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Lee Howell

Articles by Lee Howell

Boosting Resilience to COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Resilience helped leaders respond to the collapse of the financial system during the Great Recession. During COVID-19, resilience can help countries rebound from the toll the virus will take on healthcare, the economy, education, and employment.

GENEVA – More than 180 countries and territories have confirmed a case of coronavirus, and the number of cases worldwide has reached more than 870,000. Like a massive storm front, the crisis threatens not only to overwhelm health-care systems but also to collide in unpredictable ways with childcare, education, employment, and transportation.
Insuring the Survival of Post-Pandemic Economies

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Long Live Globalization

January 16, 2019

Though belief in globalism – a top-down conspiracy to impose an international system that trumps national sovereignty – may be dead, globalization is alive and well. An effective and resilient international order, comprising strong nation-states, thus remains essential.

GENEVA – Will global cooperation finally emerge from the doldrums in 2019? The international community’s recent agreement on a “rulebook” for implementing the Paris climate agreement seems to offer some hope. But opinion polls suggest that many remain concerned that a global economic recession or major geopolitical crisis will test the international system’s resilience. And it is not at all clear that the system will pass.

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Looking Beyond Lehman

September 17, 2018

Looking back at the collapse of Lehman Brothers a decade ago, it is easy to think that another debt-driven crash could arrive sometime in the near future. But the most consequential trends today are less about the business cycle, and more about fundamental changes in the functioning of the global economy.

GENEVA – It is human nature to pass judgement for calamitous events that harm almost everyone. It is also natural for the stories that emerge from such events to influence current assessments and future choices. The story of the collapse of Lehman Brothers a decade ago is a case in point – but with a slight twist.

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Today, experts point to

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The False Narrative of Realpolitik

October 9, 2017

US President Donald Trump’s pledge at the UN last month to put America first was seen as a revival of American realpolitik in global affairs. But while severing moral concerns from practical interests would weaken the US geopolitically, Trump’s emphasis on national sovereignty could stimulate global cooperation elsewhere.
GENEVA – In an era of divisive social media and partisan “fake news,” the notion that “actions speak louder than words” is no longer true. As we are rediscovering, words are both powerful and problematic, particularly in the context of geopolitics. The recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York offered the latest reminder that in diplomacy, words still matter.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

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