Printing pressure: Global currency war and the global recovery
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Event Summary

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, tepid growth and low demand have decreased the share of wealth to be split among nations. In response, central banks have ratcheted up their balance sheets, weakening their currencies and exporting deflation to their trading partners.  At an AEI event on Monday, a panel of experts addressed whether the world is entering a more intense phase of currency war that will threaten global recovery.

Jeffrey Frankel of Harvard University argued that the "emerging" monetary-policy disagreements have actually always existed. Anne Krueger of Johns Hopkins University supplemented this view by pointing out that the major capital adjustment that was necessary before the global financial crisis remains necessary, yet the political will to carry out the adjustment still does not exist. According to Rakesh Mohan of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IMF, which has a pivotal role in the monetary system, is ill-equipped to address this issue because it cannot adjust fast enough to meet the huge surge in capital flows from developed nations. 

Alberto Musalem of Tudor Capital Management offered a more market-based perspective, claiming that the necessary reforms are really rather small, but too contentious to be proposed. Central banks, he said, have pursued rational domestic policies but have largely ignored the international effects. In closing, AEI's John Makin predicted rough times ahead for the global economy as nations try to adjust their government finances and central banks print money.

--Daniel Hanson

Online registration for this event is now closed. Walk-in registrations will be accepted.

Central banks in Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the eurozone are responding to financial woes by printing more money, giving rise to fresh concerns about the outbreak of a currency war. With massive expansions in the balance sheets of the Bank of England, Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan, exchange rates have moved sharply over the past year.

In the wake of the G20 meetings addressing competitive currency devaluations, this expert panel will discuss if this feared currency war is indeed underway and what concerns might arise as global quantitative easing continues. The panel will also discuss how exchange rate fluctuations might threaten the global economic recovery and chart a prudent way forward.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Agenda

1:45 PM
Registration

2:00 PM
Panelists:
Jeffrey Frankel, Kennedy School, Harvard University
Anne Krueger, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
John Makin, AEI
Rakesh Mohan, International Monetary Fund
Alberto Musalem, Tudor Capital Management

Moderator:
Desmond Lachman, AEI

4:00 PM
Adjournment

Speaker Biographies

Jeffrey Frankel is the Harpel Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He directs the program in international finance and macroeconomics at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is also on the Business Cycle Dating Committee, which officially declares US recessions. Frankel served at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in 1983–84 and 1996–99. He was appointed by Bill Clinton as CEA member with responsibility for macroeconomics, international economics, and the environment. Before moving east, he was a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, having joined the faculty in 1979. He is on advisory panels for the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Boston, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Frankel has visited the Institute for International Economics, the International Monetary Fund, and the Federal Reserve Board. His research interests include currencies, crises, commodities, international finance, monetary and fiscal policy, trade, and global environmental issues.

Anne Krueger is a professor of international economics at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She is a senior fellow of the Stanford Center for International Development (of which she was the founding director) and is the Herald L. and Caroline Ritch Emeritus Professor of Sciences and Humanities in the economics department at Stanford University. She was the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2006. Before that, she taught at Stanford and Duke University. From 1982 to 1986, she was vice president of economics and research at the World Bank and earlier was a professor of economics at the University of Minnesota. Krueger is a distinguished fellow and past president of the American Economic Association; a senior research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the American Philosophical Society. She has published extensively on economic development, international trade, and finance and economic policy reform. In addition to her writings on these topics, she has written a number of books and articles on economic growth, international trade, and economic policy in India, South Korea and Turkey.

Desmond Lachman joined AEI after serving as a managing director and chief emerging-market economic strategist at Salomon Smith Barney. He previously served as deputy director in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department and was active in staff formulation of IMF policies. Lachman has written extensively on the global economic crisis, the US housing market bust, the US dollar, and the strains in the euro area. At AEI, Lachman is focused on the global macroeconomy, global currency issues, and the multilateral lending agencies.
John H. Makin is a resident scholar at AEI. As a former consultant to the US Department of the Treasury, the Congressional Budget Office, and the International Monetary Fund, he specializes in international finance and financial markets (stocks, bonds, and currencies including the euro and the US dollar). He also researches the US economy (including monetary policy and tax and budget issues), the Japanese economy, and European economies. He is the author of numerous books and articles on financial, monetary, and fiscal policy. Makin writes AEI's monthly Economic Outlook.

Rakesh Mohan has been the professor in the practice of international economics of finance and senior fellow at Yale University since July 2010.  As one of India’s most senior economic policymakers, he currently serves as an executive director of the International Monetary Fund and the vice chairperson of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. Previously, he served as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India and as secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Indian Ministry of Finance. He has served in advisory capacities to numerous private-sector firms, the Bank of International Settlements, the World Bank, the G20, and other organizations. Mohan has extensive experience in monetary policy, urban economics, banking, and finance in developing countries, and he has served as chairman of the National Transport Development Policy Committee of the Indian government.  

Alberto Musalem is director of global research for Tudor Investment Corporation, where he oversees the firm's research and investment strategy. Before joining Tudor in 2000, he was an official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), engaging in macroeconomic-policy advisory work and stabilization program design and negotiation across the institution's membership. While at the IMF, he also worked on international financial architecture and external vulnerability issues during and after the Asian financial crisis. Musalem has also worked at McKinsey & Company and Bankers Trust. He has been a professor of international financial markets at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee and the Markets Monitoring Group of the Institute of International Finance. He regularly comments and consults on macroeconomic and financial market issues, including at events hosted by the G20, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Eurogroup 50, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee. Musalem has also published several academic articles.

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AEI Participants

 

Desmond
Lachman
  • Desmond Lachman joined AEI after serving as a managing director and chief emerging market economic strategist at Salomon Smith Barney. He previously served as deputy director in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department and was active in staff formulation of IMF policies. Mr. Lachman has written extensively on the global economic crisis, the U.S. housing market bust, the U.S. dollar, and the strains in the euro area. At AEI, Mr. Lachman is focused on the global macroeconomy, global currency issues, and the multilateral lending agencies.
  • Phone: 202-862-5844
    Email: dlachman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Emma Bennett
    Phone: 202.862.5862
    Email: emma.bennett@aei.org

 

John H.
Makin
  • John H. Makin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies the US economy, monetary policy, financial markets, corporate taxation and banking. He also studies and writes frequently about Japanese, Chinese and European economic issues.

    Makin has served as a consultant to the US Treasury Department, the Congressional Budget Office, and the International Monetary Fund. He spent twenty years on Wall Street as the chief economist, and later as a principal of Caxton Associates a trading and investment firm. Earlier, Makin taught economics at various universities including the University of Virginia. He has also been a scholar at the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Bank of Chicago, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. A prolific writer, Makin is the author of numerous books and articles on financial, monetary, and fiscal policy. Makin also writes AEI's monthly Economic Outlook which pairs insightful research with current economic topics.

    Makin received his doctorate and master’s degree in economics from University of Chicago, and bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College.


    Follow John Makin on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5828
    Email: jmakin@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Brittany Pineros
    Phone: 202-862-5926
    Email: brittany.pineros@aei.org
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