12 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.

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.

The European Central Bank by the river Main in Frankfurt, Germany.

AP Photo/Michael Probst

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

Too Big to Evade: The Costs of Europe Sticking with Iran

| Feb. 20, 2019

In spite of initial hopefulness, the Europeans will eventually face a reckoning with the facts: Washington’s financial leverage over Brussels has, arguably, never been greater since the establishment of the euro in 1999. The power of the U.S. Dollar and weaponization of the U.S. financial system cannot be challenged successfully by Europe at this moment.

 

A worker holds a sign promoting a sale for Huawei 5G internet services at a mobile phones retail shop in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. The chairman of Huawei challenged the United States and other governments to provide evidence for claims the Chinese tech giant is a security risk as the company launched a public relations effort Tuesday to defuse fears that threaten its role in next-generation communications.

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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

The Future Financial War with China

| Jan. 02, 2019

The detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wangzhou last month has electrified Sino-American tensions, making 2019 a portentous year for debt markets. Her employer, Huawei, has been the target of China hawks’ ire dating back to the early 2010s, amid scandals tied to sanctions evasion in Iran and possible concerns about espionage. Yet in the buzz about its ties to the People’s Liberation Army, the company’s deep and extensive dollar exposures have received little coverage.

 

 

 

A photograph of the U.S. dollar among international bank notes.

Creative Commons

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

The Future of the U.S. Dollar in a Post Iran Deal World

| Oct. 26, 2018

The European Union’s announcement in September 2018 that it would begin to create a special payments channel with Iran in response to the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) once again raises the question of the role of the U.S. Dollar (USD) in the international economic order.  Under the surface of discussions of alternative payment mechanisms is the legitimate question of the negative impacts of American coercive economic statecraft on the USD status as the leading global reserve currency.

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Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Michael B. Greenwald Named Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center

| July 12, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Michael Blake Greenwald a Fellow. While at the Kennedy School, Greenwald, who has served the U.S. government in several senior diplomatic roles, will lecture, conduct research, and engage with students on a range of issues including economic sanctions, illicit finance, national security, intelligence, and global finance.