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  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Since our Aug. 20th report, the situation in Russia has developed dramatically. On Friday (Aug. 21st), the lower house of the Russian parliament (the Duma) overwhelmingly called for Yeltsin's resignation and changes in the government and the leadership of the central bank. The Duma also passed a non-binding resolution demanding nationalization of some banks and restriction of foreign participation in domestic capital markets. In response, the RTS index of leading Russian shares fell 5.56% to 81.76 on negligible trading volume of $4.2 million. Central bank head Dubinin announced plans to activate Russia's precious metals reserves (approximately $5 billion of $15.1 billion total foreign exchange reserves) to support the ruble. On Sunday, Aug. 23rd, in an action anticipated in our Aug. 17th report, Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and installed in his place Viktor Chernomyrdin.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Russian capital markets were already in what George Soros described as a “financial meltdown in . . . its terminal phase” on August 12th. Since then, capital markets have deteriorated significantly in reaction to measures announced by the Russian Government on Monday, Aug. 17th (summarized in Section II below). IEWS is actively evaluating the nature and extent of the crisis and trying to project its likely course.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: G.B. Madison
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University
  • Abstract: Globalization is a multifaceted phenomenon. In this paper I seek to discern some of the challenges it poses, as well as some of the opportunities it offers. To this end, attention is focused on three major aspects of globalization: the economic, the cultural, and the political. Particular consideration is given to the political-economic lessons to be learned from the recent East Asian financial (and economic) crisis; the homogenizing and civilizing ramifications of globalization in the realm of culture; and the relation between economic globalization, the threat it poses to the traditional notion of national sovereignty, and the prospects for the development of civil society, the rule of law, and democratic governance. The paper concludes by arguing that, as a result of the emerging global economy, we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of capitalism, qualitatively different from both 19th-century laissez-faire capitalism and 20th-century “managed” capitalism.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Kellee S. Tsai
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Our country does not permit the establishment of private banks. We must continue to investigate and impose discipline on non-banking financial institutions and other creditors that charge high interest rates. This is clearly one of the most important measures for ensuring order in the entire financial system.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • 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: Anna J. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund are undemocratic institutions unaccountable for their actions. Their current functions have little to do with their original missions. The ESF is used by the executive branch to circumvent Congress in the provision of foreign aid. Its foreign exchange interventions have, in any event, always been wasteful and ineffective at controlling the relative price of the U.S. dollar. The IMF has also been used to provide massive bailouts in the cases of Mexico in 1995 and of Asian countries since 1997. Defenders of the IMF as an international lender of last resort are misinformed since the IMF does not and cannot serve that purpose. Both institutions should be abolished, not reformed, because they are not needed to resolve currency crises and they preclude superior solutions.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mexico
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 14th Aspen PacRim Energy Workshop directed attention to continued strong prospects for growth in electric demand, and thus increased need for major additions to generation capacity. In particular, the meeting focused on the potential role of natural gas/LNG in the fuel mix for new generation capacity in the region. This Moderator's summary represents my views only in attempting to capture key points of the discussion; any errors or distortions are mine alone.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Edward Lincoln, Kenneth Flamm
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, provides an opportunity for 18 countries with strong trade and investment ties to discuss a wide range of economic issues. APEC has scored two tangible achievements to date: a sweeping but vaguely worded 1994 pledge by its member states to open up to free trade and investment by 2010 and 2020, and a central role in the negotiation of the 1996 Information Technology Agreement (ITA). However, APEC is in danger of fading. When this year's summit begins on November 19, the United States must push for major reform of the APEC bargaining process if the organization is to have any chance of realizing its ambitious trade reform targets.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Donald Emmerson, Henry Rowen, Michel Oksenberg, Daniel Okimoto, James Raphael, Thomas Rohlen, Michael H. Armacost
  • Publication Date: 01-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, the power and prestige of the United States in East Asia have suffered a worrisome degree of erosion. The erosion is, in part, the by-product of long-run secular trends, such as structural shifts in the balance of power caused by the pacesetting growth of East Asian economies. But the decline has been aggravated by shortcomings in U.S. policy toward East Asia, particularly the lack of a coherent strategy and a clear-cut set of policy priorities for the post-Cold War environment. If these shortcomings are not corrected, the United States runs the risk of being marginalized in East Asia--precisely at a time when our stakes in the region are as essential as those in any area of the world. What is needed, above all, is a sound, consistent, and publicly articulated strategy, one which holds forth the prospect of serving as the basis for a sustainable, nonpartisan domestic consensus. The elements of an emerging national consensus can be identified as follows:
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Gregory W. Noble
  • Publication Date: 11-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy
  • Abstract: The last decade has witnessed a momentous transformation in the political economy of East and Southeast Asia. From the 1950s until the early 1980s transnational production played a limited role in the strategies of Northeast Asian governments and firms. Ubiquitous policies of protection and promotion aimed to increase domestic investment, production and exports. Governments discouraged outward investment through financial controls, particularly over foreign currencies; they limited inward foreign investment to narrowly confined niches, and then often subjected it to onerous restrictions to prevent foreigners from gaining a major foothold in the national economy. The few exceptions involved areas in which domestic production was inadequate: investments in Southeast Asian raw materials and energy; investments by Japanese and Western firms in Korea and Taiwan for some labor-intensive products to be sold in local or third-country markets (but rarely in Japan); and a handful of high-tech investments by Western firms such as IBM which enjoyed such strong patent positions that they could not be forced to license their technology. Since the mid-1980s the combination of rapid currency appreciation, rising costs of labor, land and pollution control in Northeast Asia, and liberalizing economic reforms in Southeast Asia led to a huge surge of direct foreign investment, mainly for the production of labor-intensive manufactured goods. The focal point of Northeast Asian economies shifted from export-led growth based on protected domestic markets to management of regional production networks spread throughout Asia.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Taiwan, Asia, Korea