Turbulent Waters: Cross-Border Finance and International Commerce

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Today's world is organized politically into nation states with sovereign national governments. But as Ralph C. Bryant explains in Turbulent Waters, the world's economic structure is outgrowing its political structure. The economic links among nations have increased more rapidly than economic activity itself. As economic integration has proceeded, borders have become more porous, differences among national economies have eroded, and the policy autonomy of national governments has been undermined. Collective-governance problems increasingly spill across national borders and thus grow in importance relative to problems of domestic governance. The evolving need for international cooperation and cross-border collective governance is likely to be the single most prominent feature of world politics and economics for at least the next half century.

The progressive integration of the world economy, often called "globalization," has been especially dramatic for financial activity. Cross-border financial transactions facilitate saving and investment and thereby advance the well-being of individuals. But they can also generate turbulence and instability. Most individuals are unsure whether financial globalization promotes or threatens prosperity for a majority of the world's people.

Bryant explains basic concepts about financial activity and collective governance, distills their international dimensions, and enables general readers to acquire a solid grasp of the key policy issues that national governments must resolve. He provides fresh insights about what is often termed the international financial architecture. But he also casts his net far wider: the book's ambitious goal is no less than to outline a pragmatically sound vision for the evolution of international governance for the world economy and financial system.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In his new book Turbulent Waters, economist Ralph C. Bryant reviews the bewildering complexitites of world trade and financial regulation, revealing how money is moved and goods are exchanged across national borders." —Lane Jennings, The Futurist, The Futurist, 3/1/2004

"This volume should be required reading, especially for those blindly protesting globalization. A better understanding of facts, the factors affecting the global economy, the insights and recommended policies presented by Bryant would lead to a more focused and constructive debate on the merits of globalization..." —C. J. Siegman, Federal Reserve Board/IMF, Choice, 2/4/2004

"... a timely guide to help citizens, policy-makers and academics alike navigate the sea of international financial architectural reforms.... Bryant's depth of knowledge about cross-border financial flows and his thougtful analysis of possible reforms to the international financial architecture make this volume an important study on the policy options available to governments.... He does remarkably well in providing an accessible account of what is generally a very technical debate." —Angela O'Mahony, University of British Columbia, International Journal, 1/1/2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815700722
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 508
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph C. Bryant is a senior fellow and the Edward M. Bernstein Scholar in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He has written numerous books and articles, including International Coordination of National Stabilization Policies (1995) and Turbulent Waters (2003).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Financial Turbulence and Financial Governance 1
2 Saving, Investment, and Financial Activity in a Single Closed Economy 21
3 Collective Governance for Financial Activity 61
4 Political Economy in a Multination, Intermediate World 97
5 The Progressive Internationalization of Finance 132
6 Analytical Issues in Cross-Border Finance: An Introduction 154
7 International Collective Governance 203
8 International Financial Architecture 244
9 Priorities for Architectural Reform: Supranational Surveillance and IMF Lending 281
10 Priorities for Architectural Reform: Prudential Financial Oversight, Crisis Management, and the Mandate for the IMF 303
11 Single-Nation and Systemic Guidelines for Cross-Border Finance 343
12 A Perspective on Financial Activity and Financial Turbulence 380
13 The Evolution of International Financial Governance 390
App The IMF and Other International Financial Institutions 419
References 461
Index 481
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