Blog Post

795 Items

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Get Ready for “Reverse Currency Wars”

| May 28, 2022

The US dollar is up 12% against the euro over the last year.  Having moved from 1.21 $/€ in May 2021 to 1.07 $/€ today, the exchange rate seems to be approaching one-to-one parity for the first time.  Europeans are not happy about it. If you think that prices for oil and other commodities are high now in terms of dollars, you should see what they look like in terms of euros.  Get ready for “reverse currency wars.”

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Energy Policies Can Be Both Geopolitical and Green

| Apr. 29, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has amplified the importance of national security objectives when Western nations formulate energy policy.  At the same time, they should not take their eye off the ball of reducing environmental damage and, in particular, slowing down greenhouse gas emissions.  Both goals, geopolitical and environmental, are urgent.  The national security and environmental objective should be evaluated together, rather than via separate “stove pipes.”

teaser image

Blog Post - perspectives-on-public-purpose

Your Insides Are Online: Government Capacity and Technology

| Apr. 05, 2022

On a fall afternoon in 2019 I stood at a desk in the U.S. Senate and watched on my computer screen, appalled as a researcher in Germany demonstrated how he could view medical images– XRays, MRI’s, mammograms– as they were uploaded onto the internet in real time. According to the researcher, Dirk Schrader, over 114 million images belonging to roughly 5 million Americans in 22 states were exposed on the internet.  

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Surprisingly Strong Sanctions

| Mar. 23, 2022

The surprising strength of economic sanctions deployed multilaterally against Russia this month has been exceeded only by the surprising strength of the heroic Ukrainian resistance to the invasion of their territory.  True, it is hard to imagine sanctions bringing the Russian economy to its knees faster than Russian troops are able to complete the hundred-mile advance to Kyiv from the border.  But sanctions have gone macroeconomic.  Ultimately, the Russian economy will suffer severely and lastingly.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Fighting the Last Inflation War

| Feb. 28, 2022

When Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin delivered his famous line about central banks, his key point was that it is their job to take away the punch bowl just when the party really gets going, rather than waiting until revelers have turned drunken and raucous. In the aftermath of the 1970s inflation, it became an item of faith that monetary authorities shouldn’t wait until elevated inflation shows its face, before reining in an overheating economy.  They are currently developing a renewed appreciation for the wisdom of this old metaphor.

During the decade that began with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008, some central bankers arguably followed this time-honored practice into episodes of unnecessarily tight monetary policy.  In retrospect, they at times over-estimated the dangers of inflation.  [More on this below.]  They were “fighting the last war.”