Michael Greenwald

  • The Silk Road and the Gulf: A New Frontier for the RMB

    Many view China’s Belt and Road Initiative as the most geoeconomically significant infrastructure project since the Marshall Plan. Promising alternative trade routes, abundant capital flows, and advanced infrastructure to the developing world, the program has scaled significantly since its inception in 2013.


    Standing at the crossroads of Eurasia, the Arab Gulf states and broader Middle East are an important link between the economies of East Asia and Western Europe.

    Yet the region’s chronic and destabilizing conflicts pose a challenge for Beijing, which has distanced itself from entangling alliances outside its core periphery. In the Middle East, China will find it much harder to invest neutrally, especially within the context of the Saudi-Iran conflict and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) dispute. In the case of the former, China is Tehran’s key economic benefactor, with sanctions now being re-imposed. With Iranian oil locked out of European and US markets, the

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  • Greenwald in The Hill: In the Gulf, China Plays to Win But US Has Upper Hand


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  • The Future Financial War with China

    The detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei, in Canada in December at the request of the United States heightened tensions in an already fraught US-China relationship. Huawei has been the target of the ire of China hawks in the United States dating back to the early 2010s amid scandals tied to sanctions evasion in Iran and concerns about possible espionage. Yet in the buzz about its ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army, the company’s extensive dollar exposures have received little coverage.


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  • Can Sanctions Put a Dent in Crypto Crime?

    On November 28, the US Treasury Department took an important step in responding to the SamSam ransomware cyberattacks, which occurred earlier this year. Considered one of the most effective cyberattacks in US history, the hackers behind SamSam since 2015 have targeted institutions ranging from companies to hospitals to schools, demanding payments in Bitcoin as ransom. After being paid, the hackers laundered these funds through online cryptocurrency exchanges into Iranian riyals, reaping the rewards of their malicious behavior. As part of their designation, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) included the Bitcoin addresses of Iran-based Ali Khorashadizadeh and Mohammed Ghorbaniyan, who are accused of...
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  • 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.

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  • Greenwald Joins CNBC to Discuss US-Saudi Relations


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  • Greenwald in Belfer Center: The New Race for Contemporary Arts Dominance in the Middle East


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  • Greenwald Quoted in The Washington Post on the Persian Gulf Crisis


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  • Sanctions in the Trump Era: One Year In


    On May 25th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program together with the Millennium Leadership Program hosted a panel discussion with a delegation of high executives from Santander Bank. The discussion centered around how economic sanctions affect the banking sector and the priorities of the current administration in this area.

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