SAIS Next Europe

Business and Finance



October 10, 2008 1:39 PM

Our New Capitalist Model: Sweden

Sweden is not accustomed to being touted in America as the example of capitalism done right. Two months ago, most policymakers referred only to the Nordic country as an example of the classic cradle-to-grave social welfare system with all of its inherent challenges. Politicians on the right were particularly fond of pointing out all the inefficiencies and socialist policies that undermined the country's capitalism. And just one month ago, Mike Huckabee warned at the Republican National Convention that Obama had taken "lots of ideas from Europe he'd like to see imported here."

But now it is not just Obama who is suggesting some idea imports from Europe. Almost overnight, world leaders have rushed to seek advice from Swedish policymakers on how to deal with a banking and credit collapse and restore faith in the capitalist system. The irony that socialist Sweden may rescue America's capitalism is causing some smug smiles in Stockholm.

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October 10, 2008 3:57 PM

Financially Bold Britannia

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan still suffers from at least two problems. First, Paulson has yet to explain what he is going to do exactly with all that money. His primary justification was to buy "toxic" mortgages from sinking financial institutions. But the U.S. mortgage crisis has turned into a global credit freeze, and Treasury has yet to explain how its new-found funds will address this far bigger issue. Second, Paulson's plan is still likely to reward those who made the worst mistakes while giving taxpayers little to nothing in return for their investment except a bunch of worthless mortgage assets.

Enter the Brits and the Swedes.

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October 16, 2008 10:29 AM

Strictly Business in Azerbaijan?

Each year the Doing Business Report of the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank rates 181 countries around the world according to the ease of doing business there. This year's top reformer is Azerbaijan. What the Doing Business report does not include in its rankings- and what Azerbaijan sorely needs - is a better business climate for women.

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October 16, 2008 10:31 AM

Russia Takes Upper Hand in Crisis

Russia, like the United States and by now much of the rest of the world, is treading dangerously at the edge of financial despair. Four weeks ago, Finance Minister Alexsei Kudrin stated that Russia would not have to use its reserve funds. The government has since changed its position, and then some. In just the past two months Russia's reserves have decreased by nearly $50 billion [in Russian]. It looks like some (nobody knows yet how much) of Russia's reserves will now be employed in keeping its banks and firms from total collapse.

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November 7, 2008 4:29 PM

Joining the Euro Club

The current financial crisis poses one of the greatest threats for Europe since the adoption of the euro as a common currency in 1999. With more and more European countries being affected, one has to wonder how Eurozone countries are faring as compared to their non-euro counterparts. Denmark, for example, has thus refused to replace its krone with the euro and is finding it difficult to cope in the midst of the crisis, prompting Danish leaders to more readily accept the notion of converting to the euro. Similarly, Iceland's problems with the krona have exacerbated the crisis within the country, leading many analysts to suggest that adopting the euro would help Iceland stabilize its economy.

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November 13, 2008 12:14 PM

Europe's China Problem

Europe, like the United States, has a China problem. But the problem is not what most analysts suggest. Four months ago European trade officials were fulminating about Europe's growing trade deficit with China. This week, with the Chinese economic ministry reporting a dramatic slowdown in the Asian giant's growth and G-20 countries meeting to try to chart a new course for the global economy, Europeans have begun to ask a different question: "What effect would a serious deceleration in China have on the Old World?"

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.