Benn Steil

Geo-Graphics

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

Was Ukraine Tapered?

by Benn Steil and Dinah Walker Tuesday, February 25, 2014
ukraine

For Ukraine’s beleaguered bond market, the seminal event of 2013 was Ben Bernanke’s now-famous taper talk of May 22.  As today’s Geo-Graphic shows, it sent yields soaring to levels they never came back from.

Ukraine was uniquely susceptible to taperitis, having been sporting a current account deficit of 8% of GDP—considerably worse than other big victims such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa.  Its current political crisis clearly has deep roots, yet it is interesting to speculate as to whether Yanukovych could have held on had it not been for the country’s spiraling debt costs—sent spiraling by the Fed last May. Read more »

“It’s the Growth, Stupid” (Or Half of It): Unemployment in North Carolina

by Benn Steil and Dinah Walker Tuesday, February 11, 2014
north carolina

In July, North Carolina cut off unemployment benefits for those who have been on benefits for 19 weeks, down from 99.  This made it a test run for what would happen nationally after January 1, when the federal extension of unemployment benefits expired. Read more »