Economics & Global Affairs

198 Items

Dollar bills

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Consequences of Weaponizing the U.S. Dollar

| July 22, 2019

Should INSTEX itself be sanctioned, it would be a powerful signal to the rest of the world. In this scenario, critical dollar-denominated trade not currently facing sanctions, but at potential risk of being sanctioned in the future, could migrate to third party currencies, transferred through sanctions-resistant entities to an INSTEX-like body.

President Donald Trump, left, poses for a photo with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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

A Financial Statecraft Strategy for the United States to Address the Rise of China

| July 01, 2019

Washington should adjust its coercive economic strategy to reflect a broader use of tools beyond sanctions. Given the degree of political interference in China’s banking system via formal state ownership and the indirect influence of opaque party committees, penalties imposed against the country’s banks are unlikely to produce a meaningful change in behavior.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (L) speaks at a conference about the Fed's planned interest-rate strategy, June 4, 2019.

Kiichiro Sato (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

It's Tempting for the Fed to Move Slowly. That Would Be a Grave Error.

| June 04, 2019

The Federal Reserve will over the next several months make monetary policy decisions that are as consequential as any it has made since the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007-2008. The temptation in a highly uncertain and politicized environment will be to move cautiously. Yet this would be a grave error in the current context, where a recession could be catastrophic and the odds of one beginning in the next year, while still less than 50-50, now appear significant and increasing.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, speaks at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, January 29, 2019.

Jose Luis Magana

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

What Marco Rubio Gets Wrong - And Right - About the Decline of American Investment

| May 31, 2019

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has recently claimed that the worrying decline of private investment in the American economy can be attributed to "shareholder capitalism" and "short-termism". In this co-authored op-ed, economic specialists Lawrence H. Summers and Anna Stansbury share their thoughts on whether and why this is the case.

The Real cost of Trump's Tarrifs

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - Project Syndicate

The Real Cost of Trump’s Tariffs

| May 23, 2019

Whereas winners tend to outnumber losers when trade is liberalized, raising tariffs normally has the opposite result. US President Donald Trump appears to have engineered a spectacular example of this: his trade war with China has hurt almost every segment of the US economy, and created very few winners.

Chinese President Xi Jinping smiles at the audience after concluding his speech at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,  January 17, 2017.

Michel Euler (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Wall Street Journal

A Better Way to Deal With Beijing

| May 14, 2019

China isn’t a monolith, former World Bank president Robert B. Zoellick writes, and in order to make headway with China, the United States should also pressure the country’s leadership with non-economic means. A deal that opens up trade would be useful, but the U.S. needs a multifront strategy and continuing engagement with China, not a single transaction. America should coordinate with partners—including reformers in China—to change China’s behavior.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the prospect of continued negotiations with North Korea at the International Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 9, 2019.

Dmitri Lovetsky (AP)

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

Policing Terror Finance in an Era of Great Competition

| May 07, 2019

America’s sanctions strategy is increasingly burdened by the involvement of systemically important financial institutions and sovereign investors in global financial statecraft. In the post-9/11 world, Washington’s strategy was highly effective in pursuing non-state actors like al-Qaeda or ISIS, as well as small, rogue nations like Iran. Yet in addressing larger sovereigns like the Kremlin, US strategy has struggled to maintain the same effectiveness given the cross-border financial connections linking these entities to Western markets. As an era of great power competition among Washington, Moscow, and Beijing sets in, these foes will crowd out smaller, non-state actors, thus demanding an adequate response from the Treasury.

An investor monitors stock prices in Beijing after U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposes sanctions on Iran, May 19, 2018.

Ng Han Guan (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

To Manage Great Power Competition, America Needs a New Economic Patriot Act

| Apr. 17, 2019

Shifts in the global economy have altered Washington’s sanctions calculus. In today’s era of great power competition, priority threats are no longer rogue states with little economic clout but nations with systemically important financial institutions and economic linkages. Russia and China top the list.

America’s sanctions strategy, however, hasn’t evolved to meet this challenge. Section 311 of the Patriot Act remains a powerful tool, but its collateral costs are too high to confront banks that are too big to fail. It’s time for a new Economic Patriot Act that can provide the scalpel-like instruments Washington needs to thwart our adversaries with speed and precision.