Global Business & Economics Program

  • SWIFTly Disconnecting Iran

    With the snapback of significant US sanctions against Iran fast approaching on November 5th, speculation is mounting over how the Trump Administration will enforce the sanctions, and how its European allies might attempt to bypass them. The previous EconoGraphic outlined how a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) may facilitate trade between European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Iran after US sanctions go back into effect. This edition of the EconoGraphic provides a primer on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and explains why sanctioning the financial messaging service would likely cause more harm than good. 

    Read More
  • The Future of the Dollar in a Post-Iran Deal World

    The European Union’s announcement in September 2018 that it would begin to create a special payments channel with Iran in response to the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) once again raises the question of the role of the US dollar (USD) in the international economic order. Under the surface of discussions of alternative payment mechanisms is the legitimate question of the negative impacts of US coercive economic statecraft on the USD status as the leading global reserve currency.

    Read More
  • Sultoon in the Hill: Countering the New Chemical Weapons Norm?


    Read More
  • Rome and Brussels Go Head to Head in Budget Battle

    A budget proposal put forward by Italy’s populist government would create a prohibitively high deficit and has sharpened the conflict between Rome and the European Union.

    Despite warnings from Brussels, the ruling Italian coalition of La Lega and the 5 Star Movement submitted its 2019 budget proposal to the European Union (EU) on October 15. A combination of tax cuts, increased social spending, and a roll back of pension reforms will cause the deficit to jump from 0.8 percent to 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the government’s calculations. The proposal, which creates a deficit that is more than triple the level desired by the EU, has left investors jittery about the trajectory of the Italian economy.

    Read More
  • Global Economic Leaders Should Prepare for 'Unknown Unknowns' of Climate Change

    As the world’s economic and financial leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia, last week, they were expected to scrutinize each other’s economic outcomes and policies against the backdrop of the International Monetary Fund’s reports on the world’s economic outlook (World Economic Outlook), the global financial situation (Global Financial Stability Report), and fiscal developments (Fiscal Monitor). These reports, which were prepared by teams of economists ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, are intended to inform world leaders and the public at large about current economic developments, prospects, and risks. 

    Read More
  • O'Toole Quoted in MarketWatch on Treasury Extends Deadline for Deripaska


    Read More
  • The Future of Work: Advancing Workforce Resilience

    On October 10, 2018 Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Center’s EuroGrowth Initiative hosted a roundtable featuring Dr. Stefano Scarpetta, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD.

    Read More
  • World Economic Outlook: Trade Tensions and Tariffs a Major Threat to Global Economic Growth

    This week, the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will convene for their annual meetings in Indonesia to discuss issues of global concern, including global economic growth. In the context of the meetings, the IMF publishes the World Economic Outlook (WEO) which analyzes global growth prospects in the short- and medium-term and the risks which impede these prospects. While this October’s report still predicts a steady expansion for 2018-19 at a 3.7 percent growth rate, this forecast is 0.2 percent lower than in April. One of the major reasons for this downward correction are recent trade policies which are expected to continue to be a downward risk leading to further disruption, uncertainty, and weaker growth.

    Read More
  • SWIFT Action Risks Unintended Consequences

    US legislators weighing options to punish rogue actors using the plumbing of the international financial system – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) – must carefully weigh the benefits of any such decision against the broad potential consequences. Unilateral, isolated policy making that implicates SWIFT risks hampering the flow of global financial transactions and trade, harming US businesses as well as further antagonizing European allies.

    Read More
  • JCPOA in Peril - EU SPV to the Rescue?

    The European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, recently announced that the EU will set-up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) “to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran.” In response, our visiting senior fellow, Samantha Sultoon, argued that this SPV will not provide a reliable path around US sanctions, and may undermine the effectiveness of US and EU sanctions in the long-run. This edition of the EconoGraphic explains how the SPV would work in practice and outlines why this mechanism is unlikely to offer Iran enough economic upside to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) alive. 

    Read More