Blog - Views on the Economy and the World

Views on the Economy and the World

A blog by Jeffrey Frankel

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For Academic Citation:Views on the Economy and the World,” Views on the Economy and the World, https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/views-economy-and-world.

3 posts

How should one evaluate the agreement reached in Paris December 12 by the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?   Some avid environmentalists may have been disappointed in the outcome.  The reason is that the negotiators did not commit to limiting global warming to 1 ½ degrees centigrade by 2050, nor will the new agreement directly achieve the 2 degree limit.But such commitments would not have been credible.  What came out of Paris was in fact better, because the negotiators were able to agree on meaningful practical near-term steps.

I have written a few columns this year supportive of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  (E.g. "Critics Should Keep an Open Mind,” The Guardian, Oct. 11, 2015.)   Commentators on my column and critics of TPP more generally have expressed great eagerness to know when and where they could read the full legal text of the agreement.  The full text is now available.Many skeptics seem confident in their ability to understand the significance of the detailed legal language even when they have only had a few hours to read it.

Exactly 30 years ago, on September 22, 1985, ministers of the Group of Five countries met at the Plaza Hotel in New York and agreed on a successful initiative to reverse what had been a dangerously overvalued dollar. The Plaza Accord was backed up by intervention in the foreign exchange market. The change in policy had the desired effect over the next few years: bringing down the dollar, reducing the US trade deficit and defusing protectionist pressures.  Many economists think that foreign exchange intervention cannot have effects unless it also changes money supplies.