ATHENS -- The current disagreements with our partners are not unbridgeable. Our government is eager to rationalize the pension system (for example, by limiting early retirement), proceed with partial privatization of public assets, address the non-performing loans that are clogging the economy's credit circuits, create a fully independent tax commission and boost entrepreneurship. The differences that remain concern how we understand the relationships between the various reforms and the macro environment.
Economic growth dynamics vary across the region, broadly along North-South lines. While spring may be in the air for Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, the economic climate remains decidedly chilly in much of South America. What is behind these divergent prospects, and how can a sunnier outlook be restored to the entire region?
Does fiscal policy respond systematically to economic activity? Can fiscal policy promote macroeconomic stability? Does greater stability support stronger growth? The answer is yes on all counts.
Additional policy measures -- beyond monetary policies -- are vital to make a durable exit from the global financial crisis and to safeguard financial stability. Crisis legacies need to be addressed. The traction of monetary policies must be increased with complementary reforms and financial excesses need to be contained.
Five years into Greece's fiscal emergency, the Troika is justifiably skeptical about this week's make-or-break negotiations with Athens. Its leaders have heard these commitments before. For Syriza, this will be its most important test.
HONG KONG -- What the world needs is a West that is prepared to learn from the rest of the world as much as it seeks to teach it. It does not need a West at odds with the rest.
Behind the numbers lies an unusually complex set of forces shaping the world economy. Some, such as the decline in the price of oil and the evolution of exchange rates, are highly visible. Some, from crisis legacies to lower potential growth, play more of behind-the-scenes role but are important nevertheless. Let me briefly review them.
NEW YORK -- When he was chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke mistakenly described the problem as a "global saving glut." But in a world with such huge infrastructure needs, the problem is not a surplus of savings or a deficiency of good investment opportunities. The problem is a financial system that has excelled at enabling market manipulation, speculation, and insider trading, but has failed at its core task: intermediating savings and investment on a global scale. That is why the AIIB could bring a small but badly needed boost to global aggregate demand.
BERLIN -- Great crises often produce enduring images. For the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this has often been a terrified child cowering behind protective parents; for 9/11 it was brave firemen rushing headlong into collapsing buildings. Last month saw what could become one of the lasting images of Europe's unending crisis: the sight of burning cars and buildings after riots outside the European Central Bank.
There is a tense standoff right now between the Greek government and the European authorities -- sometimes known as the Troika because it includes the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Venezuela has the dubious honor of registering the world's highest inflation rate. According to my estimate, the annual implied inflation rate in Venezuela is 252 percent. The only other country in which this rate is in triple digits is Ukraine, where the inflation rate is 111 percent.
BEIJING -- The Obama administration clearly understands the urgency for the U.S. to be more active in creating, shaping and reforming the international system and international mechanisms. But a strong domestic consensus in still not in place, and because of obstacles in its political system, America just cannot act in an efficient way.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew offered a gentler approach to China's proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Tuesday, saying "the U.S. stands ready to welcome new additions to the international development architecture."
We have to remember that the same banks responsible for so much of the financial strife, confusion, and crisis are guided by social forces. When we believe our financial systems are beyond our control, we neglect our responsibility to those most impacted by its flaws.
The new talking point for the Republican Party -- actually, it's an old talking point in expensive new clothing -- is "America is in retreat."
Greece's Syriza party has put its foot down to demand an end to the troika's agenda, and now Spain's Podemos party has risen even more quickly than Syriza to join them. This is what democracy looks like -- even the rigid, unaccountable structure of the eurozone will not be able to stop it from spreading.