Venezuela is in the news again. Through unprecedented treachery, President Nicolás Maduro awarded himself victory in the presidential election on May 20. Given that the blatantly pro-government electoral council had delisted the three main opposition parties and disqualified two major political leaders, much of the opposition boycotted the process. The two other candidates who participated did not recognize the result, given the many violations that took place. Neither did the United States, Canada, the European Union and...
Ricardo Hausmann joins Cardiff Garcia to discuss the historical foundation of Venezuela's current macroeconomic and humanitarian crisis, what may happen with its debt and what the future holds for the country.
Ricardo Hausmann is interviewed by the Council of Foreign Relations
The misguided policies of President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, along with falling oil prices, have destabilized Venezuela’s economy and triggered shortages of vital supplies, says Ricardo Hausmann, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and a former minister of planning in Venezuela.
Hausmann argues that it will almost certainly take new leadership in Caracas to introduce the market reforms and debt restructuring he says are needed. “A recovery...
CAMBRIDGE – Investing often creates moral dilemmas over goals: Should we aim to do well or to do good? Is it appropriate to invest in tobacco companies? Or in companies that sell guns to drug gangs?
The recent popularity of so-called impact investment funds, which promise to deliver decent returns while advancing social or environmental goals, is based on this unease. Foundations often find that these investment vehicles help them to do good both with the money...
It is not just because I am from Venezuela that I see Sri Lanka with admiration and envy. The island has made more progress in human development than any other in South Asia. It has reduced poverty in a pretty dramatic way. It has many reasons to be proud of its achievements. But anything that is worth doing, is worth doing better. The Center for International Development at Harvard University is collaborating with the Government of Sri Lanka to work on a strategy to make progress faster, more sustainable and more inclusive.
CAMBRIDGE – In the summer of 2015, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper looked set to win his fourth consecutive election, scheduled for that October. Instead, his Conservative Party won just 99 of the House of Commons’ 338 seats. The party did not win a single constituency in Toronto or the entire Atlantic seaboard. Instead, the Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, ended up obtaining the second-largest parliamentary majority in its history – 184 seats – despite having started the electoral campaign in third place.... Read more about Refugees as Weapons of Mass Destruction
¿Cuánto tardaría Venezuela en recuperarse de la debacle económica de estos años? Es una pregunta frecuente en las conversaciones cotidianas, en los salones de clases y en los foros de discusión dentro y fuera del país. Es también una pregunta sencilla, relativamente intuitiva, cuya respuesta es compleja por diferentes razones. En primer lugar, la pregunta supone que el país corrige el rumbo a partir de cierto punto, mediante una transición política de la que hoy en día nadie sabe a ciencia cierta cómo ni cuándo puede ocurrir. En segundo lugar, no todos entendemos lo mismo por recuperación. ¿Es detener la recesión? ¿Es recuperar el nivel de algún punto reciente? ¿Es volver a nuestro mejor momento? ¿Es alcanzar el nivel o las tasas de algún país que nos sirva de referencia? ¿Cuál es la base de referencia en la que piensan quienes se hacen esta pregunta? Es importante encontrar una definición de éxito que balancee nuestras ambiciones y posibilidades. Por último, aun suponiendo que sabemos a dónde queremos llegar y que ocurre un cambio político capaz de enrumbar al país en esa dirección, está el hecho de cuan factible es una recuperación acelerada.
José Ramón Morales, Douglas Barrios - Caracas Chronicles
Social policy planners in Venezuela today are like field doctors in a war zone: if they actually stopped to register emotionally the devastation all around them, they’d never be able to get any work done. Today, Venezuela is undergoing the most brutally painful economic and social calamities probably since the Federal War. Sitting around feeling horrible about it, though, is not a luxury policy planners can afford.
Ricardo Hausmann & Mark Walker - Project Syndicate
CAMBRIDGE – As the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin in Washington, DC, one member country is conspicuously absent: Venezuela. Yet there is much to be discussed about the country’s finances. Indeed, a sovereign-debt crisis is inevitable.
All major sovereign-debt crises of the past – including in Mexico and Greece – have generated changes in the rules, jurisprudence, or strategies adopted by debtors, creditors, and international financial institutions. Most recently,...
Venezuela’s problems are self-inflicted and the country will only recover if it mends its ways. However, there is much that the rest of the world could do to help Venezuela out of its current crisis.
How did we get here? Unfortunately the former president Hugo Chávez did not use the massive oil price boom between 2004 and 2013 to put money aside for a rainy day but instead, over-spent and quintupled the public foreign debt. This left the country in a vulnerable position because when the price of oil declined in 2014 the country was...