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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Remove constraint Publishing Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Publication Year within 25 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 25 Years Topic International Trade and Finance Remove constraint Topic: International Trade and Finance
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  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva was elected president of Brazil in October 2002, popular expectations nearly across the political spectrum were so enormous that he was bound to disappoint someone. Indeed, what is remarkable about the present situation in Brazil is just how popular Lula remains (60 percent approval rating) in spite of a conservative fiscal policy, a modest uptick in the unemployment figures, a willingness to expend valuable political capital on pension and tax reforms, a financial scandal involving his chief of staff, and an embarrassing threat to expel a New York Times journalist.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: New York, Brazil, South America, Central America
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Last October Bolivia experienced a social and political upheaval that forced the resignation of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and shook the capital, La Paz, to its very foundations. The headquarters of all the political parties supporting the government were burned to the ground; toll booths and other symbols of government authority were destroyed or disabled; even the Ministry of Sustainable Development—a magnificent Art Deco building that once housed the business offices of the Patiño tin empire—was gutted. Although a measure of normality has been restored since then, there is no certainty that stability is here to stay. As recently as late April, the lobby and lower floors of the congressional office building were demolished by a suicide bomber, and the successor regime—led by Sánchez de Lozada's former vice president Carlos Mesa—is attempting to buttress its shaky legitimacy through a series of tawdry gimmicks. These include attempts to govern without parties; denying natural gas to Chile, Bolivia's hated neighbor; threatening to overturn long-standing contracts with international energy companies; and brandishing a plebiscite which may well take the country—or at least an important part of it—outside the world economy. Republics do not normally commit suicide, but Bolivia may be an exception. If current trends continue, we may witness the first major alteration of the South American political map in more than a hundred years.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America, Central America, Bolivia
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The March presidential election in El Salvador, in which the conservative ARENA (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) Party won its fourth consecutive victory in fifteen years, invites serious consideration and analysis. At a time when many governments in Latin America are being voted out of office by anti-establishment (and sometimes, anti-party) candidates, and attacks on "neo-liberalism" and globalization are increasingly the order of the day, El Salvador seems to be swimming strongly against the tide. What lies behind this anomaly?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Central America, El Salvador
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The collapse of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in Haiti and his unseemly flight out of the country may have come as a surprise to Americans and others who were not watching closely. It could not have been unexpected by those who were. Haitian history tends to repeat itself, and after a long detour, the circle closed once again. Even the sudden occupation of the country by a multinational force headed by the U.S. Marines is not without precedent. The big question is whether this time the cycle of failure will be broken.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Anyone who follows the Latin American news—even out of the corner of one eye—must be aware of the fact that Colombia, one of South America's largest and most strategically and economically important nations, has been bogged down for more than a decade in a seemingly intractable civil conflict. The term "civil war" is a misnomer in this case, to the extent that it suggests that roughly equal forces are confronting one another. The Colombian case is less dramatic than this but far more complex. On one hand there is the Colombian state and most ordinary citizens—some 40 million of them; on the other, two guerrilla groups, the most important of which, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), can count on roughly 17,000 armed militants. The failure of the Colombian state to provide basic security from the guerrillas, particularly in rural areas, led during the last two decades to the more or less spontaneous creation of the so-called Autonomous Defense Forces—paramilitary forces, or "paras," for short—whose ranks today number 13,000. While the FARC and other self-styled guerrilla formations claim to be fighting for a Marxist revolutionary project, their ideology is largely decorative. In fact they are thugs for whom violence is a way of life and has been for many years. They specialize in kidnappings and murders. The FARC alone has kidnapped more than a thousand people—politicians (including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt), soldiers, and police, presumably to win release of about five hundred militants captured by government forces. What makes the FARC an enduring phenomenon is not that it enjoys much popular support, but that, because it engages in drug trafficking on a monumental scale, it is perhaps the most economically self-sufficient insurgency in the history of Latin America.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On December 19, forces opposed to President Hugo Chávez turned over thousands of petitions to the National Electoral Council (CNE) requesting a referendum that would determine whether the Venezuelan leader will remain in office until his present term ends in 2006. Theoretically the council should have rendered a judgment on the authenticity of the signatures within thirty days. As this Outlook goes to press, however, the verdict remains unclear. The delay is perhaps understandable: a fateful step in Venezuela's future hinges upon the outcome.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Mark Falcoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Probably more than any other Latin American country, the Argentine Republic is susceptible to abrupt changes of spirit and mood. Ten years ago it was apparently hurling itself, pell-mell, into the twenty-first century as South America's great example of economic liberalization and diplomatic alignment with the United States. Today both notions are distinctly out of fashion there, and no wonder—the advantages of both were drastically oversold to the public by the administration of President Carlos Menem (1989-1999). At the end of 2000 the economy virtually collapsed; for a time it appeared as if the country might actually dissolve as a coherent political community. Thanks to the strong hand of Senator Eduardo Duhalde, who took over at the end of 2000 from Fernando de la Rúa, Menem's successor, civic order was restored, though the last three years have been the worst in Argentina's modern history, more dismal even than the Great Depression of the 1930s.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The last big wave of European and Japanese concern about a weak dollar came after the August 1971 breakdown of the Bretton Woods System of fixed exchange rates. At that time European countries feared inflation and, not wanting to support the dollar and thereby import U.S. inflation pressures, they accepted revaluation of their currencies with some misgivings because, as always, a weaker dollar meant more difficulty in competing with vigorous U.S. traded-goods companies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Market behavior in 2004 has defied most predictions. Interest rates and stock prices have dropped—the reverse of most forecasts at the start of the year. The dollar has been broadly trendless despite a rising and "unsustainable" current account deficit that was supposed to have pushed it down. And, of course, the price of oil, which was widely expected in January—not to mention February, March, April, May, and June—to drop back below $30 per barrel has risen relentlessly to well above $50 per barrel.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The U.S. post-bubble economic recovery, which officially began in November 2001 after a recession of just six months, will be three years old by election day. The prior recession had lasted a mere eight months-from July 1990 to March 1991-and was followed by an expansion of ten years, the longest on record. The expansion before that one lasted ninety-two months-from November 1982 through July 1990-following a recession of just sixteen months. The period following November 1982 until the stock market crash of March 2000 witnessed one of the longest and most powerful stock market rallies in U.S. history, accompanied by falling inflation and falling interest rates. The remarkable performance of the last twenty or so years will be difficult to match over the next decade. Indeed, merely sustaining the growth in the current expansion will require some changes to current policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States