Global Business & Economics Program

  • Self-Inflicted Wounds: West Forfeiting Global Leadership

    Maybe it’s the heat here in Washington, but the news from Brussels and down the street from Congress leaves my mind baffled and my blood boiling. While Europe has ended the week slightly ahead of the United States in restoring confidence that maybe they won’t let their economy tank, it still feels an awful lot like kids running with scissors in the capitals of the world’s two largest economies.

    First, to Europe. The rescue package for Greece put together yesterday by Eurozone leaders buys more time, but is still not the comprehensive solution that Europe needs, nor does it guarantee that Greece will be saved. Markets have reacted with cautious optimism, but we’ve seen this before, and the rally is usually short lived as investors educate themselves on the real implications of the deal.


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  • Five Questions with Leszek Balcerowicz

    Director of Global Business and Economics Alexei Monsarrat recently interviewed Professor Leszek Balcerowicz on how Greece and Europe will resolve the debt crisis. As Polish Finance Minister in 1989, Balcerowicz instituted a wide-ranging series of economic reforms to transition that country to a market economy. His “shock therapy” is widely cited as the textbook example of how to quickly modernize an economy. 
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  • Mapping the Economic and Financial Future

    A new Atlantic Council report summarizes two years’ worth of rich and deep discussions from our “Mapping the Economic and Financial Future” speakers’ forum. Our Global Business and Economics Program has partnered with Deutsche Bank on this important initiative to help build the intellectual foundation for understanding the financial crisis, and drive the debate on how the global economy can return to growth. 

    Download the PDF

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  • The Austerity Package Passes: A Greek Tragedy?

    Greece’s Parliament has just narrowly passed a €28 billion austerity package of tax increases and spending cuts: a necessary precondition for the European Union and the IMF to keep Greece on life support. So even with crushing unemployment, and the near-constant protests on the streets of Athens turning violent, Greece’s Socialist majority eked out a ‘yes’ vote for austerity. 
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  • IMF Must Oust DSK Today; Fix Leadership Issues For Future

    After three days of tepid statements from government officials, two female finance ministers from Europe finally questioned Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s ability to continue as Managing Director and Secretary Geithner echoed their concerns.  While Strauss-Kahn is entitled to a fair trial, the IMF and the citizens it represents deserve a return to stability.  

    The IMF Board has the power under the Articles of Agreement to remove Strauss-Kahn and put to rest questions of a vacuum of leadership.  Geithner is right to state that the Board should exercise this power.  The IMF is in crisis communications mode and this is not helping bondholders or the general public.  It should quickly shift into credibility mode by officially dismissing Strauss-Kahn and formally replacing him with John Lipsky, while announcing a plan for a longer-term management solution.  This will remove any question as to who speaks for the IMF during sensitive European
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  • Top Senate Banking Aide Joins Atlantic Council

    The Atlantic Council has named Julie Chon as a non-resident senior fellow for the Global Business and Economics program, where she will build upon her extensive background in finance to enrich the program’s work on international financial issues.

    “Julie brings to the Atlantic Council her deep expertise from top financial firms and hard won policymaking experience on the front lines of historic battles to repair the financial system. She is a formidable talent and a rising star who has worked with economic decision-makers around the world. We’re very excited to have her join us,” said Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council.

    Ms. Chon was most recently senior policy advisor on the U.S.

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  • Infographic: Debt Owed to German Banks

    Doug Saunders, the European Bureau Chief for Canada's The Globe and the Mail, passes along the above infographic from Spiegel. It explains a lot about German anxiousness about the goings-on in the Eurozone.

    James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.  


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  • Trade Deals Require Involvement from Obama and Other Heads of State

    The Obama administration is helpfully moving forward on bilateral trade deals with Korea, Colombia and Panama, finally abandoning “don’t ask, don’t tell” as its trade policy. But global trade talks at the Geneva-based World Trade Organization are limping into their 10th year. The WTO’s director general recently likened them to a stuck mule, warning of a “grave risk” of failure. At this point, it is only heads of state and government — leaders, not trade officials — who can get the mule unstuck.

    Launched after Sept. 11, 2001, in the capital of Qatar, the Doha Round was supposed to galvanize the global community and promote economic growth, particularly in the developing world. Economists estimate that an ambitious trade deal could increase global gross domestic product by more than $300 billion annually. CEOs and development organizations alike routinely call for completion of the deal. Finance and trade ministers all

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  • IMF Tackling Global Trade Imbalances

    Approaching a weekend of IMF spring meetings it is sensible to ask whether the agenda is right. The IMF will roll out a full agenda of initiatives to address global imbalances. These are important issues, but form a narrow agenda given current global vulnerabilities. In placing all its efforts in one objective, the IMF’s spring meetings are likely to miss the reforms that are even more important for the next crisis. 

    The initiative at the top of the agenda at this weekend’s IMF meetings is to agree on mechanisms to guide the reining in of frighteningly large global trade imbalances. The problem in a nutshell is how to set up rules that will get large trade surplus countries (read China, Germany, and a handful of others) to appreciate their currencies or stimulate domestic demand and get large trade deficit countries (read the United States) to tackle their side of the problem. 

    The absence of a

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  • Negotiating the Fate of Europe’s Debt: 3/16/11 - Transcript


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