Monetary Issues

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Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Cornel Ban

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so has Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t. Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Snapshot,
David James Gill and Michael John Gill

For today's cash-strapped countries, a strong credit rating can provide a huge advantages. Getting one, however, is not simply a matter of hitting the right benchmarks; it's also an exercise in strategy.

Snapshot,
C. Fred Bergsten

Obama’s signature international economic initiative is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress have insisted that the TPP forcefully address the manipulation of exchange rates. Here's how to resolve this dilemma.

Snapshot,
Daniel Cloud

The ruble has already lost almost half its value against the dollar this year, and there is little doubt that Putin will end up badly wounded. The question is whether he will drag his country down with him, turning Russia into a full-fledged pariah state. 

Snapshot,
Nicholas Spiro

Fed policy is once again revealing which emerging markets have strengthened their defenses against a tightening in U.S. monetary policy and which remain vulnerable. For its part, Turkey is firmly in the latter camp.

Snapshot,
Alan Greenspan

In today's world of fiat currencies and floating exchange rates, a return to the gold standard seems to be nowhere on anybody’s horizon. Yet gold still has special properties that no other currency can claim -- which is why China is boosting its holdings.

Essay, SEPT/OCT 2014
Ruchir Sharma

Global investors usually focus on economic data such as GDP growth, employment, and trade. But in today’s trying economic climate, they have started to train their gaze elsewhere: on national political leadership and the prospects for reform.

Essay, JUL/AUG 2014
Benn Steil

In today’s dollar-dominated financial system, changes in U.S. monetary policy can have immediate and significant global effects, wrecking economies and toppling regimes. As a result, for many countries monetary sovereignty is nothing but a dream.

Snapshot,
Wojciech Kopczuk and Allison Schrager

There’s limited evidence that wealth inequality has actually worsened in the United States in the last 30 years. And, even if it does eventually get worse, imposing a tax on wealth is a terrible way to promote equality. It would actually benefit the super wealthy the most.

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