Economics & Global Affairs

21 Items

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

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Analysis & Opinions - The Economist

Sovereign Venture Capitalism: At a Crossroad

| Oct. 03, 2018

What the Iron Man-like character is claiming for his futuristic automotive company is not unheard of. On a systemic basis, mammoth institutional investment—especially from sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)—is flowing into start-ups and technology-oriented publicly traded companies. In this case, Saudi billions would help Mr Musk escape the pressures of being publicly listed. SWFs have invested large sums into high-growth start-ups promising innovation and financial returns. In fact, just this month, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a US$1bn investment in Tesla’s rival, Lucid, and a US$2bn stake in Tesla. The rise in SWF balance sheets and activity is having ramifications on global efforts to be more Silicon Valley-like, and on Silicon Valley itself.

International Monetary Fund Economic Counsellor Maurice Obstfeld speaks at a news conference during the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, at IMF headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Recovery is Not Resolution

| Aug. 01, 2017

Earlier this year, the consensus view among economists was that the United States would outstrip its advanced-economy rivals. The expected US growth spurt would be driven by the economic stimulus package described in President Donald Trump’s election campaign. But the most notable positive economic news of 2017 among the developed countries has been coming from Europe.

In this Feb. 16, 2017 file photo, Argentine President Mauricio Macri talks during a news conference at the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Macri's government defended on Tuesday, Feb. 21, an accord between the government and a company lead by his father over a debt acquired when the company ran the Argentine postal service. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

One Hundred Years of Indebtedness

| June 30, 2017

Gabriel Garcia Márquez, the Nobel laureate novelist most famous for One Hundred Years of Solitude, was native to Colombia. Nonetheless, as a master of magical realism, Garcia Márquez would have appreciated the Republic of Argentina’s recent combination of fact and fantasy. In mid-June, the finance ministry sold $2.75 billion worth of US dollar-denominated bonds that mature in one hundred years.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Fiscal Education for the G-7

| May 26, 2016
As the G-7 Leaders gather in Ise-Shima, Japan, on May 26-27, the still fragile global economy is on their minds.  They would like a road map to address stagnant growth. Their approach should be to talk less about currency wars and more about fiscal policy.Fiscal policy vs. monetary policyUnder the conditions that have prevailed in most major countries over the last ten years, we have reason to think that fiscal policy is a more powerful tool for affecting the level of economic activity, as compared to monetary policy.

Chile’s Uncertain Future

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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Chile’s Uncertain Future

| October 28, 2015

CAMBRIDGE – When I was in Chile earlier this month, I was impressed by the contrast between the palpable success of its long-standing free-market policies and the current agenda of its leftist president, Michelle Bachelet. How this contrast is resolved will be important not only to the country’s more than 17 million people, but also to everyone who regards Chile as a model of what sound economic policies have been able to achieve.

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

Only Tsipras Can “Go to China”

| July 17, 2015

Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, has the chance to play a role for his country analogous to the roles played by Korean President Kim Dae Jung in 1997 and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2002.  Both of those presidential candidates had been long-time men of the left, with strong ties to labor, and were believed to place little priority on fiscal responsibility or free markets.  Both were elected at a time of economic crisis in their respective countries. Both confronted financial and international constraints in office that had not been especially salient in their minds when they were opposition politicians.  Both were able soon to make the mental and political adjustment to the realities faced by debtor economies.  This flexibility helped both to lead their countries more effectively.

President Barack Obama and several foreign dignitaries participate in a Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting

Charles Dharapak

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Rescuing the free trade deals

| June 14, 2015

The Senate’s rejection of President Wo odrow Wilson’s commitment of the United States to the League of Nations was the greatest setback to U.S. global leadership of the last century. While not remotely as consequential, the votes in the House last week that, unless revisited, would doom the Trans-Pacific Partnership send the same kind of negative signal regarding the willingness of the United States to take responsibility for the global system at a critical time.

The repudiation of the TPP would neuter the U.S. presidency for the next 19 months. It would reinforce global concerns that the vicissitudes of domestic politics are increasingly rendering the United States a less reliable ally. Coming on top of the American failure to either stop or join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, it would signal a lack of U.S. commitment to Asia at a time when China is flexing its muscles. It would leave the grand strategy of rebalancing U.S. foreign policy toward Asia with no meaningful nonmilitary component. And it would strengthen the hands of companies overseas at the expense of U.S. firms. Ultimately, having a world in which U.S. companies systematically lose ground to foreign rivals would not work out to the advantage of American workers.

Both the House and Senate have now delivered majorities for the trade promotion authority necessary to complete the TPP. The problem is with the complementary trade assistance measures that most Republicans do not support and that Democrats are opposing in order to bring down the TPP. It is to be fervently hoped that a way through will be found to avoid a catastrophe for U.S. economic leadership. Perhaps success can be achieved if the TPP’s advocates can acknowledge that rather than being a model for future trade agreements, this debate should lead to careful reflection on the role of trade agreements in America’s international economic strategy.

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Press Release

Future of Diplomacy Project Announces Spring 2015 Fisher Family Fellows

Feb. 15, 2015

The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs announces the appointment of spring 2015 Fisher Family Fellows; former NATO Secretary-General and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen; former EU Trade Commissioner and Belgian Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht; former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary of India, Shivshankar Menon; and Brazil’s former Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim.