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Better Capitalism

by Robert E. Litan Carl J. Schramm

In the wake of the Great Recession and America's listless recovery from it, economists, policymakers, and media pundits have argued at length about what has gone wrong with the American capitalist system. Even so, few constructive remedies have emerged. This welcome book cuts through the chatter and offers a detailed, nonideological, and practical blueprint to restore the vigor of the American economy. Better Capitalismextends and significantly expands on the insights of the authors' widely praised previous book,Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, co-written with William Baumol. InBetter Capitalism,Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm focus on the huge--but often unrecognized--importance of entrepreneurship to overall economic growth. They explain how changes in seemingly unrelated policy arenas--immigration, education, finance, and federal support of university research--can accelerate America's recovery from recession and spur the nation's rate of growth in output while raising living standards. The authors also outline an innovative energy strategy and discuss the potential benefits of government belt-tightening steps. Sounding an optimistic note when gloomy predictions are the norm, Litan and Schramm show that, with wise and informed policymaking, the American entrepreneurial engine can rally and the true potential of the U. S. economy can be unlocked.

Financial Statecraft: The Role of Financial Markets in American Foreign Policy

by Benn Steil Robert E. Litan

As trade flows expanded and trade agreements proliferated after World War II, governments--most notably the United States--came increasingly to use their power over imports and exports to influence the behavior of other countries. But trade is not the only way in which nations interact economically. Over the past two decades, another form of economic exchange has risen to a level of vastly greater significance and political concern: the purchase and sale of financial assets across borders. Nearly $2 trillion worth of currency now moves cross-border every day, roughly 90 percent of which is accounted for by financial flows unrelated to trade in goods and services--a stunning inversion of the figures in 1970. The time is ripe to ask fundamental questions about what Benn Steil and Robert Litan have coined as "financial statecraft," or those aspects of economic statecraft directed at influencing international capital flows. How precisely has the American government practiced financial statecraft? How effective have these efforts been? And how can they be made more effective? The authors provide penetrating and incisive answers in this timely and stimulating book.

Growing Old

by Yasuyuki Fuchita Robert E. Litan Richard J. Herring

While the immediate dangers from the recent financial crisis have abated--much of the financial system has returned to profitability and the economy is growing, albeit slowly--the damage to the economy will linger for years. Among the many impacts is the problem that may be most acute in the United States: how state and local governments and private companies will honor their obligations under defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Institutional investors also confront new difficulties in the low-interest-rate environment that has prevailed since the onset of the crisis. East Asian economies, namely in Japan, Korea, and China, also face pension issues as their populations age.In Growing Old, experts from academia and the private sector consider the hard questions regarding the future of pension plans and institutional money management, both in the United States and in Asia. This volume is the latest collaboration between the Brookings Institution and the Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research on issues confronting the financial sector of common interest to audiences in the United States and Japan.Contributors: Olivia S. Mitchell (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Akiko Nomura (Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research), Robert Novy-Marx (Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester), Betsy Palmer (MFS Investment Management), Robert Pozen (Harvard Business School), Joshua Rauh (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University), Natalie Shapiro (MFS Investment Management)

Improving Measures of Science, Technology, and Innovation

by National Research Council Kaye Husbands Fealing Committee on National Statistics Robert E. Litan Policy and Global Affairs Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Andrew W. Wyckoff Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy Panel on Developing Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators for the Future

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), at the U.S. National Foundation, is 1 of 14 major statistical agencies in the federal government, of which at least 5 collect relevant information on science, technology, and innovation activities in the United States and abroad. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 expanded and codified NCSES's role as a U.S. federal statistical agency. Important aspects of the agency's mandate include collection, acquisition, analysis, and reporting and dissemination of data on research and development trends, on U.S. competitiveness in science, technology, and research and development, and on the condition and progress of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Improving Measures of Science, Technology and Innovation: Interim Report examines the status of the NCSES's science, technology, and innovation (STI) indicators. This report assesses and provides recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators designed to better reflect fundamental and rapid changes that are reshaping global science, technology and innovation systems. The book also determines the international scope of STI indicators and the need for developing new indicators that measure developments in innovative activities in the United States and abroad, and Offers foresight on the types of data, metrics and indicators that will be particularly influential in evidentiary policy decision-making for years to come. In carrying out its charge, the authoring panel undertook a broad and comprehensive review of STI indicators from different countries, including Japan, China, India and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Improving Measures of Science, Technology, and Innovation makes recommendations for near-term action by NCSES along two dimensions: (1) development of new policy-relevant indicators that are based on NCSES survey data or on data collections at other statistical agencies; and (2) exploration of new data extraction and management tools for generating statistics, using automated methods of harvesting unstructured or scientometric data and data derived from administrative records.

The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century

by Hal J. Singer Robert E. Litan

The twenty-first-century telecommunications landscape is radically different from the one that prevailed as recently as the last decade of the twentieth century. Robert Litan and Hal Singer argue that given the speed of innovation in this sector, the Federal Communications Commission's outdated policies and rules are inhibiting investment in the telecom industry, specifically in fast broadband networks. This pithy handbook presents the kind of fundamental rethinking needed to bring communications policy in line with technological advances.Fast broadband has huge societal benefits, enabling all kinds of applications in telemedicine, entertainment, retailing, education, and energy that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Those benefits would be even greater if the FCC adopted policies that encouraged more broadband providers, especially wireless providers, to make their services available in the roughly half of the country where consumers currently have no choice in wireline providers offering download speeds that satisfy the FCC's current standards.The authors' recommendations include allowing broadband providers to charge for premium delivery services; embracing a rule-of-reason approach to all matters involving vertical arrangements; stripping the FCC of its merger review authority because both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have the authority to stop anticompetitive mergers; eliminating the FCC's ability to condition spectrum purchases on the identity, business plans, or spectrum holdings of a bidder; and freeing telephone companies from outdated regulations that require them to maintain both a legacy copper network and a modem IP network.These changes and others advanced in this book would greatly enhance consumer welfare with respect to telecommunications services and the applications built around them.

Rocky Times

by Richard J. Herring Yasuyuki Fuchita Robert E. Litan

It has been four years since the financial crisis of 2008, and the global financial system still is experiencing malaise caused by high rates of unemployment; a lingering, unresolved supply of foreclosed properties; the deepening European debt crisis; and fear of a recurrence of the bank turmoil that brought about the Great Recession. All of these factors have led to stagnant economic growth worldwide.In Rocky Times, editors Yasuyuki Fuchita, Richard J. Herring, and Robert E. Litan bring together experts from academia and the banking sector to analyze the difficult issues surrounding troubled large financial institutions in an environment of economic uncertainty and growing public anger. Continuing the format of the previous Brookings- Nomura collaborations, Rocky Times focuses largely on developments within the United States and Japan but looks at those in other nations as well.This volume examines two broad areas: the Japanese approach to regulating financial institutions and promoting financial stability and the U.S. approach in light of the Dodd-Frank Act. Specific chapters include "Managing Systemwide Financial Crises: Some Lessons from Japan since 1990," "The Bankruptcy of Bankruptcy," "The Case for Regulating the Shadow Banking System," "Why and How to Design a Contingent Convertible Debt Requirement," and "Governance Issues for Macroprudential Policy in Advanced Economies."Contributors: Gavin Bingham (Systemic Policy Partnership, London), Charles W. Calomiris (Columbia Business School), Douglas J. Elliott (Brookings Institution), Kei Kodachi (Nomura Institute of Capital Markets Research), Morgan Ricks (Vanderbilt Law School).

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