The ‘Nuclear Option’: Currency Edition

As someone who follows international economics pretty closely, I’m surprised I didn’t find this Dean Baker op-ed until today. I’ve previously asked what the United States could do to convince the Chinese government to let the yuan appreciate. Baker doesn’t so much want to convince China, but rather beat China at its own game. He … Continue reading

Soccer, Marginal Tax Rates and Game Theory

Republicans have called Democrats “socialist” for wanting to raise the top marginal tax rate. Imagine the epithet they would hurl if a new tax code threatened professional sports. The Spanish government has proposed reforming the “Beckham law”, named after the British star, that taxes foreign soccer players at a lower rate than domestic athletes. La … Continue reading

Yuan a bubble?

It’s everyone favorite time of the year: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meetin!* President Obama heads to the summit and his first official visit to China next week. Obama’s trip will be dominated by economic concerns especially trade, and in the case of China, exchange rates. Simon Johnston thinks Obama can convince the Chinese … Continue reading

The People’s Republic After 60

Dan Drezner links to himself* contemplating the future of China: I belong to the third camp—the one that believes that the Bubblers and the Extrapolators can both be right. My camp looks at China and sees the parallels with America’s rise to global economic greatness during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From an … Continue reading

Yes they can, but what will they do?

Change is coming to Japan Or at least it’s very likely. The Financial Times has a poll projecting a landslide for Japan’s opposition Democratic Party. The DPJ is expected to win 321 of the Diet’s 480 seats. So a party that has never been in power is close to having an overwhelming majority. So what … Continue reading

Walt: Townhall Crazies Worse than Taliban?

Okay, my heading is definitely sensationalist, but over at Stephen Walt’s FP blog, he has two recent posts that should really get people questioning the blinders that go hand in hand with committing oneself to a particular IR theory. Last Friday, he wondered about the international implications of the messy healthcare debate going on in … Continue reading

The U.S. Doesn’t Need Congress for Cophenhagan…for Politics or Policy

I’ve read mentions of EPA regulating GHG emissions before, but I hadn’t ever found a comprehensive explanation of what exactly EPA has the power to do.  Most articles and blogs dismiss EPA regulation as a second-best solution to legislation passed by Congress.  The only reason why most pundits will defend EPA regulation is that it … Continue reading

A Marshall Plan for Africa (And Not Just a Good Speech Line This Time)

Everytime someone wants to propose a new major aid initiative, it seems throwing around the term “Marshall Plan” is necessary.  Gordon Brown applied the term quite a bit several years ago in arguing for a big aid push to Africa from the G8.  Thabo Mbeki somewhat nonsensically used the term when he called for Africa to develop … Continue reading

Hollywood Wins at the WTO, Chinese Culture Never to be the Same

Today, the WTO released a ruling in favor of the U.S. in its complaint against Chinese restrictions on imports of U.S. entertainment and media products. The ruling addressed a number of contentious trade issues.  For example, are intellectual goods to be treated as manufactured goods under trade law? Also at stake is the use of … Continue reading

Read A Good Book (and my quick follow up to Nick’s post on Paul Farmer)

I just read Nick’s post on Paul Farmer at USAID and had to add my quick input (which knowing me turned into something a bit longer.) As an incoming college freshman, I read MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS, an excellent work of nonfiction on Paul Farmer’s unprecedented HIV/AIDS work in Haiti.  Along with Jeffrey Sach’s END OF … Continue reading