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  • Author: Paul Jabber
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The purpose of this analysis is to assess the likely impact that the US campaign against global terrorism launched in the wake of the attacks of September 11th, 2001, will have on key American interests in the Middle East over the medium term (next 12 months). The main focus will be on the expected perceptions and reaction to US policy of selected important Middle East actors, regime stability and changing regional alignments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The ballistic missile remains a central element in the military arsenals of nations around the globe and almost certainly will retain this status over the next fifteen years. States willingly devote often scarce resources in efforts to develop or acquire ballistic missiles; build the infrastructures necessary to sustain future development and production; and actively pursue technologies, materials, and personnel on the world market to compensate for domestic shortfalls, gain increased expertise, and potentially shorten development timelines.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: On September 11, terrorists attacked freedom. The world has responded with an unprecedented coalition against international terrorism. In the first 100 days of the war, President George W. Bush increased America's homeland security and built a worldwide coalition that: Began to destroy al-Qaeda's grip on Afghanistan by driving the Taliban from power. Disrupted al-Qaeda's global operations and terrorist financing networks. Destroyed al-Qaeda terrorist training camps. Helped the innocent people of Afghanistan recover from the Taliban's reign of terror. Helped Afghans put aside long-standing differences to form a new interim government that represents all Afghans – including women.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The last 20 years have been characterized by rapid improvements in information technology and have com e to be regarded as the “Information Revolution.” The Information Revolution is changing the speed at which information is communicated, the facility with which calculations can be conducted in real time, and the costs and speed of observation of physical phenomena. Applications of IT in transportation mean that people and goods can be moved m o re efficiently; applications to the production process mean that goods and services can be produced m o re efficiently.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: John H. Rogers, Jonathan H. Wright, Jon Faust
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: We estimate a monetary policy reaction function for the Bundesbank and use it as a benchmark to assess the monetary policy of the ECB since the launch of the euro in January 1999. We find that euro interest rates are low relative to this benchmark. We consider several possible reasons for this, including the divergence between core and headline inflation, inflation having turned out to be higher than could have been foreseen by the ECB and the possibility that the ECB is focussing only on macroeconomic conditions in a subset of member countries. We argue that these potential explanations cannot account for the difference between recent interest rates and our estimated Bundesbank benchmark. Our results suggest that the reaction function of the ECB features a high weight on the output gap relative to the weight on inflation, compared to the Bundesbank.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The capacity and willingness of the international community to respond to humanitarian emergencies will continue to be stretched through December 2002. The overall number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance—now approximately 42 million—is likely to increase: Five ongoing emergencies—in Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, North Korea and Sudan—cause almost 20 million people to be in need of humanitarian assistance as internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, or others in need in their home locations. All these emergencies show signs of worsening through 2002. In addition, humanitarian conditions may further deteriorate in populous countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC) or Indonesia. The total number of humanitarian emergencies—20—is down from 25 in January 2000. Of the current emergencies: Eleven are in countries experiencing internal conflict—Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Colombia, DROC, Indonesia, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda. Two—in Iraq and North Korea—are due largely to severe government repression. The remaining six—in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yugoslavia—are humanitarian emergencies that have entered the transitional stage beyond prolonged conflict, repressive government policies, and/or major natural disasters. The primary cause of the emergency in Tajikistan is drought. Several other countries currently experiencing humanitarian emergencies—Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, North Korea, Somalia, and Sudan—also are affected by major, persistent natural disasters.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia
  • Author: Jane Ihrig, Joseph E. Gagon
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The pass-through of exchange rate changes into domestic inflation appears to have declined in many countries since the 1980s. We develop a theoretical model that attributes the change in the rate of pass-through to increased emphasis on inflation stabilization by many central banks. This hypothesis is tested on twenty industrial countries between 1971 and 2003. We find widespread evidence of a robust and statistically significant link between estimated rates of pass-through and inflation variability. We also find evidence that observed monetary policy behavior may be a factor in the declining rate of pass-through.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: The battle against international bribery and other forms of public corruption remains a high priority for the United States. As President George W. Bush stated in his May 2001 message to the Second Global Forum on Fighting Corruption, “The corruption of governmental institutions threatens our common interests in promoting political and economic stability, upholding core democratic values, ending the reign of dictators, and creating a level playing field for lawful business activities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Section 218 of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, Public Law (PL) 106-398 (at Appendix A) requires the submission of a report to the congressional defense committees on the acquisition of biological defense vaccines for the Department of Defense (DoD). As required by section 218, PL 106-398, this report addresses: 1) the implications of relying on the commercial sector to meet the DoD's biological defense vaccine requirements; 2) a design for a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) vaccine production facility; 3) preliminary cost estimates and schedule for the facility; 4) consultation with the Surgeon General on the utility of such a facility for the production of vaccines for the civilian sector and the impact of civilian production on meeting Armed Forces needs and facility operating costs; and 5) the impact of international vaccine requirements and the production of vaccines to meet those requirements on meeting Armed Forces needs and facility operating costs.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Abstract: Russia's Foreign Policy Russian foreign policy in the coming years will be characterized by weakness; frustration--primarily with the United States as the world's preeminent power--over Russia's diminished status; generally cautious international behavior; and a drive to resubjugate, though not reintegrate, the other former Soviet states. The international situation affords Russia time to concentrate on domestic reforms because, for the first time in its history, it does not face significant external threats. But rather than use the breathing space for domestic reforms, Putin is as much--if not more--focused on restoring Russia's self-defined rightful role abroad and seeking to mold the CIS into a counterweight to NATO and the European Union. The Outside World's Views of Russia Russia does not have any genuine allies. Some countries are interested in good relations with Russia, but only as a means to another end. For example, China sees Russia as a counterweight to the United States but values more highly its ties with the United States. Some countries see Russia as a vital arms supplier but resent Russia also selling arms to their rivals (China-India, Iran-Iraq). Pro-Russia business lobbies exist in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Israel (one-fifth of whose population now consists of Soviet émigres), but they do not single-handedly determine national policies. Europe is the only region that would like to integrate Russia into a security system, but it is divided over national priorities and institutional arrangements as well as put off by some Russian behavior. Most CIS governments do not trust their colossal neighbor, which continues to show an unsettling readiness to intervene in their internal affairs, though they know Russia well and are to a considerable degree comfortable in dealing with it. Turkey has developed an improved dialogue and an unprecedented number of economic ties with Russia during the post-Cold War period, but this more positive pattern of relations has not fully taken root, and Ankara remains suspicious of Moscow's intentions. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow's role in the Middle East has been reduced, but Israel, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq all favor good relations with Russia. Mutual interests also override disagreements in Russian-Iranian relations, but Tehran is wary of Russian behavior, particularly toward Saddam Hussein. India still trusts Russia--a sentiment that is perhaps a residue of the genuine friendship of Cold War days--but clearly not in the same way it once did, and New Delhi fears that weakness will propel Russia into doing things that could drive India further away. In East Asia, the most substantial breakthrough has been the resurrected relationship between Russia and China, one that entails significant longer-term risk for Russia. Other countries in the region value their links with Moscow as a means to balance a more powerful China, or as a useful component of their larger political and economic strategies, but Russia's role in East Asia--as elsewhere--remains constrained by the decline in its political, military, and economic power over the last decade. Russia's Weakness Russia's weakness stems from long-term secular trends and from its domestic structure. In essence, the old nomenklatura and a few newcomers have transformed power into property on the basis of personal networks and created an equilibrium resting on insider dealings. These insiders may jockey for position but have a vested interest in preserving the system. The public does not like the system but is resigned to it and gives priority to the preservation of order. As for the economy, it is divided into a profitable, internationally integrated sector run by oligarchs and a much larger, insulated, low-productivity, old-style paternalistic sector that locks Russia into low growth. No solace will be forthcoming from the international business and energy worlds. They do not expect the poor commercial climate to improve greatly and will not increase investments much beyond current levels until it does. Militarily, Russia will also remain weak. Its nuclear arsenal is of little utility, and Moscow has neither the will nor the means to reform and strengthen its conventional forces. Hope for the Future? The best hope for change in Russia lies with the younger generation. Several participants reported that under-25 Russians have much more in common with their US counterparts, including use of the Internet, than with older Soviet generations. But there was some question over whether the new generation would change the system or adapt to it. Others placed some hope in international institutions, for instance the World Trade Organization, eventually forcing Russia to adapt to the modern world. Dissenting Views Some participants dissented from the overall forecast of depressing continuity. The keynote speaker, James Billington, stated that Russia would not be forever weak and that the current confusion would end in a few years either through the adoption of authoritarian nationalism or federated democracy. One scholar felt the Chechen war was feeding ethnic discord in other areas of the Federation to which Moscow would respond with increased authoritarianism, not necessarily successfully. Finally, a historian observed that the patience of Russians is legendary but not infinite, meaning that we should not be overly deterministic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East, Israel