For more than half a century, the United States has held the reins of the world’s most powerful economic institutions. By design, Washington has long dominated decision-making at both the International Monetary Fund and at the World Bank — responsible, respectively, for big loans to states and economic development. At the same time, domestic institutions within the U.S., like the Treasury Department, have also exerted significant influence in the economies of foreign lands. The ideology underpinning much of this leverage — based on free markets and limited government intervention — was for a long time known formally as the Washington […]

At the London G-20 Summit in April, British prime minister and host Gordon Brown asserted that “The Washington Consensus is over.” With the struggling U.S. economy pulling much of the world down with it, the “Anglo-Saxon model” is now deemed flawed. Dirigiste tendencies are in, with U.S. President Barack Obama embracing a government-funded “stimulus” package whose numbers are well in excess of his high-spending predecessor. Washington itself is moving away from the formula — consisting of fiscal discipline, market-set interest rates, competitive exchange rates, liberalisation of trade and investment regimes, deregulation and privatisation — to which it lent its name. […]

MARDAN, Pakistan — Zeeshan Khan, a 17-year-old engineering student, says he knows who Pakistanis blame for what has become the largest migration in their country’s history. “These people are coming due to the bombing,” he said, gesturing to the thousands of refugees milling around the Mardan refugee camp. “Due to the jet artillery, the F-16s, the heavy weapons. All our houses are destroyed.” More than 900,000 people have left their homes in and around Swat valley in the last few weeks, adding to a total of 1.4 million people displaced so far by fighting between the Pakistani Army and militants. […]

A fresh round of fighting near the town of Abeche, in eastern Chad, has claimed the lives of 225 rebels and 22 government troops, according to the Chadian government. The violence is a fixture of life in this dusty desert outpost just 50 miles from Sudan’s embattled Darfur province, and has complicated delicate efforts by regional and world bodies to build a framework for a lasting peace, as well as to care for hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons. “A column of mercenaries in the pay of the regime in Khartoum, comprising more than 400 heavily armed […]

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Dambisa Moyo’s new book, “Dead Aid,” is a prime example of an old idea wrapped up in new packaging. As a Harvard-educated child of Africa (Zambia), with stints at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, Moyo makes for an appealing messenger. However, the idea on which her book is based — that foreign assistance for Africa hasn’t worked — is hardly an original one to most aid practitioners. But instead of offering ideas to improve aid Moyo takes the opposite approach, asserting that aid is altogether bad for Africa and should be gradually replaced with foreign investment. Moyo’s solutions may […]

The top item at President Barack Obama’s two-day mini-summit with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari at the White House this week will be “cooperation.” The agenda is also likely to include a pile of other challenges now facing South Asia — like the 40 percent spike in civilian deaths in Afghanistan last year, the popular backlash in Pakistan against the United States’ use of drone missile attacks, and the floor-to-ceiling corruption that pervades President Karzai’s government. With all that to talk about, maybe the summit should last the whole week. Because the three men would […]