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  • Author: Daniel T. Griswold
  • Publication Date: 04-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: America's annual trade deficit, already large by historical standards, could reach a new record in 1998, fueling protectionist sentiment in Congress. Political fallout from the trade deficit numbers could impede efforts to reduce barriers to trade in the United States and abroad. Contrary to popular conception, the trade deficit is not caused by unfair trade practices abroad or declining industrial competitiveness at home. Trade deficits reflect the flow of capital across international borders, flows that are determined by national rates of savings and investment. This renders trade policy an ineffective tool for reducing a nation's trade deficit.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ivan Eland
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: According to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, terrorism is the most important threat the United States and the world face as the 21st century begins. High-level U.S. officials have acknowledged that terrorists are now more likely to be able to obtain and use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons than ever before.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anna J. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund are undemocratic institutions unaccountable for their actions. Their current functions have little to do with their original missions. The ESF is used by the executive branch to circumvent Congress in the provision of foreign aid. Its foreign exchange interventions have, in any event, always been wasteful and ineffective at controlling the relative price of the U.S. dollar. The IMF has also been used to provide massive bailouts in the cases of Mexico in 1995 and of Asian countries since 1997. Defenders of the IMF as an international lender of last resort are misinformed since the IMF does not and cannot serve that purpose. Both institutions should be abolished, not reformed, because they are not needed to resolve currency crises and they preclude superior solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mexico