The global economic crisis led governments on both sides of the Atlantic to take unprecedented actions to prevent a worldwide depression and stimulate economic growth. While these measures were successful, they will have to be phased out over the next couple of years. But unwinding government intervention will require a fine balancing act and extensive cooperation among the various policy instruments as well as among regulators and policymakers within and across national borders. While the global recession was synchronized to an unprecedented extent, the timing and robustness of recovery will vary significantly between different parts of the world, complicating exit strategies. The challenge is particularly daunting for Europe where policy makers are now faced with the threat of a fiscal crisis in some of its Southern Member States that could threaten the EU's currency union and undermine hopes for a swift economic recovery of the Eurozone.
The stakes are high. If policymakers invoke exit strategies too late, public expenditures may be wasted, unneeded national debt may be incurred, and public borrowing constraints may be reached. However, if exit strategies are invoked too early, policymakers may run the risk of financial instability and a weak recovery.
At the same time, to lay the groundwork for long-term, sustainable global economic growth, policymakers must work together in the G20 and beyond to achieve meaningful financial sector reform and to build the foundation of a safer, more stable, and more balanced global financial system.
Charles Collyns was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's assistant secretary for international finance. In this position, Mr. Collyns is responsible for leading Treasury's work on international monetary policy, international financial institutions, coordination with the G7/G8 and G20, and regional and bilateral economic issues. Previously, he served as the deputy director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he led the team responsible for preparing the "World Economic Outlook." Prior to joining the Research Department in 2006, he has held a range of positions at the IMF, including being responsible for the organization's work on Japan from 1997-2001, on the United States from 2001-2003, and on Brazil from 2004-2006.
Mr. Collyns has also authored a number of publications on international macro-economics. In addition to the "World Economic Outlook" report, he co-authored "Post Bubble Blues - How Japan Responded to Asset Price Collapse," "Managing Financial Crises - Recent Experience and Lessons for Latin America," and "Stabilization and Reform in Latin America - A Macroeconomic Perspective on the Experience since the early 1990s." He received his doctorate in economics from Oxford University.
Brent Goff is a business news anchor for Deutsche Welle (DW) TV's English program in Berlin. He anchors the news program, "Journal," and hosts the weekly business magazine show, "Made in Germany." Mr. Brent can also be heard on numerous German radio stations offering analysis of American media, business, and foreign policy. He is also an adjunct professor in journalism at Touro College in Berlin. Prior to joining DW, Mr. Brent worked as a producer for CNN in Berlin and Washington. He has also reported for Time magazine. In 1995, he was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Prize for excellence in investigative journalism. Mr. Brent came to Germany in 1995 as a Fulbright Scholar, where he was a guest researcher and a lecturer at the Institute for Journalism at Hamburg University. He was a Robert Bosch Fellow in Berlin in 1999-2000.
Kazumasa Iwata is president of the Economic and Social Research Institute in the Cabinet Office and is professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo. He was recently a member of the Council of Economic and Fiscal Policy. Prof. Iwata was the deputy governor of the Bank of Japan from 2003-2008. From 2001-2003, he was director general in charge of economic assessment and policy analysis at the Cabinet Office. He started teaching in the department of social and international relations at the University of Tokyo in 1986, and was also a visiting professor at Alberta University 1988. Prof. Iwata has been a visiting fellow at Yale University and Australia National University. From 1976-79, he served as administrator at the Monetary and Fiscal Policy Division of the Department of Economics and Statistics at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.
Olli Rehn currently serves as the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs. From 2004-2010, he served as EU commissioner for enlargement, and before that, he was EU commissioner for enterprise and information society. Commissioner Rehn began his political career in 1988 as a city councilor in Helsinki; that same year he became vice president of the Center Party, having been president of its youth chapter since 1987. In 1991, he was elected to Finland's Parliament and led the Finnish delegation to the Council of Europe. Commissioner Rehn also served as a special advisor to Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho from 1992-1993. In 1995, he became a member of the European Parliament. He left European politics in 2002 to become the head of the Center for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. A year later, he acted as an advisor on economic policy to the Finnish Prime Minister.
Robert B. Zoellick has been the president of The World Bank Group since July 1, 2007. He served in President George W. Bush's cabinet as U.S. trade representative from 2001-2005 and as deputy secretary of state from 2005-2006. From 1985-1993, Mr. Zoellick worked at the Treasury and State departments in various capacities, as well as briefly in the White House as deputy chief of staff. In 2006 and 2007, he served as vice chairman international of Goldman Sachs Group. Mr. Zoellick holds a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick foresees turbulent times for the economies of developed countries if government spending continues to cut into GDP. He predicts recovery will come from developing countries like India, which is currently experimenting with public-private infrastructure.