Thursday, November 24, 2011

TT - Introducing Think-tanks: Peterson Institute for International Economics

"The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. Since 1981 the Institute has provided timely and objective analysis of, and concrete solutions to, a wide range of international economic problems. It is one of the very few economics think tanks that are widely regarded as "nonpartisan" by the press and "neutral" by the US Congress, and its research staff is cited by the quality media more than that of any other such institution.
The Institute, which has been directed by C. Fred Bergsten throughout its existence, attempts to anticipate emerging issues and to be ready with practical ideas, presented in user-friendly formats, to inform and shape public debate. Its audience includes government officials and legislators, business and labor leaders, management and staff at international organizations, university-based scholars and their students, other research institutions and nongovernmental organizations, the media, and the public at large. It addresses these groups both in the United States and around the world.
The Institute's staff of about 50 includes more than two dozen senior fellows, who are widely viewed as one of the top groups of economists at any research center. Its agenda emphasizes global macroeconomic topics, international money and finance, trade and related social issues, energy and the environment, investment, and domestic adjustment policies. Current priority is attached to the global financial and economic crisis, globalization (including its financial aspects) and the backlash against it, international trade imbalances and currency relationships, the creation of an international regime to address global warming and especially its trade dimension, the competitiveness of the United States and other major countries, reform of the international economic and financial architecture, sovereign wealth funds, and trade negotiations at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. Institute staff and research cover all key regions—especially Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the United States itself and with special reference to China, India, and Russia.
Institute studies have helped provide the intellectual foundation for many of the major international financial initiatives of the past three decades: reforms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including those initiated by the G-20 in 2009–10, adoption of international banking standards, and broader financial regulatory reforms, exchange rate systems in the G-7 and emerging-market economies, policies toward the dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, and other important currencies, rebalancing of global account imbalances and currency misalignments; and responses to debt and currency crises (including the current crisis of 2008–09 and its European component in 2010). The Institute has made important contributions to key trade policy decisions including the Doha Round, the restoration and then the extension of trade promotion authority in the United States, the Uruguay Round and the development of the World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other US free trade agreements (notably including Korea), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and East Asian regionalism, initiation and implementation of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China, a series of United States–Japan negotiations, reform of sanctions policy, liberalization of US export controls and export credits, and specific measures such as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) for China in 2000, import protection for steel, and Buy American legislation in 2009.
Other influential analyses have addressed economic reform in Europe, Japan, the former communist countries, and Latin America (including the Washington Consensus), the economic and social impact of globalization and policy responses to it, outsourcing, electronic commerce, corruption, foreign direct investment both into and out of the United States, global warming and international environmental policy, and key sectors such as agriculture, financial services, steel, telecommunications, and textiles.
The Institute averages one or more longer publications per month along with one or more Policy Briefs and working papers. It holds one or more luncheon or dinner meetings, seminars, or conferences almost every week to discuss topical international economic issues. Its website averages 550,000 visits and over two million page views per month.
The Institute's annual budget is about $10 million. Support is provided by a wide range of charitable foundations, private corporations, and individual donors and from earnings on the Institute's publications and capital fund. In 2001 it moved into its new building, which received an Award of Excellence for Extraordinary Achievement in Architecture by the American Institute of Architects and a Best Architecture in Washington Award by the Washington Business Journal. It celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 and adopted its new name at that time, having previously been the Institute for International Economics. A more extensive description of the Institute can be found in The Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics at Twenty-Five [pdf], an essay prepared by Director C. Fred Bergsten on that occasion."


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