Economics & Global Affairs

326 Items

Servers keep digital currency transactions flowing at light-speed in Ashburn, Va., outside Washington, where Visa has built one of the world's most advanced processing networks, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Policy Brief

Central Bank Digital Currencies: Tools for an Inclusive Future?

| September 2020

In this brief, we outline the common motivations driving central bank work on CBDCs. We then explore CBDCs’ potential impacts on financial inclusion, a primary motivation in developing and emerging markets that has also gained significant traction in developed economies during the COVID-19 related global recession. We conclude that for CBDCs to achieve its financial inclusion goals, more technical advancement in offline adaptability and policy deliberations around issues of identity and traceability are needed. 
 

Different Swedish bank notes and coins.

Sven-Erik Johansson/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Telos

Post COVID-19 Economy: State Capitalism with Expiration Date

| June 25, 2020

As economies begin to orient themselves towards recovery and growth in a post-COVID-19 era, they will first need to disentangle themselves from their prior bedfellows, the state, whose courtship was necessary for survival during the pandemic.  Such bedfellow relationships have become increasingly common as government intervention is urgently needed for economic stabilization. Governments have also embraced their new role with vigor. According to the IMF, as of April 2020, countries have committed around $8 trillion to combat the pandemic and to remedy its ill effects on economies and societies. Decisions about how this money will be spent will undoubtedly recalibrate the logic of capitalism for years to come. 

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

How China Compares Internationally in New GDP Figures

| May 31, 2020

The World Bank on May 19, as it does every six years, released the results of the most recent International Comparison Program (ICP), which measures price levels and GDPs across 176 countries.  The new results are striking.  It is surprising that they have received almost no attention so far, perhaps overshadowed by all things coronavirus.

For the first time, the ICP shows China’s total real income as slightly larger than the US.  It reports that China’s GDP was $19,617 billion in 2017, in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms, while the United States’ GDP stood at $19,519 billion.

Rupiah coins in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Binsar Bakkara/AP

Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

Closing the Equity Financing Gap during the COVID-19 Crisis: The Emergence of Sovereign Wealth Funds with Expiration Dates

| May 29, 2020

Juergen Braunstein and Sachin Silva argue that sovereign wealth funds may be central to governments' efforts to balance public responsibility with private interests in post-pandemic economies.

Central Bank Digital Currency Tracker

Atlantic Council and Belfer Center

Infographics & Charts

National Digital Currencies: The Future of Money?

| Updated September 2020

China piloted a national digital currency in April 2020. The European Central Bank has convened a working group of major economies to coordinate digital currency research and development. The U.S. Federal Reserve said it was in the early stages of researching the digital dollar. Spurred by the potential to modernize domestic payments systems, or take a leading role in updating the global payments infrastructure that supports cross-border trade and remittances, nations around the globe are exploring the merits and risks of issuing a digital currency. While many are in the early stages of research, central banks representing one-fifth of the world's population say they will issue a digital currency very soon.

The Belfer Center’s Economic Diplomacy Initiative, in collaboration with the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program, is tracking the latest developments in central bank issued digital currencies.

A photo of the Bundesverfassungsgericht ("Federal Constitutional Court") in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Flickr/Al Fed

Policy Brief

Pushing the EU to a Hamiltonian Moment: Germany’s Court Ruling and the Need to Build a Fiscal Capacity Force a Constitutional Debate

May 20, 2020

The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court on the ECB was an economic and political bombshell. The deep controversy that resulted – within Germany and on a European scale – illustrates that the ambiguity surrounding the euro area’s legal order and architecture may have reached its limit.

In this June 10, 2019, file photo of a money exchange shop decorated with different banknotes at Central, a business district of Hong Kong. 

AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File

Analysis & Opinions - Los Angeles Times

China Pioneers a National Digital Currency. Can the U.S. Catch Up?

| May 04, 2020

While much of the world is consumed by the COVID-19 crisis, the Chinese government is quietly unleashing a financial innovation that will reshape its economy and improve its strategic standing for decades to come. In April, China’s central bank introduced the “digital yuan” in a pilot program across four cities, becoming the world’s first major economy to issue a national digital currency.