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  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on the role of ERM II in the East European accession candidate countries. The EU's Exchange Rate Mechanism has emerged as the primary vehicle for the integration of the CEEC-10 accession countries into the European Monetary Union.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the impact of the economic crisis on the Argentine banking sector. The collapse of the peso-dollar peg dealt a serious blow to the already weakened Argentine banking system, which now faces a significant restructuring process.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Argentina, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece examines the outlook for euro-area economic performance. Despite some indications of improvements in the global and euro-area economies, it is too early to assume that these signify a lasting recovery.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The United States on March 5 announced tariffs on the vast majority of US steel imports. Despite rumours that he would impose moderate duties, US President Bush levied 30% tariffs on the types of steel accounting for about three-quarters of steel imports. Given that these duties follow hundreds of anti-dumping duties imposed on steel products over the past three years, the decision means that virtually no foreign steel will be sold in the United States. It will also have a host of unforeseen international consequences.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This week's piece focuses on mixed successes of intra-regional mergers and acquisitions in South-east Asia. Large South-east Asian firms have been enthusiastic investors within the region, with mixed results. Successful intra-regional investment is important for developing a greater domestic demand structure in the region and reducing reliance on external demand.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Halina Ward
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The business of global governance is set to become one of the key international policy issues of the twenty-first century. The governance of global business is one of the most difficult action points in this agenda. New issues are still emerging, not least among them a discussion on whether there is a need for tougher transnational regulation of multinational corporations. This Briefing Paper outlines the implications of one way of enforcing corporate environmental, social and human rights standards across borders: 'foreign direct liability'.
  • Topic: International Law, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, a simmering debate between the two major power centers in domestic Lebanese politics has spilled into public view. This debate pits newly installed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who represents those who want Lebanon to take advantage of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon to focus on internal stability, economic reconstruction and securing foreign investment, against Hizballah leader Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah, who — with the support of Syria and Iran — champions maintaining Lebanon's role on the front line of the ongoing revolutionary resistance against Israel. This tension was described in the Lebanese newspaper an-Nahar as the choice between "Hanoi" (Nasrallah) and "Hong Kong" (Hariri). As with most Middle East crises, the development of this delicate and flammable dispute carries both risks and opportunities for Lebanon and other players on the Middle East scene.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Political Economy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Hong Kong
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar on November 15 threatened widespread destruction in the United States. Mullah Omar's ambiguous threat of large-scale destruction and Osama bin Laden's explicit claim to possess nuclear weapons raise questions about the likelihood of nuclear terrorism and highlight the importance of protecting sources of highly enriched uranium and plutonium. Technical barriers need not be considered sufficient to prevent the use of nuclear devices by terrorist groups. Nuclear weapon standards are much lower for terrorist groups than for states, potentially making their production less challenging. Acquisition of sufficient qualities and quantities of fissile material is the most formidable obstacle to nuclear terrorist capabilities. Therefore, stringent guarding of access to such material is the best defence against nuclear terrorism.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Taliban
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The IMF's major shareholders have shown little willingness to provide new funds to Argentina. In deferring further assistance, the United States and other G7 shareholders have set limits on the international financial community's role in resolving a major emerging market financial crisis. The slowing global economy could provide an early test of these limits as it exposes weaknesses in other emerging markets — particularly those with larger geopolitical profiles than Argentina. Argentina's predicament highlights the Fund's paradox in wanting, on the one hand, to facilitate orderly resolution of crises (and prevent calamitous social impacts) and, on the other hand, to encourage markets to appropriately price risk by proving that non-optimal outcomes are possible. The risk of such outcomes is the basis upon which investors demand higher premiums from emerging market borrowers.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This piece examines the prospects for the WTO Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha beginning November 9. The central issue for the Qatar meeting is whether WTO members can agree to launch new negotiations, and in so doing restore confidence in the WTO itself. In the background are the September 11 terrorist attacks and the worsening global economic outlook, all of which simultaneously raise the stakes at the meeting and improve prospects for success. The outlook for the Qatar summit has improved, and agreement by WTO members in favour of wide-ranging trade negotiations is now on balance the most likely outcome. However, failure remains a real possibility, unless members can resolve remaining differences on agriculture, implementation of WTO agreements, environmental goals, US anti-dumping practices and pharmaceutical patents.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Qatar
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: OPEC President Chakib Kelil yesterday expressed confidence that the cartel can bring prices back to 25 dollars per barrel through production cuts implemented from January 1. Kelil's remarks follow a recent meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to secure non-OPEC support for a production cut at OPEC's November 14 meeting. The moves take place against a backdrop of falling oil prices and an outlook for even lower prices as global economic growth deteriorates and oil producers fail to implement earlier output cut decisions. Significant uncertainties cloud the oil market and make micro-management extremely difficult. OPEC's apparent failure to secure non-OPEC cooperation for production cuts undermines market credibility for OPEC cuts at its November meeting. Unless the cartel can develop a plausible response, there is a real possibility that it will face an oil price collapse reminiscent of 1997-99.
  • Topic: Environment, Industrial Policy, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke, Kurt Schuler
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: President Carlos Menem of Argentina has advocated replacing the Argentine peso with the dollar. Dollarization would benefit Argentina because it would eliminate the peso-dollar exchange-rate risk, lower interest rates, and stimulate economic growth.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The economic crisis of 1998 has victimised a number of important areas of institutional development and increased social distress among much of the population. A responsible fiscal and monetary response to the crisis, bolstered by a strengthened current account, has helped to stabilise inflation and the exchange rate, although the low level of reserves, the demands of foreign debt service, and threats to the independence of the Central Bank speak for the continued fragility of the achieved level of stability. A restructuring of foreign debt is critical for consolidating trends in the fiscal sphere. While the quick onset of a recovery in GDP in the wake of the weaker rouble is encouraging, delays in structural reforms and low administered input prices raise concern about the quality and sustainability of this growth. The restructuring and regulation of the commercial banking sector continues to pose major challenges to the Central Bank and the Russian government. Throughout a decade of transition, problems in demonetisation and fiscal federalist relations, the particular focus of this Survey, have been important underlying structural obstacles to economic reform. Although some institutional reforms have provided a foundation for a market economy, delays in addressing these and other fundamental problems have impeded efficiency and increased the comparative vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks. The future stability and growth of the Russian economy will require the continuation of responsible macroeconomic policies, but depends first and foremost on progress in structural reform, including tax reform, effective institutions of bankruptcy, competition, more decisive and comprehensive measures to combat the process of demonetisation, defend the rule of law, and realise fundamental reform in fiscal federalist relations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The devaluation of the Russian ruble this year was predictable, especially considering Russia's poor monetary history. State-manipulated money has been a Russian hallmark since the time of Peter the Great and shows that the country's money problems are endemic and do not depend on who controls the central bank. Czarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet governments have used the central bank printing press to finance deficit spending, resulting in high inflation, confiscation of savings, capital controls, or a combination of the three.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jesmond Blumenfeld
  • Publication Date: 07-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: As South Africa approaches its second inclusive elections in 1999, the government's economic record will come under increasing scrutiny. Against widespread expectations of a post-apartheid transformation in economic performance, the country's achievements in output, investment and employment have been profoundly disappointing. The adoption of a new, and more market- and investor-friendly, macroeconomic strategy in 1996 boosted confidence by promising major structural and policy reforms, but this has since been undermined by failure to meet most of the strategy's targets. In this Briefing Paper, Jesmond Blumenfeld analyses the origins, content and outcomes of the strategy as well as the economic and political dilemmas that it has created.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: South Africa, New Delhi
  • Author: Francesca di Mauro
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States