Dethroning the Dollar with Eswar Prasad, Cornell University, Dr. Catherine Mann, Citibank, and Ted Alden, Council on Foreign Relations – Virtual Program
October 30th, 2020 12:00PM -1:00PM
This is a virtual program, instructions on how to join this meeting will be sent the day before the event.
The status of the U.S. dollar as the dominant reserve currency has given the United States “financial superpower” status and significant influence over other countries’ economies. As frustration grows over U.S. global leadership – from the trade war with China and trade protectionism to its poor pandemic response – and with the current U.S. administration willing to use its financial powers to engage in what some have called financial warfare, will countries seek to find an alternative to the U.S. dollar? Is there one? Join the World Affairs Council for a discussion with Eswar Prasad, a Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, moderated by Ted Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, on the future of the dollar.
About the Speakers
Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the New Century Chair in International Economics, and a Research Associate at the NBER. He was previously chief of the Financial Studies Division in the IMF’s Research Department and, before that, was the head of the IMF's China Division.
He is the author of Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi and The Dollar Trap: How the U.S. Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance. His op-ed articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Dr. Catherine L. Mann is the Global Chief Economist at Citibank since February 2018 where she is responsible for thought leadership, research guidance of a global team of economists, and cross-fertilization of research across macroeconomics, fixed-income, and equities. Prior to this position, she was Chief Economist at the OECD, where she also was Director of the Economics Department and was Finance Deputy to the G20 (2014-2017). Prior to the OECD, she held the Barbara '54 and Richard M. Rosenberg Professor of Global Finance at the International Business School, Brandeis University, where she also directed the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance (2006-2014). She spent 20-plus years in Washington, DC (1984-2006) where her positions included Senior Fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; Economist, Senior Economist, and Assistant Director in the International Finance Division at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Senior International Economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers; and Adviser to the Chief Economist at the World Bank. Dr. Mann received her PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her undergraduate degree is from Harvard University.
In research, Dr. Mann’s work has addressed the US trade deficit, international capital flows, and the dollar; and a global-markets perspective on information technology, services trade, and employment dynamics. Her research guidance at the OECD focused on macro and structural policies for globalization, productivity, and financial crises considered through the lens of different income groups, firms of different sizes and sectoral characteristics, and regional exposures and disparities. Her research guidance at Citi focuses on the interaction between financial market decision-making and real-side consumer and business investment decision-making using a global lens, and both macro top-down and micro bottom-up analysis that draws on the detailed data and capabilities of Citi’s global research teams.
Her published work includes Is the US Trade Deficit Sustainable? (1999), Global Electronic Commerce: A Policy Primer (2000), Accelerating the Globalization of America: The Role for Information Technology (2006) and notable articles including: “Managing Exchange Rates: Evidence of Global Re-balancing or Global Co-dependency?” Business Economics (2004) and “Perspectives on the US Current Account Deficit and Sustainability,” Journal of Economic Perspectives (2002). “Assessing the Potential Benefit of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective,” World Economy (2005), “The US Current Account, New Economy Services, and Implications for Sustainability,” Review of International Economics (2004), and “Has Quantitative Easing Affected the U.S. Treasury Auction Market?,” Atlantic Economic Journal (2014) .
She has authored or co-authored seven books, 60-plus articles, and numerous shorter pieces and testimony. She frequently appears on Bloomberg, CNBC, and public broadcasting, and has been quoted in Businessweek and The Economist among other media and publications. She has delivered key-note speeches and engaged in consulting projects on technology, and macro and structural policy in numerous countries ranging from China, Vietnam, Tunisia, South Africa, and Brazil, to Australia, Finland, France, and Germany, among others.
About the Moderator
Edward Alden is a Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor at Western Washington University and the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness, trade, and immigration policy. He is the author of the book Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which focuses on the federal government’s failure to respond effectively to competitive challenges on issues such as trade, currency, worker retraining, education, and infrastructure.
Alden was most recently the project director of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, co-chaired by former Michigan Governor John Engler and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, which produced the report The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century. In 2011, he was the project codirector of the Independent Task Force which produced U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. And in 2009, he was the project director of the Independent Task Force which produced U.S. Immigration Policy.
Alden’s previous book, The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, was a finalist for the Lukas Book Prize, for narrative nonfiction, in 2009. The jury called Alden’s book “a masterful job of comprehensive reporting, fair-minded analysis, and structurally sound argumentation.”
Alden was previously the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times and prior to that was the newspaper’s Canada bureau chief, based in Toronto. He worked as a reporter at the Vancouver Sun and was the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, widely recognized as a leading source of reporting on U.S. trade policies. Alden has won several national and international awards for his reporting. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances as an analyst on political and economic issues, including on BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS NewsHour. His work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fortune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Alden has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of British Columbia. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley, and pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career. Alden is the winner of numerous academic awards, including a Mellon fellowship in the humanities and a MacArthur Foundation graduate fellowship.
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