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Like the bittersweet drama of tango dancers performing on Calle Florida for shoppers leaving Buenos Aires’ posh Galerías Pacífico shopping center, Argentina’s political and economic leaders stepped out of Latin America’s sorrowful “lost decade” of the 1980s with a series of dramatic policy changes that led the country through grand successes, devastating failures and postcrisis resurgences. Like the dancers shifting to changes in musical tempo, Argentine presidents and ministers of the economy responded to fluctuations in global markets and domestic politics with dips and twirls, driving forward and occasionally reversing direction with great fanfare. Their moves generated both praise and scorn, winning Argentina the diverse imprimaturs – at different moments in time – of “poster child” of the Washington Consensus, “defaulting pariah” of international bondholders, “vanguard” of Latin American populism and the “victim of vulture investors” that threatened to undermine debt restructuring agreements around the globe.
In the wake of the recent financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke argued repeatedly that fostering healthy growth and job creation required legislative action. He warned that continued political battles over fiscal and monetary policy, financial regulation and the debt ceiling were “deeply irresponsible” and would have “catastrophic consequences for the economy that could last for decades.” At the same time, like Alan Greenspan before him, Bernanke joined secretaries of the Treasury and other technocrats in guiding and enabling legislation, helping presidents outmaneuver critics and compensating for political uncertainty when political battles between the President and Congress stalled economic legislation. Far from being apolitical actors, these technocrats manipulated authority, exploited deference from politicians and business leaders, and alternately bolstered and challenged national politicians in order to shape US economic policy, manage market behavior and coordinate global activities before, during and after the recent financial crises.
Europe’s journey toward the ideal of ever-denser integration, peace and prosperity has been buffeted by repeated trials of temptation, frustration and risk. Like Odysseus, who bound himself to the mast of his ship to avoid the seductive songs of the Sirens, political leaders of Europe bound themselves by treaty and fealty to the principle of fiscal discipline in order to protect themselves from the alluring yet fickle flows of global capital. As they discovered, such constraints are neither always effective nor always desirable. Consequently, also like Odysseus, economic policymakers and national politicians continue to employ a wide range of strategies to steer Europe past the twin challenges posed by a modern-day Scylla (i.e., a multiheaded monster of sluggish economic growth, resurgent nationalism and social unrest that threatens to yank politicians out of office and cast countries out of the European Union [EU]) and Charybdis (i.e., a whirlpool of financial capital energized by expansive monetary policy and conditional bailouts that threatens to pull individual countries and perhaps the EU itself underwater).
With the creation of the Brady Plan – a program developed by US Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady in 1989 to convert national debt into bonds following the Latin American debt crisis – emerging market countries joined their wealthier cousins as important participants in global bond and equity markets. The subsequent profitability and popularity of emerging market bonds combined with the securitization of other debts (most notably the packaging of mortgages into tradable securities), the creation of a wide range of increasingly sophisticated finance instruments and the normalization of free capital mobility led to a dramatic surge in the growth of private-sector liquidity and sparked the development of the extraordinarily highly interconnected global financial marketplace that we live in today. The resulting globalization of finance has transformed the international financial system from one dominated by official, public sources of capital to one in which private-sector components of liquidity now permeate virtually all facets of the financial system.
The rise of private-sector liquidity as a dominant component in global liquidity markets has created a penetrating web of financial interdependence that links the fates of investors, financial institutions and national governments to one another. The booms and busts of the last thirty years provide vivid evidence that the behavior of each of these actors can generate uncertainties that affect capital flows, credit dynamics and price levels, all of which have potentially significant social, economic and political consequences. The dynamics are ongoing. The newly released International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook celebrates a broad-based global recovery, but it also warns that the postcrisis economic expansion has not been balanced and may have peaked in several major economies.
Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee on July 15, 2008, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson petitioned Congress for the authority to use taxpayer funds to prevent America’s mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from collapsing. The hearing addressed widespread homeowner mortgage defaults that had sent stock prices plummeting and investors fleeing. Paulson argued that if investors came to understand that the government would not allow Fannie and Freddie to go under, stock prices would stabilize and a larger crisis could be averted. In a statement that would be repeated in news stories for years to come, Paulson speculated, “If you have a bazooka in your pocket and people know it, you probably won’t have to use it.” In this instance, the “bazooka theory” failed: Paulson not only had to fire his bazooka shortly after acquiring it, but its blast proved grossly inadequate to calm market uncertainty and forestall what became the worst financial crisis to hit the United States since the Great Depression. In spite of Paulson’s newly acquired money and authority, investors dumped Fannie and Freddie shares, both organizations fell into government conservatorship, political criticisms of bailouts grew louder and the whirlpool of uncertainty swirled ever faster.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde declared central bankers and finance ministers to be the heroes of recent economic crises for taking corrective action while national politicians squabbled. What enabled them to do so? In the wake of Brexit, chaotic trade policies in the United States, and resurgent nationalism around the world, national politicians are quarrelling again, meanwhile the markets are roiling. Can we again depend on economic technocrats to save the day for these national politicians and the rest of us? What happens if they fail or, perhaps worse, go too far? In this timely book, Shambaugh answers these questions using recent economic crises in Argentina, the United States and Europe as case studies for analysing the intersections of power, politics and markets. By specifying the interactions between political uncertainty, market intervention, and investor risk, Shambaugh predicts how economic technocrats manage market behaviour by shifting expectations regarding what national politicians will do and whether their policies will be effective.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
A multidisciplinary mineralogical, geochemical and biomarker study of Indus Fan sediments cored during International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 355 to the Laxmi Basin was carried out to define the different compositional signatures of sand, silt and clay. Upper Pliocene – lower Pleistocene turbidites from sites U1456 and U1457 were selected as the best candidates for this study. The integrated dataset presented here was obtained by coupling traditional and innovative bulk-sediment and single-mineral techniques on the same samples. Turbiditic deposits mostly consist of medium to fine silt, including rich and diverse heavy-mineral assemblages. Such a fine grain size forced us to push the limits of high-resolution quantitative heavy-mineral analysis down to as low as 5 μm. Heavy-mineral analysis allowed us to establish a Himalayan origin of the detritus in the studied turbidites. Heavy-mineral concentrations are higher in channel-fill than in overbank deposits. Mineralogical and geochemical data concur in revealing that fast-settling ultradense minerals such as zircon are preferentially concentrated in channel-fill deposits, whereas the top of overbank deposits are notably enriched with slow-settling platy phyllosilicates. Biomarker analysis represents a most suitable complementary technique that is able to investigate the provenance signature of the finer sediment fraction, largely consisting of clay. This technique allowed us to identify a largely terrigenous origin of organic matter at Site U1456 and an open marine origin at Site U1457. The latter site lies closer to the Laxmi Ridge, where thermal maturity increases with depth to reach the early oil window (127°C at c. 320 m below the seafloor).
Around 30% of individuals with schizophrenia remain symptomatic and significantly impaired despite antipsychotic treatment and are considered to be treatment resistant. Clinicians are currently unable to predict which patients are at higher risk of treatment resistance.
To determine whether genetic liability for schizophrenia and/or clinical characteristics measurable at illness onset can prospectively indicate a higher risk of treatment-resistant psychosis (TRP).
In 1070 individuals with schizophrenia or related psychotic disorders, schizophrenia polygenic risk scores (PRS) and large copy number variations (CNVs) were assessed for enrichment in TRP. Regression and machine-learning approaches were used to investigate the association of phenotypes related to demographics, family history, premorbid factors and illness onset with TRP.
Younger age at onset (odds ratio 0.94, P = 7.79 × 10−13) and poor premorbid social adjustment (odds ratio 1.64, P = 2.41 × 10−4) increased risk of TRP in univariate regression analyses. These factors remained associated in multivariate regression analyses, which also found lower premorbid IQ (odds ratio 0.98, P = 7.76 × 10−3), younger father's age at birth (odds ratio 0.97, P = 0.015) and cannabis use (odds ratio 1.60, P = 0.025) increased the risk of TRP. Machine-learning approaches found age at onset to be the most important predictor and also identified premorbid IQ and poor social adjustment as predictors of TRP, mirroring findings from regression analyses. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was not associated with TRP.
People with an earlier age at onset of psychosis and poor premorbid functioning are more likely to be treatment resistant. The genetic architecture of susceptibility to schizophrenia may be distinct from that of treatment outcomes.