Economic Policy Development

Download A Globalist Manifesto for Public Policy (Occasional Paper, by Charles Calomiris PDF

By Charles Calomiris

ISBN-10: 025536525X

ISBN-13: 9780255365253

The global development towards privatization, liberalization, and globalization has produced enormous fiscal merits.

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Additional info for A Globalist Manifesto for Public Policy (Occasional Paper, 124)

Example text

Diminishing returns set in by the mid-1990s, and declining productivity relative to the US, along with looming fiscal risks from government protection of insolvent banks, were the key factors in the collapse of Asia’s dollar exchange rate pegs. As the Asian economies slowed, and as their exchange rates became unsustainable, insolvent banks adopted resurrection strategies for taking on new risks, often by betting on foreign exchange rates or on junk bond issues. The history of the high-flying Asian investment house Peregrine Investments was a microcosm of the Asian financial crisis.

European trade, technology, wealth and manufacturing flourished withal. And alongside these grew an international network of great minds and entrepreneurs devoted to applied scientific inquiry. Thus was the groundwork laid for the industrial revolution. In Europe, then, power-hungry, greedy despots made beneficent rulers and patrons of technology. Trade routes expanded, technology was rapidly disseminated, and progress was cumulative (each improvement built on its predecessor). Not so in Asia. Despite China’s superior technological capabilities – in particular, its knowledge of printing, iron-making, paper production, water power, gunpowder, navigation, shipbuilding and water-powered textile spinning hundreds of years prior to their emergence in Europe – China failed to take advantage of that knowledge, and tended to forget or purposely ignore useful information.

At a minimum, doing so frees some factors of production from home-grown inefficiency. O’Rourke and Williamson, and Lindert and Williamson, argue that, in the preWorld War I era, emigration was probably the single largest means through which globalisation improved the lot of the world’s poor. While limits on emigration make it relatively less important today than in the past, there are still some important examples. Argentina has a population of some 36 million. The fact that over 3 million Argentines, typically among the best-educated and most productive workers, now reside in the United States, and the potential for more to follow, both mitigates the costs of Argentine economic failure today, and (one hopes) energises would-be reformers to find ways to stem the brain drain.

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