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  • Testimony posted July 18, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Evaluating the Financial Risks in China

    Testimony before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs U.S. Senate July 14, 2016 My name is William Wilson. I am a Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Overview Despite its size, direct global…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. How is Russia's Economy? A Yeltsin-Style 'Not Good'

    Sometime in the mid-1990s, British Prime Minister John Major reportedly asked Russian President Boris Yeltsin to describe the Russian economy in one word. Yeltsin replied, “Good.” Seeking greater detail, Major asked Yeltsin if he could describe it in two words. Yeltsin replied, “Not good.” While this old joke is probably a myth, the current state of the Russian economy…

  • Backgrounder posted May 5, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Prospects for Economic Transition in China Are Questionable

    During the financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Beijing passed a $600 billion stimulus package (representing 13.4 percent of Chinese gross domestic product (GDP)) which allowed China to breeze through the worst global contraction since the Great Depression. With the U.S. mired in depression-like conditions, some believed that the “Beijing Consensus” of…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Saudi Arabia's Empty Threat to Wreck the U.S. Economy

    In recent years there has been much speculation over what would happen to U.S. financial markets and the economy if Chinese authorities suddenly decided to sell the approximately $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasuries or government bonds they are estimated to own. In recent weeks, rumors have circulated that the Saudis were considering selling theirs—up to $750 billion of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 14, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Lifting of Sanctions on Iran Complicates Policy Options

    In a landmark agreement reached in January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency judged that Iran was compliant with its internationally agreed upon nuclear obligations. The nuclear deal that the Obama Administration helped to negotiate remains controversial and contested in the U.S. In fact, U.S. commitments under it could well be overturned by the next President.…

  • Special Report posted December 9, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Helle C. Dale, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Daniel Kochis, Ryan Olson, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia

    Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has not had a coherent, comprehensive strategy toward Russia. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates, the U.S. has paid a price for this failure and, of course, many of Russia’s neighbors have paid far higher prices. At the core of the U.S. failure has been an unwillingness to assess the nature of the Russian…

  • Commentary posted December 4, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The IMF's Addition of China Is Largely a Symbolic Gesture

    On Monday the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced it was adding the Chinese renminbi to its basket of reserve currencies, joining four other elite global currencies-the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the British pound and the Japanese Yen-that determine the value of Special Drawing Rights, the IMF's own currency. Some hailed it as a watershed moment. IMF Managing…

  • Commentary posted November 17, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Russia's Economy: What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

    Before the Bolshevik revolution, Vladimir Lenin supposedly said “the worse the better.” Essentially what he meant was that the more conditions deteriorated under the Russian czar (and in its aftermath) the more likely the Bolsheviks would obtain power. In this, Lenin was quite prescient. Today, the Russian economy has fallen into a “worse” phase. The collapse in oil…

  • Backgrounder posted October 9, 2015 by Nicolas Loris, Luke Coffey, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips, Dean Cheng, Ana Quintana, Lisa Curtis, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Economic and Geopolitical Benefits of Free Trade in Energy Resources

    Given its abundance of natural resources and the recent growth in domestic energy production, the United States is in a position to export far more energy than American trade laws currently allow. Free trade is imperative to a free society, as it fosters economic growth and improves human well-being. Policymakers should treat energy like any other good or service that is…

  • Commentary posted September 21, 2015 by Dean Cheng, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Can China And U.S. Find Common Ground At Summit?

    In June 2013, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping met at Sunnylands, the former Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The "shirtsleeve summit" was intended to promote informal discussions between the two leaders. It failed to meet even limited expectations. The Chinese leader even refused to stay at the estate. On Friday, President Xi Jinping will make a formal…

  • Commentary posted September 18, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. China's Reminbi not a Threat

    For the past 70 years, the U.S. dollar has dominated the international monetary system. Despite a decade of weak economic growth and a growing mountain of national debt, the U.S. Dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has not been diminished. However, many feared that the Chinese reminbi (RMB) threatened this coveted position and the economic advantages it…

  • Commentary posted August 31, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Easier Path To Recovery Chosen By Beijing Has Hard Landing

    In mid-June, China's Shanghai Composite Index was up a dazzling 60% since the beginning of the year. It was the highest level in more than six years. Some took it as a sign that the recent weakness in China's economy would be short-lived. Yet only a little more than two months later, and the index had lost all its gains since the first of the year. Many small domestic…

  • Special Report posted August 26, 2015 by James M. Roberts, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. 2015 Global Agenda for Economic Freedom

    Introduction The Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, is entering its third decade with the publication of the 21st edition. Since the first edition the world has witnessed profound advances in the cause of freedom. Open economies have led the world in a startling burst of innovation and economic growth,…

  • Special Report posted August 17, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Washington, China, and the Rise of the Renminbi: Are the Dollar’s Days as the Global Reserve Currency Numbered?

    The U.S. dollar has dominated the international monetary system for approximately 70 years. While the U.S. economy has generated weak growth over the past six years and accumulated a large sovereign debt, the dollar’s status as an international medium of exchange and reserve currency (currency held by foreign central banks) has defied the odds and has not diminished. On…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Kick-Starting Asia’s Economic Growth Engine

    East Asia is experiencing a strange and alarming phenomenon. Exports, which fueled the region’s economic growth for the last three decades, are stalling. Export have faltered before – in the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, the global 2001 recession, and the 2008-2009 financial crisis and recession, to name just three. But in each previous instance, exports quickly…