News & Commentary:

December 2001 Archives


From Poster Child to Basket Case   Recommended!
Manuel Pastor and Carol Wise (Foreign Affairs) Nov/Dec 2001
Coasting on low inflation and solid growth rates, Argentina was a favorite of emerging-market investors in the 1990s. But the glory days ended in 1999 after the economy of neighboring Brazil took a nosedive. Argentina's policymakers have since failed to revive the prosperity the nation once enjoyed. The result is a cautionary tale of how even the best-intentioned market reforms can miss their mark.

WTO Focus No. 55   Recommended!
WTO Dec 2001
WTO Secretariat reorganizes for Development Round; Doha success marks a turning-point for world trade; Doha Conference ends with agreement on new programme; Qatar's Emir opens 4th WTO Ministerial; Ministers adopt Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health; WTO Ministerial Conference approves China's accession; Chinese Taipei signs membership package; Ministers grant waiver to ACP-EC Partnership Agreement; Agencies to boost developing countries' participation in setting food safety and related norms.

Getting at the Roots of Arab Poverty   Recommended!
Alan Schwartz (NYT) Dec 1, 2001
Since the terrorist attacks, Americans have learned that in many Arab and Muslim nations there are large numbers of angry young men with time on their hands, unable to find jobs - or jobs that make use of their education - because of their countries' poverty. We've also learned that many Muslims blame us for their poverty. But in fact they are not poor because we are rich; they are poor because of the policies their countries pursue.

Comment: Exactly in line with my previous commentary on Terrorism and the Wealth of Nations.

Currency Change Frustrates European Consumers
NYT Dec 1, 2001
One month before euros become the new common currency in 12 European countries, the great price shuffle is in full swing, and consumers are not amused.

Argentina Clamps Down as Depositors Panic
IHT Dec 3, 2001
With an alarming run on banks hurling the Argentine financial system toward collapse, the nearly bankrupt government has moved to partly freeze bank accounts while taking a major step toward adopting the U.S. dollar as the national currency.

350,000 tonnes of coins heading for the crusher
FT Dec 3, 2001
From next year and across the eurozone, 350,000 tons of legacy coins need to be rounded up, stored and ultimately melted down so their metal can be recycled.

Argentines ponder life with empty wallets
FT Dec 3, 2001
Confused Argentines were struggling on Monday to work out how the government's new banking and exchange restrictions would affect their daily lives.

Borderless Europe? Not So for the Police
IHT Dec 4, 2001
It's easy to miss the French-Belgian border that slices through the main shopping street of this small town.

Democrats Should Back Free Trade
Jeffrey D. Sachs (WSJ) Dec 4, 2001
The party should uphold the traditions set by FDR, JFK and even Bill Clinton.

Greenspan on the Euro
WSJE Dec 4, 2001
Either a social model or a strong currency -- make a choice.

News From The Regions: Asia-Pacific
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 41 Dec 4, 2001
In a letter dated 26 November, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture formally endorsed a deal reached in October with the US regarding China's regulations on imports of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), according to the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). The interim deal had been put in place until China issued implementation details for its 6 June GMO regulations. The USTR office welcomed the official endorsement, which they said was needed to increase orders of US soybeans from Chinese importers. The USTR also announced that it was sending its top agriculture negotiator, Allen Johnson, to China in mid-December for further discussions on China's GMO rules. The release of implementation details, however, has been further delayed until further notice, according the China's Ministry of Agriculture.

News From The Regions: East & West Africa
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 41 Dec 4, 2001
On 30 November in Arusha, Tanzania, the presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania instructed the Council of Ministers of the East African Community (EAC) to finalise the draft protocol on the establishment of the East African Customs Union.

Trade: Muddying the Waters
FEER Dec 6, 2001
Lawmakers in the United States have passed a bill that significantly undermines Vietnam's exports as much as its commitment to free trade.

The euro's weakness
Economist Dec 6, 2001
None of the explanations for the euro's weakness stand up.

Globalisation and prosperity   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Dec 6, 2001
How trade is good for you.

Waiting for WTO Along the Yangtze   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Michael Goettl (AWSJ) Dec 10, 2001
Chinese enterprises look for foreign partners to help them compete.

Editorial comment: Contagion curbed
FT Dec 10, 2001
The Argentine debt crisis is entering its decisive phase; there are no escape routes left. Government restrictions on Argentines' withdrawals of dollars from banks constitute default in all but name. Devaluation is a reality on the streets of Buenos Aires: exchange houses charge between 1.15 and 1.25 pesos for a dollar, an effective 20 per cent devaluation over the official one-for-one convertibility rates. And last week, the international financial community stopped throwing good money after bad when the international monetary fund signalled it would not make a $1.26bn payment scheduled for the middle of the month. .

Global: Looking to 2003 -- The Coming Global "U"
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Dec 10, 2001
Prepare yourself for a subpar recovery in the global economy. Yes, even in the dismal science of economics, there is usually light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. However, while we are hopeful that an ever-deepening synchronous recession in the global economy should run its course by mid-2002, we suspect any rebound will be muted when judged against the classic V-shaped profiles of the past. The good news is that such a global "U" should temper inflation and interest-rate pressures. The bad news is that it might not provide the cyclical immunity that a shock-prone world needs at this point.

The Euro: Tourism Boon Comes With Caveats for Travelers
IHT Dec 11, 2001
The European tourism industry, hit badly by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is hoping to get a lift next month when the introduction of euro bills and coins makes trips across international frontiers more convenient.

China becomes 143rd WTO member
WTO Dec 11, 2001
China became the 143rd member of the WTO on 11 December 2001, 30 days after it had notified the Director-General that it had completed domestic ratification of its accession package.

Europe - All: The Best of (Macro) Worlds in 2003?
Eric Chaney and the European Economic Team (MSDW) Dec 11, 2001
When Dr. Pangloss explained to young Candide that, in the end, the actual world was the best one imaginable despite its dark side, he did not mean it was Paradise. True, Pangloss was created by Voltaire to ridicule Leibniz, the philosopher and mathematician. But Voltaire overlooked the most important point: For Leibniz, who discovered how to maximise a growth path under constraints (later named the Calculus of Variation), the "best of all possible worlds" was simply the best one consistent with multiple exogenous constraints. Hence, we kindly ask our readers not to take our first-cut 2003 forecast for Europe for what it is not. As humble disciples of Leibniz, we have just tried to be realistic.

Laissez Not Fair
Paul Krugman (NYT) Dec 11, 2001
If Enron was an experiment in doing away with regulatory activism, Argentina was an experiment in doing away with monetary activism.

IMF cash urged for crisis-hit countries
FT Dec 11, 2001
The International Monetary Fund should be given access to a new fund of up to $300bn, financed by a tax on international investment, to support countries hit by financial crisis, according to an influential US economist.

Biotechnology and Development: A balance between IPR protection and benefit-sharing
CheckBiotech Dec 11, 2001
Governments have to adjust their legislations according to their own, specific needs to achieve a balance between efficient protection of genetic resources, efficient protection of IPRs and mechanisms to regulate the access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge including benefit-sharing mechanisms.

From Poor to Rich: Capital Is Flowing in the Wrong Direction
Philip Bowring (IHT) Dec 12, 2001
The Argentine currency and debt saga has dragged on for so long that it is easy to think of it as a one-country crisis. But it may be just the tip of the iceberg of an alarming imbalance in liquidity between developed and developing countries. At a time when the world needs a demand boost from countries in the best position to grow - the developing world - capital is moving in the wrong direction.

Trade zone for Americas 'threatened'
FT Dec 12, 2001
Brazil and other US trading partners are warning that agricultural provisions slipped into the fast-track trade bill passed last week in the House of Representatives could undermine the launch of new regional and global trade negotiations.

Agriculture: Members Discuss Environment, Food Aid And Preferences
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 42 Dec 12, 2001
Members met in the WTO Committee on Agriculture (CoA) last week for the year's final 'agriculture week'. Inter alia, Members addressed farm support for agriculture that serves environmental purposes; food aid; and preferential market access for agricultural goods from developing countries.

New GSP Adopted by European Union
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 42 Dec 12, 2001
On 10 December, European Union foreign ministers adopted a redefinition of their preferential tariff scheme, known as the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), to facilitate entry of imports from developing countries while at the same time strengthening incentives for compliance with core labour and environment standards.

US House Narrowly Passes Fast Track Bill
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 42 Dec 12, 2001
By a margin of just one vote (215-214), the US House of Representatives on 6 December passed the Bush Administration's trade promotion authority (TPA) bill -- formerly known as 'fast-track' -- which would allow the US President to negotiate trade agreements that Congress can only accept or reject, but not amend. Conservation and labour groups expressed concern with the legislation, which they fear will undermine efforts to promote environmental and labour standards in international trade.

The U.S. Economy Will Get Better, Perhaps Soon   Recommended!
IHT Dec 13, 2001
The U.S. economy is going to get better, perhaps soon. As usual, much of the world, including Europe, will follow.

Lamy issues clear warning to US over steel protection moves
EU DGT Dec 13, 2001
In a hard-hitting speech in London on Thursday, European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy issued a clear warning that the EU would take action if the US chooses to protect its ailing steel industry. Speaking to the UK Steel Association, he said: “The EU has no alternative but to be ready…to take all necessary steps to ensure that our fairly traded exports continue to have access to overseas markets…and that our market is not flooded by imports, simply because others have put up the trade shutters.” Mr Lamy branded the recommendations issued by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) last Friday as “a blatant call for protectionism…. a perverse and extraordinary signal to the world at a time when the ink is barely dry on the Doha Development Agenda ” adding “its simply not acceptable (for the US) to blame the whole (steel) problem on imports”. Regarding ongoing discussions on steel in the OECD hich the EU has been at the forefront of, Mr Lamy said: “Let’s use the OECD process properly, and not conducted international negotiations with a gun to the head and a policy best summarised as - stop me before I kill again!”.

Progress towards completion of the new Basel Capital Accord
BIS Dec 13, 2001
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision today reviewed its progress toward the completion of a new Basel Capital Accord. The Committee has been significantly encouraged by the depth and extent of interaction with market participants on the working papers that it has issued in recent months. This dialogue has been extremely constructive. The direction of the Committee's proposed modifications to the revised Accord has been well received and the Committee's quantitative impact studies suggest the revised Accord is now much closer to meeting the Committee's objectives. On this basis, the Basel Committee is confident that its goal to finalise a new Capital Accord that builds on and rewards sound risk management practice can soon be achieved.

South Africa's currency   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Dec 13, 2001
Can traders' prejudice explain the rand's latest slump?

IPO crime and punishment   Economist Subscription Required
Economist Dec 13, 2001
What should be Wall Street's penance for the dotcom bubble?

Trade war looms as US agency urges steel tariffs
FT Dec 13, 2001
European steel producers faced the prospect of a trade war with the US after President George W. Bush was urged to impose tariffs of up to 40 per cent on imports. The International Trade Commission, an independent US agency that rules on import restraints, recommended President George W. Bush impose such tariffs for up to four years to give the steel industry time to consolidate, restructure and restore itself to profitability.

Abrupt slowdown 'has increased risks'
FT Dec 13, 2001
The risks facing the global financial system have grown as a result of theunexpectedly abrupt slowdown inthe world economy, the Bank of England has warned. .

Euro coins ready for debut
FT Dec 13, 2001
Preparations for the changeover to euro notes and coins take a key psychological step forward on Friday, as citizens of France, Ireland and the Netherlands become the first in the eurozone to be able to lay their hands on the new euro coins. Small collections of the brand-new coins, known as "starter kits" will be for sale for the first time ever, with just over 2 weeks before "E-Day" on January 1. .

WTO Secretariat Reorganizes for Development Round
WTO Dec 14, 2001
Director-General Mike Moore, in a speech on 14 December 2001 said, "WTO has been given an important new negotiating mandate by Ministers".

Growth Forecasts and Recession
David Robinson (IMF) Dec 16, 2001
A Letter to the Editor by the Senior Advisor, Research Department. International Monetary Fund

Useful Trouble Ahead:Cometh a Trojan Horse Full of Euros
David Ignatius (IHT) Dec 17, 2001
In just over two weeks, Europe will enter a new era in which the tokens of national sovereignty - drachmas and Deutsche marks and francs and lire - will disappear. That is a magnificent project, but I fear it is a mansion built on sand.

Editorial comment: A leap of faith at Laeken
FT Dec 16, 2001
The leaders of the European Union plucked up their courage at their weekend summit at Laeken and decided to launch a full-scale constitutional convention. Its aim is to draw up proposals for further radical reforms of EU institutions to ensure that the union is capable of coping with enlargement - the prospect of growing from 15 to 25 or more member states in the near future - without becoming inefficient and undemocratic. The EU's leaders also want to make the union more relevant to its citizens. The convention will have no easy task.

Global: The Character of Economic Recovery -- Part I
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Dec 16, 2001
Yes, there is a compelling case for recovery in the US economy. But it is a case premised largely on the time-honored magic of the recent past -- the business cycle that springs to life in the face of policy stimulus and a classic inventory dynamic. The risk, in my view, is that the current business cycle is cut from a very different cloth. If it is, then the character of the coming economic recovery may bear little resemblance to the norms to which we are all accustomed.

Currencies: A Long-Term Perspective on the G3 Currencies
Stephen Jen & Joachim Fels (MSDW) Dec 16, 2001
In the daily up and down of currency markets, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that exchange rates tend to exhibit longer-run swings that often last for years. The resilience of the US dollar following September 11 is as remarkable as the six-year rally of the USD since 1996. In our view, the latter was driven by a correction from an undervalued position in 1995 and economic outperformance in late 1999 and 2000, while the former was a result of financial and geopolitical safe haven flows into USD assets. This note outlines our view on the USD, EUR, and JPY over the next two years: 2002 and 2003. Given a number of global uncertainties, we think it less meaningful to fixate on point forecasts of the G3 currencies two years out. Instead, we emphasise several key considerations that could dominate the medium-term trajectory of the USD.

Global: Looking to 2002 and Beyond
Stephen Roach (MSDW) Dec 17, 2001
A year ago in this space, Morgan Stanley's Global Economics Team warned of the coming cyclicality of the global business cycle. Little did we know the full extent of the synchronous worldwide recession to come. But now that the global business cycle has turned sharply to the downside, there can be little doubt as to what comes next. As day follows night, recovery follows recession. In this year-end edition of the Global Economic Forum, we focus on the coming recovery in the global economy -- its timing, vigor, and its durability. As a group, we worry less about the inevitability of global recovery and more about its character. We probe these concerns in the 23 essays that follow.

Global: Are We There Yet? A Bleak Trade Picture for 2002
Joe Quinlan/Rebecca McCaughrin (MSDW) Dec 17, 2001
With global trade accounting for 24% of GDP, trade dynamics are very much part and parcel of the recovery story. To bring greater resolution to this story, we rely on our global trade matrix, which aggregates import estimates for all the countries our team tracks, weighted by their share of world imports. The matrix is updated on a monthly basis and covers roughly 93% of world trade. According to our latest estimates, global trade will expand by just 0.7% in 2001 and grow a very modest 1.3% in 2002 before rebounding to trend growth in 2003 at 6.3%. To put this in perspective, during the 1990-91 recession, global trade slowed, but by less than three percentage points (not twelve as in the current downturn) to approximately 5%. Not since the oil shocks in the early 1980s has global trade decelerated to such a slow pace. Then again, not since the early 1970s have US, Japan, and Germany -- the consumers of nearly one-third of global imports -- all been in a recession. According to our matrix, both the US and Japan are likely to experience an outright decline in imports in 2002 (-4.7% and -2.0%, respectively), while Germany’s import growth will stagnate to among the slowest paces in the euro area at 1.0%. This places considerable risks on the growth of those economies that are highly export driven. In this note, we assess how those regions are likely to weather the storm.

Global: A Potential Oil Price War and the Global Economy
S. Jen, R. Berner & E. Chaney (MSDW) Dec 17, 2001
OPEC's failure to commit to an unconditional cut in the supply of oil at its Ministerial Meeting on November 14 opens the possibility of a collapse in oil prices. In this note, we reassess the likely trajectory of oil prices in the coming two years, consider the risks to this outlook, and explore the implications for the global economy and the currency markets.

As China Rises, Some Ask: Will It Stumble?
IHT Dec 18, 2001
Rising and rampant corruption, questionable military loyalties and the internal stability of domestic leadership already challenge the government, not to mention the country's dangerously dysfunctional financial system and increasingly bold internal critics.

The Fall of the Yen   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
AWSJ Dec 18, 2001
Devaluing the currency would hurt Asia and Japan.

Rebound on Horizon -- but Lacking Luster of the 1990s
IHT Dec 19, 2001
In 2001, the business cycle returned with a vengeance. The global economic downturn put to rest the dubious notion that recessions were a thing of the past.

Not Much Clout for the Euro Without European Sovereignty   Recommended!
Daniel Pinto (IHT) Dec 19, 2001
Nothing is more predictable these days than the European stock markets as they open every morning. All one needs to do is to take a quick look at how Wall Street closed the previous day, get fresh figures on the American consumer confidence index and analyze every word of Alan Greenspan's latest declaration.

IMF in warning over delays in recovery
FT Dec 19, 2001
The International Monetary Fund has warned that "there is a significant possibility of a worse outcome" than its central forecast of a recovery in the world economy next year. .

Growing together
FT Dec 19, 2001
As the science and management of biotechnology converge with those of pharmaceuticals, the larger companies are starting to consolidate, write Geoff Dyer and Victoria Griffith.

Vietnam rides the US trade wave
AT Dec 19, 2001
Vietnamese officials are optimistic that trade with the United States will blossom as a result of the newly minted bilateral trade pact, despite the gloomy economic outlook in the Western superpower. Vietnam hopes that exports will grow by at least 10 percent in the first year of the historic agreement, but in return Vietnam must open its state-controlled markets to foreign competition and international standards.

Growth in East Asia will pick up 'next year'
FT Dec 20, 2001
Economic growth in East Asia will pick up next year and then strengthen as exports to the developed world recover, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation. Growth in the newly industrialised economies more reliant on exports of technology goods is, however, expected to continue to lag behind China and Japan, Jetro says.

Editorial comment: A tale of two central banks
FT Dec 20, 2001
The annals of 2001 will feature many heroes and villains. Among them will be central bankers. Monetary policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic were misled by over-optimistic forecasts and then caught out by the speed of the downturn. The US Federal Reserve has been lauded for its swift and decisive response, while the European Central Bank has been vilified for doing too little, too late. Looking back, the Fed deserves more criticism and the ECB more praise. .

Mexico Confirmed For Next Ministerial; WTO Adopts Expanded Technical Assistance Mandate
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 43 Dec 20, 2001
At a 19-20 December meeting of the WTO General Council, Members formally accepted Mexico's offer to host the fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in 2003, expected to take place in the middle of that year. Members also adopted the organisation's most ambitious budget ever, signing off on increases in the regular budget and in particular on funding for technical assistance, ostensibly to meet commitments made for developing country assistance under the November 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration.

Dispute Settlement Update: Bananas; US-EC Steel
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 5, Number 43 Dec 20, 2001
Putting the final nail in the coffin of the almost decade-old dispute between the EC on the one hand and the US and Ecuador on the other, EU agriculture ministers on 19 December adopted regulations for the EC's new banana-import regime. EC Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said on Wednesday that, "this WTO-compatible system the Council [of Ministers] has decided upon today signals not only the end of the banana dispute, but will result in the lifting of some $US 200 million worth of US sanctions, which is the good news EU exporters have been waiting for."

Argentina Reeling as Protests Widen Over Austerity Plan
IHT Dec 21, 2001
The entire Argentine cabinet offered to resign Thursday after food riots and looting across the country prompted President Fernando de la Rua to declare a 30-day state of siege.

The Euro Divides Europeans While Attempting to Unify Them
William Pfaff (IHT) Dec 21, 2001
In less than two weeks a new international currency will be in circulation, potentially, but only potentially, a rival to the dollar. The euro will begin to circulate as bills and coins on Jan. 1, replacing the currencies of all the European Union countries except Britain, Sweden and Denmark.

We Need Global Ideas for the Era Ahead
Flora Lewis (IHT) Dec 21, 2001
Many people have said since Sept. 11 that nothing will ever be the same again in international relations. There is no such consensus on the principles that will replace the basic world structure as it emerged from World War II.

After Argentina
Martin Wolf (FT) Dec 21, 2001
Convertibility is finished. But the repercussions for other emerging markets and the international financial architecture are just beginning.

Editorial comment: Euro reality creeps in
FT Dec 21, 2001
Little by little, Europe's new currency will seep into British daily life. The phenomenon is known as euro-creep. It will start in January, when tourists arrive clutching and spending their shiny and crisp new money in London. By the spring, Britons returning from skiing holidays will be able to keep the currency until they soak up the summer sun in southern Europe. Over time, more and more companies will buy and sell in euros. Some will follow Vauxhall's lead and link an element of staff remuneration to the euro.

Play 'Deuda Eterna' And Learn All About the IMF   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Dec 21, 2001
A hilarious Argentine board game. Seriously!

Euro Notes Won't Bring Inflation
Geoffrey Wood (WSJE) Dec 21, 2001
Go ahead, round those prices up.

Argentina's Chaos Raises New Doubts on Monetary Fund
NYT Dec 22, 2001
The collapse of Argentina's government has raised fresh questions about the effectiveness of the International Monetary Fund and the financial policies of the United States.

SAR tops Asia investment poll as mainland corners funds flow
SCMP Dec 24, 2001
Hong Kong and Singapore have the most hospitable policies for foreign investors in Asia, while China does not rate highly but gets the bulk of investments, according to a regional survey.

The health of nations
Economist Dec 20, 2001
Will a new report persuade rich countries to spend another $27 billion a year on other people's health?

Paper money
Economist Dec 20, 2001
January 1st sees the biggest-ever introduction of new banknotes on a single day. It may go smoothly-but the history of paper money is littered with warnings.

Argentina defaults on $155bn debt repayments
FT Dec 24, 2001
Argentina's new government announced the largest sovereign debt default in history, declaring it would stop paying its $155bn public debt and create a 'third currency' to kick-start its shattered economy. Shortly after being sworn in as the new Peronist interim president, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá said the country would also resist pressure to devalue the peso.

Euro enjoys shift in sentiment
FT Dec 24, 2001
International Monetary Fund economists have given the euro a ringing endorsement, describing the imminent adoption of euro notes and coins by 12 European Union countries as "a matter for celebration".

'Third currency' plan to stave off devaluation
FT Dec 24, 2001
In an effort to avert an immediate devaluation of the peso and help pay its bills, Argentina's interim government announced it would roll out another "third currency" that will float alongside the peso and the US dollar already circulating in the country.

Some Fault U.S. for Argentina's Fall
IHT Dec 26, 2001
Argentina's declaration of a moratorium on repayment of its foreign debt marks the end of a failed economic experiment that has cost the country dearly.

How the IMF Messed Up Argentina   Recommended!
Mark Weisbrot (IHT) Dec 27, 2001
Argentina's implosion has the fingerprints of the International Monetary Fund all over it.

In Year of the Euro, a Structural Malaise
IHT Dec 27, 2001
The essential issue for Europe's economic future is not so much the world's acceptance of its new currency - which will probably go fine - but its own difficulties in making structural changes.

Argentina aims for 'orderly exit' from currency peg
FT Dec 27, 2001
Argentina will seek an "orderly exit" from the currency peg that has been in place for the past decade, the new treasury and finance secretary said, after announcing that the new "argentino" currency will be introduced alongside the peso and the US dollar next month..

Cheating Seating   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Dec 27, 2001
How gerrymandering almost killed free trade.

Euro on the Slippery Slope
Martin Pot (Mises Daily) Dec 27, 2001
It is a mystery to many people why currencies fluctuate against each other. To the average tourist, there seems to be no obvious reason why their dollars or yen or whatever should be worth less or more when they return to the same destination a year later.

Asia Currencies Join Yen's Fall
IHT Dec 28, 2001
The yen fell Thursday to its lowest level against the dollar since October 1998, carrying other Asian currencies downward. Separately, new data suggested a crisis in the Japanese industrial sector.

Internet Reconstruction: Assets Going for a Song
IHT Dec 28, 2001
A tiny Internet company, iWon, recently picked up the remains of the Web portal for less than $10 million - a pittance compared with the $6.7 billion that Excite was worth on the stock market three years ago.

Asean Builds on Free Trade   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Rodolfo C. Severino (AWSJ) Dec 28, 2001
Why New Year's Day marks an Asian milestone.

A Radical Idea: The IMF Should Promote Growth   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
David Malpass (WSJ) Dec 28, 2001
Break it from the bad habits of weak currencies, high taxes, massive bailouts and bankruptcy.

The peace of the strong
JWR Dec 28, 2001
The holiday season is upon us and a year is drawing to a close - reason enough for the columnist to take a broad, and hopefully upbeat, view. Our subject is no less than America's place in the world and in history.

Euro: It's More Than Just a Pretty Penny
IHT Dec 31, 2001
In the biggest currency swap in history, more than 300 million Europeans in 12 countries will start using the euro as their day-to-day money Tuesday, irrevocably casting their old marks, francs, lire, pesetas and other national currencies into the trash can of history.

Hope for a Euro to Rival Dollar Now Seems a Distant Dream
IHT Dec 31, 2001
As things have turned out, the euro has fallen considerably short of expectations that it would be a dollar-beater. It is currently worth less than 89 cents, and its existence hardly has turned Europe into a rival of the United States in terms of political force.

Political currency
FT Dec 31, 2001
The launch of euro notes and coins is a milestone in European history. Tony Barber says short-term difficulties may be less significant than its impact on future economic integration.

Editorial comment: Risky tango in Tokyo
FT Dec 31, 2001
A grim joke is doing the rounds in financial circles. What is the difference between Argentina and Japan? Five years. Just like Argentina, Japan faces immense problems with deflation, debt and elusive economic growth. But unlike Argentina, Japan still has some time to address them. Where should Junichiro Koizumi, the prime minister, focus his energies next year? The ominous sucking sound emanating from the country's banking system provides a strong clue.

The Euro Is Here. Now It Needs To Get Stronger.   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Arthur B. Laffer (WSJ) Dec 31, 2001
Europe's new currency simply cannot fail.

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