September 2015 E-Bulletin
Addis Ababa Recap, Members Testify Before Congress, Upcoming 2015 International Council, and More!
We hope that everyone had an enjoyable summer. Below are highlights of the Committee’s activities over the summer.
Insider's Access: Third International Conference on Financing for Development
On July 16th, 2015 the Bretton Woods Committee hosted a virtual conference featuring Joachim von Amsberg, Vice President of Development Finance at the World Bank, who provided expert analysis on outcomes from the Third International Conference on Financing for Development live from Addis Ababa. Von Amsberg reviewed the conference’s expected outcomes and provided his impressions on the overall success of the conference.
Robert (Bob) J. Berg, Bretton Woods Committee member and former senior advisorto UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, and the UN Economic Mission to Africa, moderated the discussion.
To read a full summary of the event and for additional resources, please click here.
To listen to the audio recording of the event, please click here.
Views from the Members: Private Sector Perspective on the Global EconomyThis section offers individual Members to share their perspective with the broader Committee membership. Views expressed below are from individual Members and do not reflect any viewpoint of the Bretton Woods Committee.
Murat Koprulu, Head of Emerging Markets at Mariner Investment Group and Bretton Woods Committee member, discusses the implications of China’s recent currency devaluation on global markets, their bid to acquire SDR status, and the U.S. Fed’s proposal to increase interest rates.
The question of the moment seems to be why is what is happening to China currently looming so large for the global economy as well as global financial markets and the U.S. Federal Reserve. My global macro view has been propounded elsewhere (e.g. Bloomberg) since February of this year that global disinflationary forces have been gathering force despite $12 Trillion in global central bank monetary stimulus since September 2008.
When one couples a disinflationary background with global total debt levels significantly higher today than in 2008 pre-Global Financial Crisis (GFC), one has a deadly cocktail in one’s hand. As any graduate economics student knows very well, the Irving Fisher thesis articulated in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression is that rising debts coupled with disinflationary trends equal financial Armageddon. Falling prices mean costs of debt burdens rise as real interest rates rise. That naturally leads to defaults, bankruptcies, and lower economic activity which begets even more falling prices – therein lies the disaster.
This ungodly picture exists presently in all the G20 countries of the world (funny enough, I am, today as I write this, at the front-end of the G20 meetings occurring in a pivotal emerging market this year, Turkey), including of course the United States and China. In the U.S. we see catastrophic signs of the debilitating aspects of the debt-disinflation spiral in one particular industry (we will shortly see it in more industries), the shale oil industry, with the massive financial stress induced by rapidly falling WTI oil prices. And a corollary of that stress is the recessionary winds that are in place in 14 states of the U.S. encompassed by the Federal Reserve Districts of Dallas, Kansas City, and Minneapolis, whose recent PMI manufacturing reports are all entering various phases of deep contraction.
And in China, unfortunately, we see more pervasive debilitating effects of an unprecedented 34 consecutive months of factory-gate outright deflation coupled with the fastest rise in total debt among the G20 countries since the GFC. The other side of that coin is the rapid deceleration of the Chinese economy, which is partly induced by the debt-disinflation spiral, and partly by the natural end to a long-in-the-tooth global business cycle of almost 80 months. When all of that is occurring in the second largest economy in the world with the second largest population in the world, one has a recipe for The Second Global Financial Crisis, 2015 – 2016.
Meanwhile, uncharacteristically, the Federal Reserve speaks out of both sides of its mouth, engendering confusion and derision, not to mention outright contempt, by professional investors. They say the U.S. economy is solid, but they don’t really mean it. They say U.S. is mostly immune to global conditions, but they think really not. They have a horrible 5-year post-GFC track record of forecasting anything, not growth, not inflation, not even where they think their own rates will be in 6 months.
Thus, to obsess over whether or when the Federal Reserve will raise rates is a fool’s errand. The real obsession we should have is what will happen when, not if, the debilitating forces I have outlined above start to shake the global financial markets much more violently than what has been the first shot in this war during the month of August with massive global equity markets damage. The first counter-shot has already been fired by the European Central Bank (ECB), with a panicked signal that their monetary stimulus plan needs serious adjustment. When will we hear from the Federal Reserve to that effect?
Click here to listen to additional analysis from Murat Koprulu on Bloomberg Radio.
The Bretton Woods Committee would like to congratulate two members on their recent achievements:
David Munro, Chief Executive, Corporate Investment Banking, Standard Chartered and Bretton Woods Committee Member
Standard Chartered took home 21 accolades at the annual EMEA Finance Achievement Awards across the capital markets and project finance categories. EMEA Finance is a leading bi-monthly global industry publication that reports on the major financial events initiated and influenced by the international financial industry active in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (the EMEA region). Click here to read more.
Bill Rhodes, CEO, William R. Rhodes Global Advisors; Senior Advisor, Citi; Bretton Woods Committee Advisory Council Member
Latin Trade Group honored William R. Rhodes with the BRAVO Legacy Award, an award honoring those individuals who have had a lasting and transformative impact on the region. His lifelong dedication to the region and decision-making ability have assisted in the overall development of the region and its integration into the global economy. To read more, click here.
Welcome New Members!On behalf of the entire Committee, we would like to recognize and welcome our new members who have joined the Committee in the last quarter:
• Carolyn Campbell, Emerging Capital Partners
• Julie Chon, Perry Capital
• Jean-Marc Coicaud, Rutgers University
• John R. Dacey, Swiss RE
• Carlotta de Franceschi, Government of the Republic of Italy
• John W. H. Denton, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
• Donald F. Donahue, Miranda Partners, LLC
• Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
• William Drozdiak, McLarty Associates
• Saeb Eigner, Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
• Anthony Elson, Johns Hopkins SAIS & Duke Center for International Development
• Michael Feroli, J.P. Morgan Chase
• Pablo Garcia-Silva, Central Bank of Chile
• Joanna Girardin Shapiro, Bank of New York Mellon
• Kenneth L. Gutwillig, Financial Decisions, Inc.
• Crispian Kirk, OIC International
• Andy Kollegger, UBS AG
• Christian Kopf, Spinnaker Capital Limited
• Miles Carey Leahey, Decision Economics
• Amanda MacAruthur, PYXREA Global
• Thomas D. McNeese, Houston Committee on Foreign Relations
• Stephen Myrow, Beacon Policy Advisors LLC
• Michael E. O'Neill, Citigroup, Inc.
• Leon E. Panetta, The Panetta Institute for Public Policy
• Mark L. Rockefeller, StreetShares, Inc.
• Paul Sheard, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
• Shanker Arjun Singham, Babson Global
• Timothy G. Solberg, Project Medishare for Haiti
• Jeremy C. Stein, Harvard University
• Peter Taksoe-Jensen, Embassy of Denmark
• Haruyuki Toyama, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited
• Hiroshi Ueki, Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.
• Kerrie Waring, International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
• R. DeLisle Worrell, Central Bank of Barbados
Thank You!We would like to extend our gratitude to those members who recently nominated Emerging Leaders and new members to join the Committee. Your dedication and ongoing support ensure that the Committee’s greatest asset – our membership – continues to thrive. Thank you!
Reminder: Your Membership Contribution is Needed!If you have already made your contribution for the year, thank you! You have helped to keep our well-regarded programs thriving and ensured that our collective voice will continue to amplify our shared belief in the value of multilateral economic cooperation.
If you have not yet made your investment, your tax-deductible contribution is still needed. Arguably, there has never been a more important time to spur multilateral leadership and reform. Continue your membership in the Bretton Woods Committee by responding to your membership invoice. If you would like to contribute now, please click here or contact John Wood, Office Manager, 202-331-1616.