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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Connecting with Central America through Research

Central America experienced almost a decade of economic progress between 2003 and 2008, when GDP per capita growth averaged 3 percent per year. Yet the region’s five countries–Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua–still lag other middle income economies. Their high dependence on their primary commodities and the U.S. economy makes the growth slow and volatile. Even more worrying are high levels of poverty and inequality.  Significant structural changes are urgently needed to secure sustained and inclusive growth.

Restoring U.S. Financial Markets in a Credible Way: Comments on Feldstein and Yellen

From January 6-9, I participated in the annual ASSA (Allied Social Science Associations) conference in Denver, Colorado.  I was part of a high-level panel discussion with a number of distinguished economists including Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve’s Vice-Chair; Martin Feldstein, of Harvard University; Andrew Brimmer, former Governor of the Federal Reserve Board; and Alan Krueger, former Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy, among others.

The Currency War: Risks for Latin America and the Role of Central Banks

During the 13th and 16th of November, the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF) held their second meeting of the year in Lima with the purpose of discussing the effect of the currency wars on the Latin American region. As a result of the meeting, we presented the 23rd CLAAF statement. The statement has been extremely well received and broadly covered by the Peruvian press.

Currency Wars Are a Development Problem and the G-20 Has a Major Role to Play in the Solution

Last weekend’s communiqué from the G-20 finance ministers is a first step to bridge the divide in the ongoing currency wars. I find both hope and disappointment in the Communiqué. It is very positive that the G-20 ministers have called for the IMF to help identify countries with policies leading to large and unsustainable imbalances. This is a step in the right direction, although no specific quantitative indicators have yet been advanced.

Development and the Seoul G-20 Summit

Reports of progress last weekend notwithstanding, the so-called currency wars—the reality and threat of competitive devaluations—are likely to continue to dominate the news about the upcoming Seoul G-20 Summit.

The G-20 Is a Great Idea … but Let’s Make Sure the Execution Is Right!

This post is joint with Enrique Rueda-Sabater

Moving from the clearly obsolete G-7 to a broader group that reflects the reality of today’s world makes eminent sense. Doing it on the basis of a grouping improvised during the crisis-before-last (and making sure that it included the then-favorite finance ministers of the U.S. and Canadian sponsors) is squandering the opportunity to move up to a credible, transparent, global governance platform.

Behind the Headlines: Toronto Summit(s) and Development

The G-8 and G-20 summits held in Canada last week yielded few headlines on development issues, but there was plenty of rhetoric about global interdependence and poverty reduction and a handful of promising, if mostly modest, development initiatives just below the media’s radar.

As expected, the G-20 declaration focused on when and how to unwind stimulus programs that helped to avert a global economic collapse, and on strengthening regulation of the financial sector to avoid a repeat of the 2008–09 financial crisis.

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