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  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A spectre is haunting the world: 1914. The approaching centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is a reminder of how the instability produced by changes in the relative balance of power in an integrated or globalized world may produce cataclysmic events. Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran Prime Minister of Luxem-bourg and chair of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, started 2013 by warning journalists that they should take note of the parallels with 1913, the last year of European peace. He was referring explicitly to new national animosities fanned by the European economic crisis, with a growing polarization between North and South. Historically, the aftermath and the consequences of such cataclysms have been extreme. George Kennan strikingly termed the 1914–18 conflict 'the great seminal catastrophe of this century'. Without it, fascism, communism, the Great Depression and the Second World War are all almost impossible to imagine.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Why the US still dominates the world of innovative ideas
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Max Watson
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Today's market turbulence and global imbalances prompt the question whether economic and regulatory policies are poorly designed or just badly implemented. The question is urgent for Europe, which has its own asset booms and imbalances to worry about as well as the backwash of US problems. The imbalances in Europe's economies in large part reflect favourable shocks, such as falling interest rates and growing financial integration. But the 'growth crisis' in Portugal underscores the fact that there can be hard landings, even without a financial crisis, if fiscal policy is unwise and if productivity fails to take off. The current global imbalances and turbulence also have a common backdrop in the long period of unusually easy liquidity and low risk premia during which today's problems built up. This suggests that central banks should be prepared more often to 'lean against the wind' in times of asset price exuberance, and that politicians should not cut taxes or boost spending permanently on the back of revenue gains that result from transient financial booms. Banks and supervisors have many lessons to draw. Some involve going 'back to basics' on issues such as liquidity, off-balance-sheet operations, and the ability to close and reopen banks. Others require a careful look at incentives – in executive pay, rating agency roles and loan production systems. Supervisors also need to take better account of boom-bust cycles when they assess risks, and address cross-border issues in EU banking. Moral hazard has been partly addressed by pain inflicted on bank managements and shareholders. But at the macro level it may be building up as policy-makers act to limit losses in a setting where they cannot trace the ultimate fallout from risks. In future, their discretionary interventions need to be truly exceptional and much more symmetrical, or the money supply and the public debt will ratchet up amid serious resource misallocation.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Paola Subacchi, Benedicta Marzinotto, Vanessa Rossi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: With the euro approaching the tenth anniversary of its establishment, this is a timely as well as critical moment to review policies and performance. Enough experience of the convergence and adjustment processes has been gained to better understand how they work and what problems have been created rather than solved. As the strengths – and the success – of the euro become more visible, so too do its weaknesses and the conflicts it creates. Are the appropriate mechanisms and governance in place to help manage Europe's economy so that it can realize its potential? Governance is critical because of the institutional complexity of the monetary union. Independent policy targets and policy instruments not only have to be consistent with each other, but also need to be integrated in a nonconflicting framework. There are two threads to this debate: convergence and adjustments across the euro area, and how the region as a whole is performing with regard to the rest of the world. Both imply a new approach to governance. When EMU was established, the euro area comprised 11 founding members. Now it comprises 15 and is slowly expanding. Ten years ago the emergence of China was more a possibility than a reality, while the 'Asian Tigers' were coming to terms with a devastating financial crisis. Now the rise of the emerging market economies and the enlargement of the global economy's playing field pose significant challenges to the competitiveness of the euro area. With the euro now becoming the second pillar of the international monetary system, EMU's external dimension has become very relevant. The way forward needs to blend the traditional concerns for macroeconomic stability and competitiveness with the more recent concern about the role of Europe in the global economy. All these dimensions need to be organized into a coherent agenda. The right policy should be implemented at the right time.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rifat A Atun, Susan Fitzpatrick
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The traditional view of the relationship between economic growth and health had emphasized the impact of economic growth on improved health. However, from the beginning of the 'human capital' revolution in economics, there was a conceptual base that health is a core contributor to an individual's human capital, while health care is clearly a desired consumption good. Now, there is strong empirical evidence from both developing and developed countries which demonstrates the two-way relationship: that economic growth improves health but improved health also significantly enhances economic productivity and growth. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that no society has seen sustained economic progress when it has neglected investment in its people's education and health.
  • Topic: Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Koji Morita
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Public projections by the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and the European Commission suggest that, with present policies, world consumption of gas will roughly double by 2020, taking about 5% of the primary energy market from other fuels. About half this gain will be at the expense of more carbon-intensive fossil fuels, mainly coal, but the other half will replace carbon-free nuclear energy. The net effect on the growth of greenhouse gas emissions will therefore be small. For comparison, gas consumption increased in the past 20 years by almost 80%, at the expense of other fossil fuels. Half the increased gas demand is projected for developing countries, compared with 45% of the increase over the past 20 years and their present share of about a quarter of total world gas consumption.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe