What happens when entire countries can no longer pay their debts in the 21st century? Is the international economy strong enough to handle dozens of insolvent countries—especially in the middle of a global pandemic? This article explores how countries became indebted before and during COVID-19 and whether the current strategy of sovereign debt reduction is an effective way to stabilize countries in the midst of a public health crisis.Continue Reading

Despite recent metrics around the globe showing severe production declines as a result of coronavirus, Chinese GDP growth continues to be one of the fastest among developed and developing nations. That’s not a new story. While the rest of the world experienced recessions and layoffs, China blew through the 2008-2012 years, reaching an all-time productivity growth peak of 11 percent in 2011. By all official accounts, China is on track to surpass aggregate U.S. output and take the mantle of economic hegemony within the next several decades.Continue Reading

Why International Banks Struggle to Innovate in a Strict Ratings Market. The last time credit ratings probably played a major role in your life—if in fact they ever did—was during the 2008 Financial Crisis. As the canonical story goes, crediting institutions packaged subprime loans, often at B or C level confidence, as reliable A level bonds so that banks could extend their lending power.
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“Freedom from poverty is not free. The poor are willing and capable to pay the cost,” concluded a 1999 Reserve Bank of India taskforce on finance reforms. While that analysis might seem more at home in a Gilded Age drawing room than a modern boardroom, it reflects the core theory behind international economic development’s golden child: microfinance.Continue Reading