C. Fred Bergsten

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Europe has been the source of unremitting gloom and doom for four years. The euro crisis has threatened the global economy. Most Americans, and many Europeans, have become exasperated with European nations’ failure to respond decisively to their troubles.

So it is a refreshing — and brilliant — decision by President Obama to visit Sweden and meet with Scandinavian prime ministers en route to next week’s Group of 20 summit in Russia. Sweden escaped the crisis in its neighborhood, and it quickly restored steady and stable growth. It presents a proven model for the types of reforms needed in much of Europe and many other parts of the world, including the United States, and Obama should carry this success story to the full G-20.…  Seguir leyendo »

After the G-20 meeting in Seoul, The Post asked economists to assess the outlook for the global economy. Below are responses from Mark Zandi, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Eswar Prasad, C. Fred Bergsten and Karen Johnson.

The global economy's prospects hinge on one key factor: policymakers' ability to avoid protectionism. If they are able to avoid erecting barriers to trade, investment and immigration, then prospects will be bright. If not, the fragile global recovery will come undone.

So far, so good. Global policymakers' arguably most important achievement during the Great Recession has been avoiding the kinds of trade and currency wars that contributed to the Great Depression.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Obama travels to India next week for the longest visit to a foreign country of his presidency. His goal is to strengthen India-U.S. cooperation, but standing between the recent heady past and a future full of promise is a highly problematic present.

Last year, the United States and India concluded a landmark nuclear agreement, setting a bar for cooperation that is proving difficult to match. George W. Bush and the neoconservatives, who initiated discussions on this agreement in 2005, felt a visceral affinity for India as a vibrant democracy and as a strategic counterweight to China. But this administration has other priorities and a different worldview.…  Seguir leyendo »

With the Obama administration stepping up pressure on China to change the way it manages its currency, The Post asked experts and legislators what can be done. Below are contributions from C. Fred Bergsten, Mark Zandi, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Kenneth Lieberthal and Rep. Sander M. Levin.

China's massive intervention in the foreign exchange markets has produced an undervalued currency that subsidizes all Chinese exports by at least 20 percent and protects all Chinese imports by at least 20 percent. The U.S. global trade deficit is $50 billion to $100 billion higher and perhaps 500,000 good jobs in this country are displaced as a result.…  Seguir leyendo »

The financial crisis has gone global. Stock indexes have fallen and credit markets are seizing up around the world. In recent days, as most Americans focused on the political drama of the rescue package, a number of European banks have failed or been taken over. Several in Russia and Eastern Europe are teetering on the verge of insolvency. Many Latin American countries are newly vulnerable because foreign banks are big players there. Few nations can escape the financial contagion.

Also looming is an even more virulent form of contagion: decreased levels of economic activity because of contracting trade flows. Japan and several European countries are already in recession.…  Seguir leyendo »