Benn Steil

Geo-Graphics

A graphical take on geoeconomic issues, with links to the news and expert commentary.

Dr. Strangelove or: How China Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dollar

by Benn Steil and Dinah Walker Thursday, February 21, 2013
currency wars

China has since 1994 operated some form of currency peg, harder or softer, between its yuan and the U.S. dollar. While China’s state-run Xinhua news agency has in recent years railed against U.S. management of the dollar, and has called for “a new, stable, and secured global reserve currency,” this week’s Geo-Graphic illustrates why China has little incentive to press for such a thing. Read more »

Why NGDP Targeting is a Fad

by Benn Steil and Dinah Walker Tuesday, February 12, 2013
fed policy vs ngdp targeting

Big-name economists have been lining up to show their support for yet another target-based approach to monetary policy making: nominal gross domestic product level (NGDP) targeting. The basic idea is that a central bank should aim to stabilize GDP, unadjusted for inflation, at around 4.5% as a means of stabilizing aggregate demand and avoiding recessions. NGDP targeting having once been the intellectual stomping ground of economists on the right (notably Scott Sumner), its newest supporters come overwhelmingly from the left (such as Christy Romer). Read more »