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  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than two years have passed since the U.S. housing bubble burst. That event ushered in a financial crisis that was not only intense but also stunning. So stunning in fact, that in August of last year, just a month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global economy was close to a crisis worthy of comparison with the Great Depression, yet neither the markets nor the Federal Reserve had much of an inkling of what was to come. The Standard and Poor's (S) 500 Index had come down to about 1,300 from its October 2007 high of 1,576. Positive growth had just been reported for the U.S. economy during the second quarter of 2008 at an annual rate of 2.8 percent (later revised down to 1.5 percent). Almost one percentage point of that growth came from U.S. consumption, and government spending also contributed. The wave of relief after the Bear Stearns scare in March 2008 had provided a nice boost to the economy and to markets. That boost was further enhanced by the substantial contribution to growth from net exports (2.9 percentage points) thanks to what was, then, continuing strength in the global economy, especially in China, which had reported blistering 10.1 percent year-over-year growth in the second quarter of 2008. These and other positive components more than offset a drag from inventories and residential investment. In short, the real economy had not shown much evidence of damage emanating from the chaos that was churning in the financial sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The only thing scarier than the slide of the dollar, which has dropped by 15 percent since March, would be an attempt by the Federal Reserve to stop it. Such an attempt would show that we have learned nothing from the Bank of Japan's disastrous premature exit from a zero-interest policy in August 2000. Closer to home, it would resemble the Fed's premature move to mop up “excess” reserves by doubling reserve requirements in three steps between August 1936 and May 1937, which was followed by the third-worst recession of the twentieth century, from May 1937 to June 1938.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Wall Street is dancing again to the music of a sharp rise in stock prices. The question that remains is whether Main Street, currently languishing in a sad world of job losses, unavailable credit, and weakened balance sheets, will get to join the party. To put the question more precisely, will the “adverse feedback loop” that saw a financial collapse last fall that crushed the real economy work in reverse, so that a financial bounce boosts the real economy in coming quarters? The jury is still out on this important question.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Martin Eling, Robert W. Klein, Joan T. Schmit
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Independent Institute
  • Abstract: In this paper we compare insurance regulatory frameworks in the United States (US) and European Union (EU), focusing primarily on solvency, but also considering product and price regulation, as well as other elements of consumer protection. This comparison highlights the use of more fluid and principles-based approaches in the EU as it is developing under Solvency II, while the US continues to focus essentially on static, rules-based regulation. The discussion further notes evidence suggesting that the EU approach is more successful in promoting a financially solid insurance sector.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: India is currently the top place of origin international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities. Over the past decade, the number of Indian students in the U.S. has increased more than 175 percent, from just under 37,500 students in 1998/99 to over 103,000 in 2008/09. India has, in fact, been the leading place of origin since 2001/02, when it surpassed China. Since 2007/08, students from India have comprised over 15% of all international students in the United States.
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Bora Bayraktar, Can Yirik
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The crisis that started with Hamas winning the Palestinian Authority (PA) elections in January of 2006 seems to have entered a new stage with the start of 2009. Israel, which provides the occupied PA with the bulk of its economic resources, the US and the EU classifying Hamas as a terrorist organization and the resulting 3 year long economic siege and blockade, and the Israeli operation that started on the 27th of December and lasted for 22 days have all made the humanitarian situation in this region unbearable.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Ozdem Sanberk
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Will President Obama's speech in Cairo prove to have been a historic turning point in relations between the Islamic world and the United States? There is no doubt that the President himself sincerely intended it to be. And it is easy to see why. The antagonism between the USA and substantial sections of world Muslim opinion, particularly in the Arab Middle East and Iran, is one of the biggest challenges faced by US foreign policy, a clear threat to world peace. But can things change while the USA is closely aligned with Israel? How ?
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Recognizing the strategic potential for expanding cooperation on regional and global challenges and the shared values among the United States, Japan and India, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), and the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA) initiated the U.S.-Japan-India Strategic Dialogue in June 2006.
  • Topic: Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, India
  • Author: Andy Johnson, Kyle Spector, Scott Payne, Matt Bennett
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: Speaking at West Point, President Obama clarified America's mission in Afghanistan and announced a new strategy designed to defeat al Qaeda, respond to the security threat posed by chaos in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and set a clear path for turning the war over to the Afghans. Third Way believes that the President's approach is worthy of strong support from Congress and other leaders.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, North America