Economics & Global Affairs

943 Items

A traditional Iranian bazaar in the city of Kashan

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Can Iran Weather the Trump Storm?

| May 03, 2019

In the past 10 years, oil exports have averaged about $67 billion in Iran. Last year, they dropped by two-thirds, and they are expected to drop below $30 billion this year.  There are reasons to believe that, with appropriate policies, the country can live with this level of oil exports, albeit at a reduced standard of living, and even do itself some good in the long run by reducing its dependence on oil.

Iran has been there before. In 2012, when President Obama ratcheted up U.S. sanctions against Iran, oil exports dropped by 27.5 percent, and GDP fell by 6.2 percent. In 2015, sanctions and the collapse of oil prices further reduced oil exports to $32 billion, a decade-long low, and GDP declined by 1.6 percent. If Iran’s leadership is to successfully resist U.S. demands, it must do more than find ways to evade sanctions. A lot depends on its ability to adopt a plan that reduces the economy’s dependence on oil, while distributing the burden of restructuring equitably across social groups.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Moore on Gold and Commodities

| May 01, 2019

A century ago, the gold standard was considered a guarantor of monetary stability.  That golden era is long-gone.  (If it every really existed at all.  The general price level fell 53% in US and 45% in the UK during 1873-1896 due to a dearth of gold deposit discoveries.)

Continuing my thoughts on the Fed candidacy of Stephen Moore: he has said several times that he favors a return to gold.  In true Trumpian fashion, he recently denied having said it despite the clear video evidence.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Moore Troubles for the Fed

Apr. 30, 2019

Of the two men whom Donald Trump had intended to nominate to empty seats on the Federal Reserve Board, Herman Cain has now withdrawn his name.  This leaves the other one, Stephen Moore.

The Senate would have to decide whether to confirm Moore. He has some problems roughly analogous to Cain’s:  he is considered to be under an ethical cloud and he often gets his economic facts wrong.  Cynics might respond that he would thereby fit right in with the roster of Trump nominees throughout the government.  But Trump’s earlier appointments to the Fed have been people of ability and integrity and have been doing a good job, Chair Jerome Powell in particular. Perhaps Trump did not start paying attention to Fed appointments until recently.

 

 

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions

The Unimportance Of New Oil Sanctions

| Apr. 25, 2019

For the Islamic Republic, resistance to Washington has become a cultural norm, and it considers independence (esteghlal) as the main achievement of the 1979 revolution.  According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iran would have to meet 12 conditions before the United States will renegotiate the nuclear deal and consider removing its sanctions. These conditions, which are nothing short of surrender on Iran’s part, are either set to force Iran out of the nuclear deal and therefore trigger the return of UN sanctions, or they are a thinly veiled call for regime change.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He about trade relations between their two countries, February 22, 2019.

Susan Walsh (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Even a Deal on Trade Won’t Paper Over the Widening Gap Between Washington and Beijing

| Apr. 24, 2019

The uncomfortable truth is that the United States and China countries face a deepeningdivergence of values and interests. The economic and military gap between them is narrowing, and both recognize that their mastery of high technologies of the future (of which artificial intelligence is but one) will ultimately determine their future claims to dominant superpower status. Given these realities, it is difficult to imagine a new bilateral relationship that will be based on policy principles substantive enough to prevent the two countries from gradually sliding in the direction of crisis, conflict or even war.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

Energy Abundance and the Environment: An Interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, Part 2

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Apr. 03, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil”, “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

What energy abundance means for geopolitics: An interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, part 1 by Scott Nyquist

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Mar. 26, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil,” “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a news conference

AP Photo/Jason Lee

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

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

| Mar. 14, 2019

Many view the 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 Gulf States and broader Middle East are an important link between the economies of East Asia and Western Europe.