Mar 7, 2009

What's the deficit endgame?

REYKJAVIK — No one yet has any real idea about when the global financial crisis will end, but one thing is certain: Government budget deficits are headed into the stratosphere. Investors in coming years will need to be persuaded to hold mountains of new ...

Nov 6, 2008

It would be a mistake to super-size the IMF

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — As the global financial crisis radiates out from the developed economies into emerging markets, it is ravaging not only governance-challenged economies such as Venezuela, Russia and Argentina. The crisis is also striking countries like Brazil, Korea and South Africa, which appeared ...

Jul 8, 2008

Apply the fiscal brakes to this runaway train

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The global economy is a runaway train that is slowing, but not quickly enough. That is what the extraordinary runup in prices for oil, metals and food is screaming at us. The spectacular and historic global economic boom of the past ...

Apr 6, 2008

U.S. debt isn't the bargain it used to be

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — As the world’s financial leaders meet in Washington this month at the World Bank-International Monetary Fund annual meeting, perhaps they should be glad there is no clear alternative to the dollar as the global currency standard. If the euro were fully ...

Feb 9, 2008

U.S. resists its own medicine

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — As the United States’ epic financial crisis continues to unfold, one can only wish that U.S. policymakers were half as good at listening to advice from developing countries as they are at giving it. Americans don’t seem to realize that their ...

Aug 14, 2007

Health-care costs to squeeze capitalism

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Will the inexorable rise in medical costs around the world someday pose a major challenge to contemporary capitalism? I submit that in the not-so-distant future, moral, social and political support for capitalism will be severely tested as would-be egalitarian health systems ...

Jul 9, 2007

Breaking locks on the pillars of finance

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — One has go back to the “Year of Three Popes” (1978) to find a succession drama as strange as what has been happening at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the two pillars of global finance. Two months ago, ...

Jun 4, 2007

A rare internationalist off to the rescue

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Will newly anointed World Bank President Robert Zoellick be able to get the organization back on its feet after the catastrophic failed presidency of Paul Wolfowitz? Although hardly a megawatt star of the Bob Rubin category, he certainly brings some ...

Apr 9, 2007

A way forward for global financial policy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Financial globalization is exploding. Yet, as the world’s leading finance ministers and central bankers convene in Washington this month for the semiannual International Monetary Fund board meetings, policy paralysis continues. There is simply no agreement on how to address glaring problems ...

Feb 12, 2007

Lucky feeling helps to prop up U.S. dollar

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Many people have been asking why the dollar hasn’t crashed yet. Will the United States ever face a bill for the string of massive trade deficits that it has been running for more than a decade? Including interest payments on past ...