revolutions.

The Economic Governance the EU Needs
Guy Verhofstadt (Project Syndicate) Jun 17, 2011
If European countries are to emerge stronger from the current crisis, they need to think bigger and put more faith, not less, in the collective enterprise that is the EU. After all, European unification was conceived as a project of pooled sovereignty, not surrendered prosperity.

The Long and Winding Road to Recovery
Olivier Blanchard, Jose Vinals & Carlo Cottarelli (Project Syndicate) Jun 17, 2011
The global economy has bounced back strongly from the nadir of 2009, but growth is still uneven and recent data in key advanced economies have been disappointing. Risks to the world’s economic outlook have risen, and stepped-up policy action is needed to keep the global economy on track.

The Greek Example Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jun 17, 2011
Another bailout to save the banks only delays the inevitable default.

Lower food prices not in sight yet Adobe Acrobat Required
Claire Schaffnit-Chatterjee (DB Research) Jun 17, 2011
The surge in food prices will take longer than expected to subside, primarily due to extreme weather conditions mostly in the EU and the US. Following a sharp decline in production in 2010, global wheat output is expected to rebound in 2011, but not enough to meet rising demand. A drop in wheat prices is therefore unlikely in 2011. Corn prices are expected to remain high in spite of high coarse grain production due to a tight supply and demand balance. Given low stocks of corn, wheat and soybeans, price volatility should remain high. The upward trend in international oilseed prices eased in the last few months but is expected to resume. After reaching a 30-year high last January, sugar prices are adjusting down to increased production. Tight meat supplies are pushing prices up to new record levels. High food prices will continue to significantly contribute to headline inflation, especially in emerging countries.

Despite Mild Global Slowdown, Latam Growth Still Strong
IMF Survey Jun 17, 2011
Latin America’s growth, expected to exceed 4½ percent in 2011, remains robust, driven by high commodity prices and easy external financing conditions, but early signs of overheating are appearing, the IMF said in its latest global update.

Global Growth Hits Soft Patch, Expected to Rebound
IMF Survey Jun 17, 2011
The global economy, hit by slowdowns in Japan and the United States, is expected to reaccelerate in the second half of the year, but growth remains unbalanced and concerted action by major economies is needed to avoid lurking dangers, the IMF says in its latest forecast.

Halt the 'bubble' babble
Reuven Brenner (AT) Jun 18, 2011
Japan's "lost" decades are held as an example of what can happen when financial bubbles burst; the 2007-08 crisis is another. It would be better to stop thinking "bubbles" and instead give priority to determining and correcting the monetary and fiscal mistakes that led to such crises.

Global: Fin de Cycle? Non
Joachim Fels & Spyros Andreopoulos (MS GEF) Jun 17, 2011
Fears that the present recovery in the advanced economies will roll over any time soon are exaggerated, in our view.

The growth effect of current-account reversals
Luiz de Mello, Pier Carlo Padoan & Linda Rousová (VoxEU) Jun 18, 2011
For developing and emerging economies, current-account reversals are rarely welcome news. Often they lead to financial ruin and political turmoil. This column explores what current-account reversals mean for the long run. It argues that they can cause structural breaks in trend GDP growth, rather than short-lived deviations.

Russia Holds Key Lessons for Greece on Default
Roland Nash (Bloomberg) Jun 19, 2011
European leaders fear disaster if they allow the Greek government to renege on its debt and drop the euro. But that outcome may not be as bad as it seems. The experience of Russia suggests that what looks like catastrophe before the event can be something very different after it.

Against the odds, the euro will scrape through Financial Times Subscription Required
Wolfgang Münchau (FT) Jun 19, 2011
Partial debt forgiveness, a eurozone bond and a small fiscal union would end the crisis. We are not there yet.

Renewing the I.M.F. New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 19, 2011
What the fund's next leader needs to say about global economic strategies.

How Capitalist is America?
Mark Roe (Project Syndicate) Jun 20, 2011
If capitalism’s border is with socialism, we know why the world properly thinks of the US as strongly capitalist. But consider the extent to which capital – that is, shareholders – rules in large businesses: if a conflict arises between capital’s goals and those of managers, who wins?

Political union cannot fix the euro Financial Times Subscription Required
Gideon Rachman (FT) Jun 20, 2011
The single currency’s problem is not institutional. There is just not a strong common political identity to support it.

The Great Greek Illusion New York Times Subscription Required
Roger Cohen (NYT/IHT) Jun 20, 2011
Greece was never ready to join the euro zone. But Europe's union required an Athenian imprimatur, so everyone turned a blind eye.

Estonia, the little country that could
Richard Rahn (WT) Jun 20, 2011
Former communist satellite rode free-market principles to prosperity.

Cross-border banking in Europe
Franklin Allen, Thorsten Beck, Elena Carletti, Philip Lane, Dirk Schoenmaker & Wolf Wagner (VoxEU) Jun 20, 2011
The global crisis has provided compelling evidence of the need to understand the role of banks in international finance. This column introduces a new CEPR report analysing key aspects of cross-border banking taking a European focus. The report argues that policy reforms in micro- and macro-prudential regulation and macroeconomic policies are urgently needed for Europe to improve its efficiency and reduce its risk.

That Stalling Feeling
Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate) Jun 21, 2011
There is widespread talk that today’s slowdown in the US and most of the developed world is just a temporary hiccup, caused by shocks like Japan's earthquake and the Arab Spring. But, given the advanced economies' underlying weaknesses, that notion appears to be a product of wishful thinking.

Common Sense on Capital Controls
Andres Velasco (Project Syndicate) Jun 21, 2011
Those who claim that capital controls are ineffective seldom specify at what they are presumed to be ineffective. In fact, by reducing the share of short-term foreign-currency debt in a country’s total liabilities, capital controls can reduce vulnerability to financial crises.

The Middle East’s Slow-Motion Revolution
Prince El Hassan bin Talal (Project Syndicate) Jun 21, 2011
The Middle East, a region often depicted as “backward,” is now debating its destiny face-to-face and across social networks every second of every day. But, while communication may be instant, the revolution is proceeding in slow motion, because it lacks a coherent animating ideology.

Mr Keynes and the moderns
Paul Krugman (VoxEU) Jun 21, 2011
Keynes’ General Theory is 75 years old. In this column, Paul Krugman argues that many of its insights and lessons are still relevant today, but many have been forgotten. A broad swath of macroeconomists and policymakers are applying old fallacies to today’s crisis. As the nostrums being applied by the “pain caucus” are visibly failing, Keynesian ideas may yet make a comeback.

Beijing's Financial Day of Reckoning Is Near Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Carl E. Walter and Fraser J.T. Howie (WSJ) Jun 21, 2011
A large part of China's economic miracle was built on dodgy loans, the bill for which is now coming due.

The EMU as a Self-Destroying System
Philipp Bagus (Mises Daily) Jun 21, 2011
When property rights in money are poorly defined, negative external effects develop. The institutional setup of the euro, with its poorly defined property rights, has brought it close to collapse and can be called a tragedy of the commons.

Recovery Continues But Crisis Risk Remains, Says IMF
IMF Survey Jun 21, 2011
Europe’s economic recovery is broadly sound, but the sovereign debt crisis in parts of the euro area needs to be tackled before it causes trouble in the heart of Europe and spills over to the rest of the world, the IMF said in its latest assessment of the region’s future.

Lessons from the East European Financial Crisis, 2008-10   Acrobat Required
Anders Åslund (PIIE) Jun 21, 2011
In the fall of 2008, Central and Eastern Europe became a flashpoint in the global financial crisis. The positive surprise, however, is that after about two years, the crisis in the region had more or less abated. Public attention moved from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania to the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). The issue was no longer why Latvia must devalue but what Greece could learn from Latvia. What lessons can be drawn from the resolution of the financial crisis in Eastern Europe for the rest of the European Union and the world at large? Crisis resolution in these countries was decisive and successful, and the entire region save Romania had returned to economic growth by the second half of 2010. The financial crisis in Eastern Europe has been remarkable for everything that did not happen. There was no significant reaction against globalization, capitalism, the European Union, or the euro. No major strikes or social unrest erupted, while the population rose against populism and unjustified state privileges. Politically and financially, crony businessmen were the biggest losers, whereas the political winners were the moderate but resolute center-right forces. The sensible public wanted decisive action from their leaders to resolve their problems. The ideological wind was clearly liberal and free market but also socially responsible, favoring a somewhat purer market economy and a moderate retrenchment of the social welfare state. It has proven politically possible to cut public expenditures, salaries, and employment, as well as rationalize health care and education. In the end, this crisis will likely benefit both Eastern and Western Europe and thus the European Union. Western Europe will have to learn from Eastern Europe, erasing the current division between first- and second-class members within the European Union. Thanks to the East Europeans, the West Europeans have slashed their corporate profit tax rates and have also been enticed to liberalize their labor markets. Now, they will also learn fiscal policy from the east.

Growing Economies, Rising Problems – Part I
Jean-Pierre Lehmann (YaleGlobal) Jun 21, 2011
Emerging economies fail to claim IMF’s top post or rise to other global-governance challenges.

That Stalling Feeling
Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate) Jun 21, 2011
There is widespread talk that today’s slowdown in the US and most of the developed world is just a temporary hiccup, caused by shocks like Japan's earthquake and the Arab Spring. But, given the advanced economies' underlying weaknesses, that notion appears to be a product of wishful thinking.

Time for common sense on Greece Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Jun 21, 2011
The question is not whether the country will default but whether a default would be enough to return the economy to reasonable health.

Latin lessons for a eurozone recovery Financial Times Subscription Required
Alfonso Prat-Gay (FT) Jun 21, 2011
Time and a cheap currency were the pillars of Argentina’s recovery. The former can still work to Europe’s benefit.

Greece and You New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 21, 2011
Without more reform of the derivatives market, no one can really know who may be a risk.

The Reboot Greece Needs New York Times Subscription Required
Loukas Tsoukalis (NYT) Jun 21, 2011
Ancient Greeks knew that drama requires catharsis. Political reform, not only an economic overhaul, is needed to save Greece and maybe the European Union too.

A Co-Directorate for the IMF? Say Yes to Lagarde and Carstens
Stephan Richter (Globalist) Jun 21, 2011
As the IMF charts a new path, a creative solution to give the emerging market countries their fair leadership share in the Fund.

Growth in the 2000s - Key facts
Arvind Subramanian (Business Standard) Jun 22, 2011
The rising growth tide in India has lifted virtually all states but more so the richer ones

Privatisation is no salvation
Daniel Gros (VoxEU) Jun 22, 2011
Protests continue in Greece as its leaders debate the latest suggestions for dealing with its crippling debt. One proposal is for Greece to privatise several of its assets. This column argues that privatisation is a mirage. If solvency is the problem, privatisation will only make matters worse, especially if it has to be done at distressed prices.

How are inflation targets set?
Roman Horváth & Jakub Mateju (VoxEU) Jun 22, 2011
How are inflation targets set and why do they differ from country to country? This column suggests that macroeconomic characteristics such as inflation, inflation volatility, GDP growth, and foreign inflation matter for the process of inflation target setting. It also argues that central bank credibility is important but that the role of central bank independence and government political orientation is limited.

Helping food producers weather the storm Financial Times Subscription Required
Thomas Mirow (FT) Jun 22, 2011
If supply is to match rising demand, substantial investment is needed to increase productivity. Most of this can come only from the private sector.

The Grecian formula
Washington Times Jun 22, 2011
Greece will find out soon whether another $157 billion gift is headed its way to cover the government's obligations for next year. While the European Union would be on the hook for most of this second bailout, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also would contribute - and

Europe: Crisis at the Crossroads?
Elga Bartsch & Daniele Antonucci (MS GEF) Jun 22, 2011
A crucial week lies ahead in which Greece and the euro area need to take key decisions to prevent the sovereign debt crisis from escalating further.

Doha: Difficult Road Ahead for December Mini-Package
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 23 Jun 22, 2011
WTO members are struggling to reach consensus on what the components of their December "Plan B" deliverables package might entail. Today's meeting of the WTO's Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) saw delegations repeat similar positions to those presented at their 31 May gathering, showing little progress from three weeks ago.

Bonn Climate Meet Spawns Autumn Session
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 23 Jun 22, 2011
The UN climate secretariat has confirmed that they will be holding an additional major meeting this year, a sign some read as a positive harbinger for end of year climate talks in Durban, South Africa. The announcement was made at the closing plenary of the 6-17 June meeting, which was held in Bonn, Germany.

US Attempt to Defund Brazil Cotton Institute May Reignite Trade Tensions
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 23 Jun 22, 2011
Questions are being raised about the future of the hard-won US-Brazil cotton agreement, thanks to last week's vote in the US House of Representatives to end payments to the Brazil Cotton Institute. In a 223-197 vote, members passed an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 that, if enacted into law, would violate the terms of the 2010 WTO US-Upland Cotton agreement between the two countries.

World Bank Launches Trade Strategy
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 23 Jun 22, 2011
The World Bank Group released its first ever Trade Strategy on Thursday 16 June, after conducting a six-month series of consultations with stakeholders from government, civil society, the private sector, bilateral donors, and other international organisations. The strategy will guide the Bank's trade support activities for the next decade.

Uri Dadush & William Shaw (YaleGlobal) Jun 23, 2011
The global economy is expected to triple in size by the year 2050, and much of the growth will come from emerging economies, which were viewed not long ago as impoverished and backward. An examination of the consequences of the changing global economic order. While developing nations accrue more economic power, thanks to their large populations, but they’ll remain relatively poor.

Why Free Trade Matters
Jagdish Bhagwati (Project Syndicate) Jun 23, 2011
Contrary to what skeptics often assert, the case for free trade is robust. It extends not just to overall prosperity, but also to distributional outcomes, which make the free-trade argument morally compelling as well.

Chinese Finance Comes of Age
Howard Davies (Project Syndicate) Jun 23, 2011
Back in 2002, all of China’s major banks were awash in non-performing loans, which in some cases amounted to more than 10% of the total balance sheet. Less than a decade later, much has changed – with some important lessons for Western regulators.

To Repay or Not to Repay Debts?
Jean Pisani-Ferry (Project Syndicate) Jun 23, 2011
For months now, a fight over sovereign-debt restructuring has been raging between those who insist that Greece must continue to honor its signature and those for whom the country's public debt should be partly canceled. Who is right?

Markets, politics and the euro
Nicolas Véron (VoxEU) Jun 23, 2011
As the Eurozone crisis continues, politicians are blaming the markets and the markets are blaming politicians. This column argues that the uneasy relationship between the two is nothing new and that the markets have a point. It says the crisis is as much institutional as it is financial or fiscal.

How developing nations escaped procyclical fiscal policy
Jeffrey Frankel, Carlos A. Vegh & Guillermo Vuletin (VoxEU) Jun 23, 2011
With the ongoing financial turmoil in Europe, many emerging market countries are now deemed less risky than so-called “advanced” countries. This column examines why this is the case and finds that the cyclicality of a country’s fiscal policy – a sign of its riskiness – is inversely correlated with the quality of the country’s institutions.

Forecasting oil prices in real time
Lutz Kilian (VoxEU) Jun 23, 2011
Reduced Libyan output, broader political unrest in the Middle East, and a slow global recovery have raised the uncertainty surrounding oil prices. This column discusses the challenges and value of forecasting future oil prices in real time, as opposed to fitting models to revised oil prices released months after economic decisions are made.

How China plans to reinforce the global recovery Financial Times Subscription Required
Wen Jiabao (FT) Jun 23, 2011
China has made capping price rises a priority and introduced a host of targeted policies, which have worked.

Greece’s euro exit can now only be a matter of time Financial Times Subscription Required
Samuel Brittan (FT) Jun 23, 2011
A Greek debt default, however it is disguised, is a foregone conclusion but of more interest is the fate of the euro.

A New Era of Global Financial Repression
By Scott A. Mather (PIMCO) Jun 23, 2011
Investors need to be especially alert to increasing financial repression. Any sovereign policy that interferes with free market activity and the pricing of debt or currency can be thought of as financial repression. Repressionary policy rates percolate through the global financial markets and affect asset prices across the risk spectrum. Many emerging market countries use repressionary tactics to capture a larger share of global growth.

On Governments as Portfolio Managers
Mohamed El-Erian (FT) Jun 23, 2011
Energy markets are focusing intensely on the price impact of today’s International Energy Agency decision to release oil supplies. Governments (and central banks) getting pulled deeper into markets as portfolio managers, as opposed to regulators and supervisors. Policymakers are trying to differentiate between good and bad inflation – namely, enhancing the former and countering the latter.

As Greece Ponders Default, Lessons From Argentina New York Times Subscription Required
NYT Jun 23, 2011
The effects of Argentina 2001 debt crisis still linger, and the country's default at the time is still keeping it away from the global credit market.

Price dollars in gas
Chris Cook (AT) Jun 23, 2011
The often hostile gap between energy producers and consumers, for example in Russia's relations with Europe and with China, could be eased by a restructuring of pricing mechanisms, to be based around gas supply and purchases - not the US dollar and oil. A less wasteful world would be one benefit.

Growth prospects: Beware the middle-income trap Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jun 23, 2011
China’s roaring growth cannot last indefinitely.

The economics of the Arab spring: Open for business? Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jun 23, 2011
Economic reform in the Middle East could prove harder than in eastern Europe. The West needs to help it along

Europe’s Naked Banks
Simon Johnson (Project Syndicate) Jun 24, 2011
European leaders are convinced that bank capital is “expensive,” in the sense that raising capital requirements would slow economic growth. But the latest developments in the Greek crisis show that the exact opposite is true – it’s European banks’ lack of capital that threatens to derail European and global growth.

Ban Ki-moon and the Age of Sustainable Development
Jeffrey D. Sachs (Project Syndicate) Jun 24, 2011
The world can breathe easier with the reelection this month of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to a second term in office. During the past five years, Ban has embodied the unity that a fractious world needs, both in his unique personal diplomacy and in his role as head of the world’s indispensable global organization.

Does population ageing reduce productivity growth?
Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt (VoxEU) Jun 24, 2011
Should developed countries raise their retirement ages to combat the economic effects of their ageing populations? This column presents a model suggesting that, viewed in isolation, putting off retirement will actually reduce growth. It is only when viewed along with other policies that the benefits for growth arise.

Debt Managers Need to Be More Nimble and Innovate
IMF Survey Jun 24, 2011
With global financial markets roiled by high and rising debts and deficits in advanced economies, officials who manage trillions of dollars in government debt have to be nimble and innovate to keep risks at bay.

Poor Little Rich Country
Patrick French (FP) Jun 24, 2011
How do you categorize India, a nation that is at once fantastically wealthy and desperately poor?

Can the WTO be decoupled from the Doha round?
Ujal Singh Bhatia (VoxEU) Jun 25, 2011
If the doomed Doha Round threatens the existence of the WTO itself, can the two be separated? Several economists have argued that they should. This column looks at whether this is actually possible.

Why our trade policies risk being distorted
Henrik Isakson (VoxEU) Jun 25, 2011
In a world economy dominated by fragmented supply chains and trade in tasks, the direct contribution of exports to any national economy is overstated by gross-value measures. Since most measures do not properly account for imported inputs and severely underestimate the share of services in total exports, our view of world trade is distorted. This column says our trade policies risk being distorted too.

The G20 and global imbalances
Barry Eichengreen (VoxEU) Jun 26, 2011
Global imbalances remain a key issue for G20 leaders. This column evaluates the progress made by G20 leaders in the run up to their Cannes summit this November, concluding that the G20 process is unlikely to protect us from the risks posed by disorderly unwinding of imbalances.

How China sees the world
Thanassis Cambanis (Boston Globe) Jun 26, 2011
An emerging global power hashes out its foreign policy.

A fiscal policy fit for the next crisis Financial Times Subscription Required
Clive Crook (FT) Jun 26, 2011
The issue of fiscal capacity – the ability to respond to economic downturns with fiscal countermeasures – has received little attention.

Can Food Prices Be Stabilized?
Jeffrey Frankel (Project Syndicate) Jun 27, 2011
Under French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s leadership, the G-20 has made addressing food-price volatility a top priority, with member states’ agriculture ministers meeting recently in Paris to come up with solutions. But the G-20 should steer clear of policies that have been shown to do more harm than good.

Does Europe Have a Death Wish?
Joschka Fischer (Project Syndicate) Jun 27, 2011
The European financial crisis is really a political crisis, because EU leaders are unable to decide on the necessary measures. Resolving this crisis requires more Europe and more integration, not less.

Capital, politics and bank weaknesses
Jon Danielsson (VoxEU) Jun 27, 2011
A debate is raging on capital adequacy requirements for banks. The UK wants to be allowed to “top up” the agreed levels, i.e. to impose stricter capital standards than the EU minimum. This column argues the UK is right, and that the German and French opposition might be motivated by weaknesses in their banking systems.

Money-Market Mayhem Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Jun 27, 2011
Once again, regulators miss the systemic risk right in front of them.

Africa Is Awakening, Helped by Free Trade Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Daniel W. Yohannes and Mo Ibrahim Jun 27, 2011
Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies of the last decade were in sub-Saharan Africa.

Higher Commodity Prices and the End of Economic Growth Without Inflation
Mihir P. Worah (PIMCO) Jun 27, 2011
Global inflationary patterns may shift amid higher commodity prices. We expect commodity prices to be generally rising going forward, though with volatility and differentiation among commodities. Emerging markets going through a particularly commodity and energy intensive phase of growth may affect what developed-world consumers pay for commodities. Currencies are another factor. If developed-world policymakers attempt to make their economies more competitive via a cheaper currency, that could lead to higher inflation for those that are net importers.

Oil’s Upward March
A. F. Alhajji (Project Syndicate) Jun 28, 2011
The global oil market has become a large sea that generates its own storms, which guarantee that the sea will continue to grow. Looking at recent history, one can identify four factors that will continue to drive oil prices higher unless a major earthquake brings the market to its knees.

Why China's Heading for a Hard Landing
A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) Jun 27, 2011
Few countries are more important to the global economy than China. But its reputation as an unstoppable giant -- as a country with an unending supply of cheap labor and limitless capacity for growth -- masks some serious and worsening economic problems.

Why China’s Heading for a Hard Landing, Part 2
A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) Jun 27, 2011
China has become an economic giant because it has so many people who are producing moderate amounts. In most ways, however, China remains an underdeveloped country with political and economic policy tools that are crude by Western standards. Those tools can spur impressive growth --but they also mask some deep structural weaknesses in China’s economy.

Why China Is Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 3
A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) Jun 28, 2011
China is hoping to cool its white- hot economy without precipitating a recession. Doing so will be extremely difficult: Inflation fears are growing, the government’s ability to respond is quite limited, and China’s economic model, which leaves bureaucrats guessing about the market effects of their directives, is ultimately untenable.

The ‘strong-dollar’ policy of the US
Willem Buiter & Ebrahim Rahbari (VoxEU) Jun 28, 2011
The strong-dollar rhetoric of the US government contrasts with a weak-dollar reality. This column argues that talking a strong-dollar talk while walking a weak-dollar walk has damaged the reputational capital of the US monetary and fiscal authorities. That has reduced their ability to use statements of intent or announcements of future policy actions to influence markets.

Debt travails add urgency to eurocrats’ angst Financial Times Subscription Required
Joshua Chaffin (FT) Jun 27, 2011
A senior Brussels diplomat confided over a bottle of champagne a suspicion that Greece will eventually be forced out of the eurozone.

Shadow spreading across international banking Financial Times Subscription Required
Gillian Tett (FT) Jun 27, 2011
As rules on regulated lenders tighten, activity and personnel are shifting into the non-bank world at an accelerating rate.

The Fed turned economists into equity pundits Financial Times Subscription Required
Laszlo Birinyi (FT) Jun 27, 2011
Over time, economists broadened their horizons to discuss the employment outlook, the prospects for housing, orders for durable goods, and – ultimately – the stock market

Greece on the Edge New York Times Subscription Required
Kevin Featherstone (NYT) Jun 27, 2011
No one wins if Greece goes under, but the European project will survive if Athens achieves real reform.

Doha or Dada: The world trade regime at an historic crossroads   Acrobat Required
Klaus Deutsch (DB Research) Jun 28, 2011
The world trade regime has reached an historic crossroads. Conclusion of the Doha Round this year could give global trade a significant boost. If the negotiations break down, in the medium term the international community faces the prospect of a relapse into tit for tat in trade policy. To bring the Doha Round to a successful conclusion political leadership is necessary – in the big emerging markets as well as in the US and EU. The former also stand to reap substantial gains from reciprocal market liberalisation.

Five To-Do's for the IMF's New Managing Director
Mohamed El-Erian (PIMCO/FT) Jun 28, 2011
Circumstances have catapulted Christine Lagarde into the role of presumed leader of the IMF: the world’s most influential and fastest-responding multilateral institution. Lagarde will need to hit the ground running if her tenure as IMF managing director is to be an inspiring story of institutional transformation. She should waste no time in establishing a legitimate selection process for the next managing director that is truly based on merit. She must strengthen the analytical robustness of the IMF’s response to debt crises, and prepare the Fund’s balance sheet for the risk of some future financial impairment.

A bank run in Greece? Triplet crises and the ghost of the new drachma
Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Maria Soledad Martinez Peria & Sergio Schmukler (VoxEU) Jun 29, 2011
As strikes and protests continue throughout Greece against the latest economic rescue plan, this column asks whether government inaction could lead to a run on Greek banks by ordinary depositors that would derail any existing restructuring plans and force Greece to default.

Why austerity alone risks a disaster Financial Times Subscription Required
Martin Wolf (FT) Jun 28, 2011
Enjoy the coming slump. That is not what the BIS says to overindebted economies. But it is what its latest annual report implies.

The 'Brady Bond' Solution for Greek Debt Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Andy Kessler (WSJ) Jun 29, 2011
The U.S. helped rescue indebted Latin American countries in 1989. A similar plan can work in Europe.

Basel's Capital Gang Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Holman Jenkins (WSJ) Jun 29, 2011
Making banks safe is not as easy as it seems.

How China's Banks Break the Rules
Andrew Collier (WSJ) Jun 29, 2011
The liabilities of the shadow banking system are unknown and uncontrolled.

G-20 Agriculture Ministers Unveil Plan to Tackle High Food Prices
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 24 Jun 29, 2011
In their first-ever summit, agriculture ministers from the Group of 20 (G-20) leading economies gathered to tackle biofuels, high and volatile food prices, and a range of other food security issues. The Paris meeting, held on 22 and 23 June, ended with the release of an "Action Plan" that drew both praise and criticism. The plan will be evaluated at the G-20 summit in November, where finance ministers will decide whether to approve the measures outlined.

WIPO: Major Movement on Visually Impaired Instrument, Audiovisual Treaty
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 24 Jun 29, 2011
The World Intellectual Property Organisation's (WIPO) copyright negotiating body agreed last week to move forward on an instrument that would facilitate access to copyrighted works by visually impaired persons and others with print or reading disabilities. A vast cross-regional coalition of members, including Argentina, Brazil, the EU, and the US, came forward in support of a joint document that will significantly pave the way for agreement on an instrument on limitations and exceptions - a first at WIPO - further down the line.

Philip Morris Launches Legal Battle Over Australian Cigarette Packaging
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 24 Jun 29, 2011
Tobacco giant Philip Morris has notified the Australian government that it intends to request arbitration over Canberra's draft law regarding plain packaging requirements for cigarettes. Hong Kong-based Philip Morris Asia Limited (PMA), owner of Australian affiliate Philip Morris Limited, claims that the law would violate Australia's obligations under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) with Hong Kong.

Russia Finds US Support in WTO Accession Efforts, Though Obstacles Remain
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 24 Jun 29, 2011
The push is on for finalising negotiations for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization by the end of this year. As an integral part of its "reset" strategy for relations with Russia, US President Barack Obama's administration is making a concerted diplomatic effort to help Russia finalise its 17-year track to the WTO. The EU, along with Russia's BRICS partners - Brazil, China, India, and South Africa - is also strongly pushing for the move.

Mexican Senate Rejects Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Pact
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 15, Number 24 Jun 29, 2011
The Mexican Senate last week approved a resolution rejecting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a multi-country intellectual property trade agreement that has been in negotiations since 2006. The resolution, which specifically asks Mexican President Felipe Calderón not to sign the treaty on Mexico's behalf, reflects the ongoing controversy regarding the agreement's potential impact on intellectual property rights.

Germany is the loser from Greece’s wriggle Financial Times Subscription Required
Derek Scott (FT) Jun 29, 2011
Even today, there is a consensus that Berlin reaps huge benefits from Emu. This was only ever partially true; it is no longer true at all.

China can yet avoid a middle-income trap Financial Times Subscription Required
George Magnus (FT) Jun 29, 2011
In line with the Chinese proverb about crossing the river by feeling the stones, economic and financial policies change slowly.

New Investment Strategy: Preparing for the Worst
NYT Jun 29, 2011
Europe's debt crisis, as well as uprisings and natural disasters, are prompting a search for portfolio protection.

Searching for Something Good to Say About India New York Times Subscription Required
Manu Joseph (NYT) Jun 29, 2011
It is a question that journalists in India are often asked without affection. “Don’t you have anything good to say?” A positive story, a happy story?

China can yet avoid a middle-income trap Financial Times Subscription Required
George Magnus (FT) Jun 29, 2011
In line with the Chinese proverb about crossing the river by feeling the stones, economic and financial policies change slowly.

Germany is the loser from Greece’s wriggle Financial Times Subscription Required
Derek Scott (FT) Jun 29, 2011
Even today, there is a consensus that Berlin reaps huge benefits from Emu. This was only ever partially true; it is no longer true at all.

Greece Does the Right Thing, after another Turbulent Week in the Euro Area
Jacob Kirkegaard (PIIE) Jun 29, 2011
A deadline before a deadline before a deadline. The political brinkmanship in the euro area crisis has clearly reached new levels in recent weeks, culminating in the vote in Greece's Parliament on June 29 to accept a tough austerity package in return for new loans to avert a default. The vote demonstrated that for all the turmoil of this spring and summer, there has been considerable movement toward at least a temporary solution for the Greek debt crisis.

Why China's Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 4
A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) Jun 29, 2011
Past performance, in China’s case, may be indicative of future results.

Why China's Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 5
A. Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) Jun 30, 2011
The hard landing that I foresee for China will probably prick the global commodity bubble, which is already showing signs of topping out.

Working out what China wants Financial Times Subscription Required
Philip Stephens (FT) Jun 30, 2011
China is not bidding to fill the role of global hegemon recently vacated by the US. There are too many natural constraints on its power.

Greece and the euro: The abuses of austerity Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jun 30, 2011
A new plan to cut Greece’s debt looks doomed to fail.

Wanted: a French revolution Economist Subscription Required
Economist Jun 30, 2011
The task facing Christine Lagarde in her new job.

Patent Boxes: An innovative way to race to the bottom?
Rachel Griffith & Helen Miller (VoxEU) Jun 30, 2011
Governments around the world are grappling with the question of how to tax the income from intellectual property. This column asks whether offering tax breaks – called Patent Boxes after the box companies must tick on their tax forms – will lead to a race to the bottom across Europe and who, if anyone, benefits.

Capital markets reward R&D   Acrobat Required
Thomas Meyer (DB Research) Jun 30, 2011
Modern financial systems are catalysts for research and development. A detail analysis of more than 1,000 companies worldwide shows that companies whose R&D intensity is 50% higher than the sector average have on average a 14-21% higher market capitalisation. So investors show a clear preference for research-intensive companies. In the UK and the US the influence is stronger than in Germany, which is arguably due to the breadth and depth of Anglo-American stock markets.

The new African land grab
Joan Baxter (AlJazeera) Jun 30, 2011
Foreign investors, with the World Bank, are acquiring vast tracks of land in Africa - at the expense of local farmers.

Lagarde faces tough start as head of IMF
Pam Johnson (AT) Jun 30, 2011
Former French finance minister Christine Lagarde faces a challenging start as she takes over leadership of the International Monetary Fund, with only cautious support of the United States and amid demands that a declining and crisis-hit Europe should no longer automatically fill the managing director's post.

China's Choices
Richard C. Bush III (Brookings) Jun 30, 2011
The IMF confirms that China will soon have the world’s largest economy, surpassing that of the United States. Richard Bush says this is a remarkable achievement, but what matters most is how a country chooses to use its power, for good or ill. The change, he says, will present the United States with a choice: read the worst into China’s revival or seek to influence its trajectory toward cooperation.

Farewell to the Euro?
Hans-Werner Sinn (Project Syndicate) Jun 30, 2011
It is time to face the fact that Europe’s peripheral countries have to become poorer. The only question is whether they will take the euro down as well.

Confessions of a Financial Deregulator
J. Bradford DeLong (Project Syndicate) Jun 30, 2011
Back in the late 1990’s, in America at least, support for financial deregulation was widespread, and the entire experiment turned out to be woefully misguided. But if it all looks like such a bad idea now, why didn’t it then?

Accountability lacking in US foreign aid
Jason Chaffetz (Washington Times) Jun 30, 2011
During a February 2011 visit to Pakistan, where U.S. foreign aid totaled $1.8 billion last year, I asked to tour the completed projects funded by U.S. taxpayers. When the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) could not point me to a single completed project, I asked for an accounting of where that foreign-aid money went. No one could tell me.

As Number One, China to Face Hour of Choice
Richard Bush (YaleGlobal) Jun 30, 2011
Big is not necessarily better – China must decide what to do with its economic might.

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