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RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

Taking Stock of the United Kingdom’s Funding for Lending Scheme

by | August 8th, 2014 | 08:59 am

During the tense summer of 2012 while the European sovereign crisis was in full bloom, the Bank of England (BOE) announced plans to launch an innovative new program to ameliorate the persistently high and rising costs of financing—especially to the United Kingdom’s 5 million small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This program, which was dubbed the […]

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What Putin Can Learn from Stalin’s Winter War

by | August 7th, 2014 | 09:15 am

As the crisis escalates over Ukraine, it has become increasingly clear that not only the rebel leaders but also most of their 15,000 fighters are Russian citizens. The Ukrainian troops are far more numerous with 40,000 to 60,000 men and demonstrate much better morale. They have recaptured three-quarters of the territory formerly controlled by the […]

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Putting the Trade Facilitation Agreement Back on Track after India’s Obstruction

by and Gary Clyde Hufbauer | August 5th, 2014 | 02:12 pm

India has blocked the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) approved by all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) last December, drawing understandable condemnation from around the world. Bluntly put, with its action on July 31, India is holding the TFA hostage in return for the renegotiation of the Bali accord reached at […]

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The Missing Women in the Inequality Discussion

by and Sarah Oliver | August 5th, 2014 | 11:00 am

Growing inequality of income and wealth has become a major global concern. In many countries inequality has been driven by weak earnings growth not only among the poor but also among groups across much of the income distribution, while earnings of the top 1 percent continue to rise dramatically. A clear but often overlooked feature […]

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Argentina and Its Creditors after Default: More Questions and Answers

by | August 3rd, 2014 | 03:25 pm

Argentina and the small group of creditors demanding full payment from the nation’s 2001 default failed to resolve their differences on July 30. As a result, creditors did not receive the $539 million interest payment on Argentina’s restructured bonds that had to be paid by that date. The default happened because US courts ruled that […]

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Questions and Answers on the Argentina default

by | August 1st, 2014 | 02:05 pm

On July 30, negotiations in New York failed to resolve differences with a group of bondholders (some of them in speculative funds derided in Argentina as the “vulture funds”) demanding full payment on $1.3 billion in bonds it owns. The New York court overseeing the case declared Argentina to be in default on the grounds […]

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Tariffs Hit Poor Americans Hardest

by | July 31st, 2014 | 12:44 pm

Raising or maintaining tariffs on imports is called protectionism for a reason. The goal is to protect domestic industry and jobs from lower priced foreign goods. But often forgotten is the impact of the US tariff structure on the wallets of American consumers when they visit shopping malls and have to pay a higher price […]

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NAFTA Rejoinder: The US Effects Are Clearly Positive for Most Workers (Part II)

by and Cathleen Cimino | July 30th, 2014 | 05:57 pm

The Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) is challenging an op-ed in the Financial Times by Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, with a litany of familiar denunciations of trade agreements. The CEPR blog post maintains that trade agreements with Mexico and other lower-income economies increase US unemployment, suppress wages, and foster US trade deficits.

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India’s WTO Problem—A Proposal

by | July 29th, 2014 | 10:48 am

After more than a decade of failure to break an impasse on a new global trade round, the World Trade Organization (WTO) managed last year in Bali to accomplish the modest feat of adopting a new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), establishing faster and more efficient customs procedures to encourage more international commerce. Now India is […]

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The Hague Penalizes Russia for Yukos Confiscation

by | July 28th, 2014 | 05:00 pm

In a major new blow to President Vladimir Putin, a three-member Arbitral Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled unanimously that the Russian Federation must pay $51.6 billion to shareholders of the defunct Russian oil company Yukos, which Russia seized ten years ago while jailing its principal owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. […]

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