Eswar S. Prasad
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About Eswar S. Prasad
Eswar Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he holds the New Century Chair in International Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was previously chief of the Financial Studies Division in the International Monetary Fund’s Research Department and, before that, was the head of the IMF’s China Division.
Prasad has testified before various U.S. Congressional committees, including the Senate Finance Committee and House Committee on Financial Services. He was a member of the analytical team that drafted the 2008 report of the High-Level Committee on Financial Sector Reforms set up by the Government of India. He serves on an Advisory Committee to India’s Finance Minister and is the Lead Academic for the DFID-LSE International Growth Center’s India Growth Research Program. He is the creator of the Brookings-Financial Times index of world economic activity (TIGER: Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery; www.ft.com/tiger). His op-ed articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and numerous other newspapers.
Eswar Prasad’s previous book, Emerging Markets: Resilience and Growth Amid Global Turmoil (with M. Ayhan Kose; Brookings Institution Press), was published in December 2010. His extensive publication record includes articles in top academic journals as well as numerous collected volumes. He has co-authored and edited numerous books and monographs, including on financial regulation and on China and India. His research interests include the macroeconomics of financial globalization; financial regulation, monetary policy frameworks and exchange rate policies in emerging markets; and the Chinese and Indian economies.
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Books By Eswar S. Prasad
We think we’ve seen financial innovation. We bank from laptops and buy coffee with the wave of a phone. But these are minor miracles compared with the dizzying experiments now underway around the globe, as businesses and governments alike embrace the possibilities of new financial technologies. As Eswar Prasad explains, the world of finance is at the threshold of major disruption that will affect corporations, bankers, states, and indeed all of us. The transformation of money will fundamentally rewrite how ordinary people live.
Above all, Prasad foresees the end of physical cash. The driving force won’t be phones or credit cards but rather central banks, spurred by the emergence of cryptocurrencies to develop their own, more stable digital currencies. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies themselves will evolve unpredictably as global corporations like Facebook and Amazon join the game. The changes will be accompanied by snowballing innovations that are reshaping finance and have already begun to revolutionize how we invest, trade, insure, and manage risk.
Prasad shows how these and other changes will redefine the very concept of money, unbundling its traditional functions as a unit of account, medium of exchange, and store of value. The promise lies in greater efficiency and flexibility, increased sensitivity to the needs of diverse consumers, and improved market access for the unbanked. The risk is instability, lack of accountability, and erosion of privacy. A lucid, visionary work, The Future of Money shows how to maximize the best and guard against the worst of what is to come.
This book sets the recent rise of the RMB, China's currency since 1949, against a sweeping historical backdrop. China issued the world's first paper currency in the 7th century. In the 13th century, Kublai Khan issued the first-ever currency to circulate widely despite not being backed by commodities or precious metals. China also experienced some of the earliest episodes of hyperinflation currency wars.
Gaining Currency reveals the interconnections linking China's growing economic might, its expanding international influence, and the rise of its currency. If China plays its cards right by adopting reforms that put its economy and financial markets on the right track, the RMB could rival even the euro and the Japanese yen.
Prasad shows, however, that while China has successfully adopted a unique playbook for promoting the RMB, many pitfalls lie ahead for its economy and currency that could limit the RMB's ascendance. The Chinese leadership is pursuing financial liberalization and limited market-oriented reforms, but it has unequivocally repudiated political, legal, and institutional reforms. Therefore, Prasad argues, while the RMB is likely to become a significant reserve currency, it will not attain "safe haven" status as a currency to which investors turn during crises. In short, the hype predicting the RMB's inevitable rise to global dominance is overblown.
Gaining Currency makes a compelling case that, for all its promise, the RMB does not pose a serious challenge to the U.S. dollar's dominance in international finance.
Why the dollar is—and will remain—the dominant global currency
The U.S. dollar's dominance seems under threat. The near collapse of the U.S. financial system in 2008–2009, political paralysis that has blocked effective policymaking, and emerging competitors such as the Chinese renminbi have heightened speculation about the dollar’s looming displacement as the main reserve currency. Yet, as The Dollar Trap powerfully argues, the financial crisis, a dysfunctional international monetary system, and U.S. policies have paradoxically strengthened the dollar’s importance.
Eswar Prasad examines how the dollar came to have a central role in the world economy and demonstrates that it will remain the cornerstone of global finance for the foreseeable future. Marshaling a range of arguments and data, and drawing on the latest research, Prasad shows why it will be difficult to dislodge the dollar-centric system. With vast amounts of foreign financial capital locked up in dollar assets, including U.S. government securities, other countries now have a strong incentive to prevent a dollar crash.
Prasad takes the reader through key contemporary issues in international finance—including the growing economic influence of emerging markets, the currency wars, the complexities of the China-U.S. relationship, and the role of institutions like the International Monetary Fund—and offers new ideas for fixing the flawed monetary system. Readers are also given a rare look into some of the intrigue and backdoor scheming in the corridors of international finance.
The Dollar Trap offers a panoramic analysis of the fragile state of global finance and makes a compelling case that, despite all its flaws, the dollar will remain the ultimate safe-haven currency.
Assessing the potential benefits and risks of a currency union
Leaders of the fifteen-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have set a goal of achieving a monetary and currency union by late 2020. Although some progress has been made toward achieving this ambitious goal, major challenges remain if the region is to realize the necessary macroeconomic convergence and establish the required institutional framework in a relatively short period of time.
The proposed union offers many potential benefits, especially for countries with historically high inflation rates and weak central banks. But, as implementation of the euro over the past two decades has shown, folding multiple currencies, representing disparate economies, into a common union comes with significant costs, along with operational challenges and transitional risks. All these potential negatives must be considered carefully by ECOWAS leaders seeking to
meet a self-imposed deadline.
This book, by two leading experts on economics and Africa, makes a significant analytical contribution to the debates now under way about how ECOWAS could achieve and manage its currency union, and
the ramifications for the African continent.
The global financial crisis has led to a sweeping reevaluation of financial market regulation and macroeconomic policies. Emerging markets need to balance the goals of financial development and broader financial inclusion with the imperative of strengthening macroeconomic and financial stability. The third in a series on emerging markets, New Paradigms for Financial Regulation develops new analytical frameworks and provides policy prescriptions for how the frameworks should be adapted to a world of more free and more volatile capital.
This volume provides an overview of the global regulatory landscape from the perspective of Asian emerging markets. The contributors discuss the many challenges ahead in developing sound and flexible financial regulatory systems for emerging market economies. The challenges are heightened by the rising integration of these economies into global trade and finance, the growing sophistication of their financial systems as globalization and emergence processes accelerate, and their potential vulnerability to instability arising from the financial markets in the advanced economies.
The contributors provide guidance about pitfalls to be avoided, general principles that should guide the creation of sound regulatory systems, and valuable analytic perspectives about how to continue to broaden the financial sector and innovate while still maintaining financial and macroeconomic stability.
Although emerging economies as a group performed well during the global recession, weathering the recession better than advanced economies, there were sharp differences among them and across regions. The emerging economies of Asia had the most favorable outcomes, surviving the ravages of the global financial crisis with relatively modest declines in growth rates in most cases. China and India maintained strong growth during the crisis and played an important role in facilitating global economic recovery.
In this informative volume, the second in a series on emerging markets, editors Masahiro Kawai and Eswar Prasad and the contributors analyze the major domestic macroeconomic and financial policy issues that could limit the growth potential of Asian emerging markets, such as rising inflation and surging capital inflows, with the accompanying risks of asset and credit market bubbles and of rapid currency appreciation. The book examines strategies to promote financial stability, including reforms for financial market development and macroprudential supervision and regulation.
The rapid spread and far-reaching impact of the global financial crisis have highlighted the need for strengthening financial systems in advanced economies and emerging markets. Emerging markets face particular challenges in developing their nascent financial systems and making them resilient to domestic and external shocks. Financial reforms are critical to these economies as they pursue programs of high and sustainable growth.
In this timely volume Masahiro Kawai, Eswar Prasad, and their contributors offer a systematic overview of recent developments inand the latest thinking aboutregulatory frameworks in both advanced countries and emerging markets. Their analyses and observations clearly point out the challenges to improving regulation, efficiency of markets, and access to the fi nancial system. Policymakers and financial managers in emerging markets are struggling to learn from the crisis and will need to grapple with some key questions as they restructure and reform their financial markets:
What lessons does the global financial crisis of 200709 offer for the establishment of efficient and flexible regulatory structures?
How can policymakers develop broader financial markets while managing the associated risks?
Howor shouldthey make the formal financial system more accessible to more people?
How might they best contend with multinational financial institutions?
This book is an important step in getting a better grasp of these issues and making progress toward solutions that strike a balance between promoting financial market development and efficiency on the one hand, and ensuring financial stability on the other.
Emerging market economies (EMEs) have become the darlings of international investors and the focus of enormous attention in academic, media, and policy circles. M. Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad present the definitive account of the evolution of EMEs and use the lens of the global financial crisis to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
Led by a set of large and dynamic countriesincluding Brazil, China, India, and RussiaEMEs have become a dominant presence in the world economy. They now account for a substantial share of world output and have been a major driver of global growth during the past decade. They are significant players in international trade and financial flows and are beginning to exert rising clout in global policy debates. However, the financial crisis of 200709 and the worldwide recession that followed cast a pall over the notion that EMEs had become self-reliant and "decoupled" from demand conditions in and financial flows from advanced countries.
Kose and Prasad, prominent experts on emerging market economies and globalization, draw on their extensive research to assess the resilience of EMEs in the face of the global financial crisis. Their analysis shows that EMEs, as a group, weathered the crisis much better than the advanced countries, and most of these economies have bounced back rapidly from the global recession. The authors track down the reasons for this resilience and explain why some countries in this group have done better than others. Based on this analysis, they draw lessons for the durability and sustainability of these economies' long-term growth. This book is important reading for anyone trying to anticipate the future growth of emerging markets or contemplating business opportunities in these economies.