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This Month in Geoeconomics

From the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies
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CGS Leadership Transition



In July 2016, Michael A. Levi stepped down from his position as director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies (CGS) to accept a new role in President Barack Obama’s administration. He now serves on the National Economic Council staff as special assistant to the president for energy and economic policy. Over the course of Levi’s two years at the helm of CGS, the center pursued an ambitious program of work. Building on the foundation laid by the previous director, Sebastian Mallaby, Levi expanded the center’s roster of meetings through new symposia, workshops, and study groups. As a result of his efforts, the center has been awarded several major external grants and been given an endowment to support a new annual global economics symposium. We congratulate Levi on his new position in the administration and wish him the best for the future. 

CFR Senior Fellow Brad Setser is now the acting director for CGS. Prior to rejoining CFR, he served as deputy assistant secretary for international economic analysis in the U.S. Treasury from 2011 to 2015, where he worked on Europe’s financial crisis, currency policy, financial sanctions, commodity shocks and Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. He was previously the director for international economics on the National Economic Council staff, a fellow at CFR, and director of research at Roubini Global Economics. At CFR, you can follow his work through his Follow the Money blog, which covers global economics, cross-border financial flows, central bank reserves, and China. 



How the U.S. Should Respond to AIIB
Scott Morris
Reuters/Donald Chan  

Reuters/Donald Chan


By offering short shrift to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs), the United States risks ceding influence to Chinese-led institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This is the argument of a new CGS discussion paper authored by Scott Morris, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Among the paper’s recommendations: that the United States should reinforce the “core” MDBs with increased capital financing and more reliable political support, to improve their effectiveness and reduce demand for alternatives. 

Read the discussion paper »

Reexamining Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Gilbert Metcalf
Reuters/David McNew  

Reuters/David McNew


Members of the Group of Twenty (G20) committed to ending fossil fuel subsidies at the 2009 summit in Pittsburgh, but the 2016 summit in Huangzhou concluded earlier this month with little progress toward that goal. In a CGS discussion paper, Gilbert Metcalf, former deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Treasury, examines what the effect might be on U.S. oil and gas producers of removing tax-based support for the industry.

Read the discussion paper »



Two Months After Brexit
Robert Kahn
Reuters/Stefan Wermuth  

Reuters/Stefan Wermuth


In his Global Economics Monthly newsletter, Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that markets have absorbed the initial economic shock from Brexit, but that navigating the new landscape will remain a challenge. Two months after the vote, the politics of Brexit are producing a lengthy and uncertain renegotiation of Britain’s place in Europe and the world. Such extended uncertainty is likely to slow down both the British and European economies for a long time, ultimately threatening the viability of the European Union.  Read the analysis »

Britain’s Post-Brexit Warning
Sebastian Mallaby
Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett  

Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett


The balloting may be over in Britain but the reckoning—on trade, immigration, and much else—is yet to come. Mallaby has a word of advice that applies to the United States as well: meeting fantastic campaign promises is much harder than making them. Read the article »

Brexit Roundup

The implications of Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union have been a continuing focus of the center.  Take a look at some of CGS’s coverage from the summer:



CFR Trade Symposium

Opposition to U.S. trade deals has been a common theme in the 2016 election, and prospects for finalizing both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership are uncertain at best. On September 28, 2016, CFR will host a symposium to discuss the future of U.S. trade policy, with keynote remarks by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer and president of General Electric. Watch the symposium »

Forthcoming Greenspan Biography

Next month, Mallaby will release his latest book, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, a biography of the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. Greenspan had a front-row seat to the most consequential economic developments of his generation and this richly researched book offers fresh perspective on his complicated legacy.  Pre-order the book »





Bridging Cooperation and Competition in Asia

CFR Senior Fellows Alyssa Ayres and Joshua Kurlantzick, and the Lowy Institute’s Philippa Brant and Euan Graham, joined Forbes Asia’s Tim Ferguson in 2015 to discuss the future of Asia’s regional multilateral institutions, including the TPP, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and AIIB.  Watch the video/read the transcript »

How to Make Fuel Subsidy Reform Succeed
Isobel Coleman

Fossil fuel subsidies are no less entrenched in the developing world than in the developed. Although the U.S. subsidies that Metcalf wrote about in his recent discussion paper are targeted at oil and gas producers, many developing countries aim subsidies at consumers, to keep the price at the pump low. In those countries, subsidies are a durable but highly inefficient way of alleviating poverty. In this 2014 Policy Innovation Memorandum, Isobel Coleman considers the options for easing the political and economic pain of removing such consumer subsidies. Read more »


More From CFR's Center for Geoeconomic Studies

Subscribe to Our Blogs:

  • Geo-Graphics, a visual take on geoeconomic issues, with links to the news and expert commentary by CFR Senior Fellow Benn Steil and Analyst Emma SmithRead the latest analysis »
  • Follow the Money, with analysis by CFR Senior Fellow Brad Setser focused on the global economy, particularly the current U.S. account deficit, China, central bank reserves and the global flow of funds. Read the latest post »
  • Macro and Markets, an examination of the forces influencing the global economy, macroeconomic policies, and financial markets by CFR Senior Fellow Robert Kahn. Read the latest report »
  • Energy, Security, and Climate, where Douglas Dillon Fellow Varun Sivaram examines issues surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security. Read the latest post »

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The Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies (CGS) works to promote a better understanding among policymakers, scholars, journalists, and the public about how economic and political forces interact to influence world affairs.

Brad W. Setser
Senior Fellow and Acting Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies @Brad_Setser

Edward Alden
Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow @edwardalden

Thomas J. Bollyky
Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development @TomBollyky

Willem H. Buiter
Adjunct Senior Fellow

Blake Clayton
Adjunct Fellow for Energy

Heidi Crebo-Rediker
Senior Fellow

James P. Dougherty
Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Foreign Policy

Jennifer Harris
Senior Fellow

Miles Kahler
Senior Fellow for Global Governance @MilesKahler
Robert Kahn
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics

Robert E. Litan
Adjunct Senior Fellow

Sebastian Mallaby
Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics

Meghan L. O'Sullivan
Adjunct Senior Fellow

Kenneth S. Rogoff
Senior Fellow for Economics

Varun Sivaram
Douglas Dillon Fellow

Matthew J. Slaughter
Adjunct Senior Fellow for Business and Globalization

A. Michael Spence
Distinguished Visiting Fellow

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