Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey David Sachs is an American economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. One of the youngest tenured economics professors in the history of Harvard University, Sachs became known for his role as an adviser to Eastern European and developing country governments during the transition from communism to a market system or during periods of economic crisis. Subsequently he has been known for his work on the challenges of economic development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, debt cancellation, and globalization.
Sachs is the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and a Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia's School of Public Health. He is Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty and hunger.
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“Succinct, humane, and politically astute . . . Sachs lays out a detailed path to reform, regulation, and recovery.”—The American Prospect
In this forceful and impassioned book, Jeffrey D. Sachs offers a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills, and an urgent call for Americans to restore the core virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, profoundly underestimating globalization’s long-term effects and offering shortsighted solutions. He describes a political system that is beholden to big donors and influential lobbyists and a consumption-driven culture that suffers shortfalls of social trust and compassion. He bids readers to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and each one another. Most important, he urges each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we restore America to its great promise. The Price of Civilization is a masterly road map for prosperity, founded on America’s deepest values and on a rigorous understanding of the twenty-first-century world economy.
With a new Preface by the author.

“Half a century ago J. K. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society changed the political consciousness of a generation. . . . Jeffrey Sachs’s new book is a landmark in this great and essentially American tradition. . . . Sachs by his life and his writing goes far to restore one’s wavering faith in the informing inspiration of the post-1945 new dawn, faith in economics, faith in America and faith in humanity.”—The Spectator
“Stimulating . . . a must-read for every concerned citizen . . . [a] hard-hitting brief for a humane economy.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sachs’s book is loaded with information and anecdotes [and] proposals that would make it harder for the powerful to rig the system for their benefit.”—Scientific American
“An eloquent call for American civic renewal based on moderation, compassion, and cooperation across the lines of class, ethnicity, and ideology.”—CNN Money
“Compelling . . . This is an important book.”—Financial Times
An inspiring look at the historic foreign policy triumph of John F. Kennedy’s presidency—the crusade for world peace that consumed his final year in office—by the New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Civilization, Common Wealth, and The End of Poverty
The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection he did not live to wage, but the struggle for a sustainable peace with the Soviet Union. To Move the World recalls the extraordinary days from October 1962 to September 1963, when JFK marshaled the power of oratory and his remarkable political skills to establish more peaceful relations with the Soviet Union and a dramatic slowdown in the proliferation of nuclear arms.
Kennedy and his Soviet counterpart, Nikita Khrushchev, led their nations during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the two superpowers came eyeball to eyeball at the nuclear abyss. This near-death experience shook both leaders deeply. Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how Kennedy emerged from the Missile crisis with the determination and prodigious skills to forge a new and less threatening direction for the world. Together, he and Khrushchev would pull the world away from the nuclear precipice, charting a path for future peacemakers to follow.
During his final year in office, Kennedy gave a series of speeches in which he pushed back against the momentum of the Cold War to persuade the world that peace with the Soviets was possible. The oratorical high point came on June 10, 1963, when Kennedy delivered the most important foreign policy speech of the modern presidency.  He argued against the prevailing pessimism that viewed humanity as doomed by forces beyond its control. Mankind, argued Kennedy, could bring a new peace into reality through a bold vision combined with concrete and practical measures.
Achieving the first of those measures in the summer of 1963, the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, required more than just speechmaking, however. Kennedy had to use his great gifts of persuasion on multiple fronts—with fractious allies, hawkish Republican congressmen, dubious members of his own administration, and the American and world public—to persuade a skeptical world that cooperation between the superpowers was realistic and necessary. Sachs shows how Kennedy campaigned for his vision and opened the eyes of the American people and the world to the possibilities of peace. 
Featuring the full text of JFK’s speeches from this period, as well as striking photographs, To Move the World gives us a startlingly fresh perspective on Kennedy’s presidency and a model for strong leadership and problem solving in our time.

Praise for To Move the World
“Rife with lessons for the current administration . . . We cannot know how many more steps might have been taken under Kennedy’s leadership, but To Move the World urges us to continue on the journey.”—Chicago Tribune
“The messages in these four speeches seem all too pertinent today.”—Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.
The wealth derived from natural resources can have a tremendous impact on the economics and politics of producing countries. In the last quarter century, we have seen the surprising and sobering consequences of this wealth, producing what is now known as the "resource curse." Countries with large endowments of natural resources, such as oil and gas, often do worse than their poorer neighbors. Their resource wealth frequently leads to lower growth rates, greater volatility, more corruption, and, in extreme cases, devastating civil wars.

In this volume, leading economists, lawyers, and political scientists address the fundamental channels generated by this wealth and examine the major decisions a country must make when faced with an abundance of a natural resource. They identify such problems as asymmetric bargaining power, limited access to information, the failure to engage in long-term planning, weak institutional structures, and missing mechanisms of accountability. They also provide a series of solutions, including recommendations for contracting with oil companies and allocating revenue; guidelines for negotiators; models for optimal auctions; and strategies to strengthen state-society linkages and public accountability.

The contributors show that solutions to the resource curse do exist; yet, institutional innovations are necessary to align the incentives of key domestic and international actors, and this requires fundamental political changes and much greater levels of transparency than currently exist. It is becoming increasingly clear that past policies have not provided the benefits they promised. Escaping the Resource Curse lays out a path for radically improving the management of the world's natural resources.

For the past fifteen years Peru has suffered a profound and lasting economic crisis that threatens the stability of the country's fragile democratic system. Economic mismanagement has led to plummeting per capita income, accelerating inflation—an annualized rate of nearly 3,000 percent by 1989—and widespread social upheaval. This study by experts in the United States and Latin America offers a coherent proposal for economic stabilization and structural adjustment to restore economic growth—but growth with equity—to this distressed country.

The contributors provide background analysis and thorough diagnosis of Peru's economic problems. They explain how inconsistent populist policies and the ensuing economic crisis have caused the standard of living to deteriorate dramatically, paving the way for significant expansion of social violence, political instability, and isolation from the international financial community.

Peru's Path to Recovery offers an adjustment program that is sound but also is complemented by a social support program to assist the poor - those who have suffered the most from previous disadjustment. This combination makes the program both equitable and politically sustainable. With the inauguration of Alberto Fujimori, Peru has the opportunity to embrace a new economic strategy to stabilize the economy, curtail the extreme poverty, and reduce the massive unemployment and underemployment. Such a course will not be easy: patterns of government, business, and social behavior will have to change. But through such changes Peru can hope to become a stable, thriving country once more.

For dozens of developing countries, the financial upheavals of the 1980s have set back economic development by a decade or more. Poverty in those countries have intensified as they struggle under the burden of an enormous external debt. In 1988, more than six years after the onset of the crisis, almost all the debtor countries were still unable to borrow in the international capital markets on normal terms. Moreover, the world financial system has been disrupted by the prospect of widespread defaults on those debts. Because of the urgency of the present crisis, and because similar crises have recurred intermittently for at least 175 years, it is important to understand the fundamental features of the international macroeconomy and global financial markets that have contributed to this repeated instability.

Developing Country Debt and the World Economy contains nontechnical versions of papers prepared under the auspices of the project on developing country debt, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The project focuses on the middle-income developing countries, particularly those in Latin America and East Asia, although many lessons of the study should apply as well to other, poorer debtor countries. The contributors analyze the crisis from two perspectives, that of the international financial system as a whole and that of individual debtor countries.

Studies of eight countries—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Korea, and Turkey—explore the question of why some countries succumbed to serious financial crises while other did not. Each study was prepared by a team of two authors—a U.S.-based research and an economist from the country under study. An additional eight papers approach the problem of developing country debt from a global or "systemic" perspective. The topics they cover include the history of international sovereign lending and previous debt crises, the political factors that contribute to poor economic policies in many debtor nations, the role of commercial banks and the International Monetary Fund during the current crisis, the links between debt in developing countries and economic policies in the industrialized nations, and possible new approaches to the global management of the crisis.
With the rapid deterioration of the U.S. trade balance in the 1980s, the United States was forced to finance deficits by borrowing heavily from the rest of the world. In doing so, the United States went from being the world's largest creditor country to the world's largest debtor, while Japan and West Germany experienced a rise in trade surpluses. Such a shift in international trade flows has had profound effects on the world economy. McKibbin and Sachs address a range of issues involving macroeconomic imbalances in the world economy. Through the use of a new simulation model of the world economy they explore how policy actions undertaken in one country affect the trade flows and macroeconomic patterns among the other counties. The authors show that key macroeconomic features of the 1980s can be explained by shifts in monetary and fiscal policies in the major economies and by supply shocks due to changes in oil prices. In addition to showing how the global macroeconomic experience can be understood, they focus on a number of current policy issues, including the reduction of global trade imbalances, the consequences of U.S. fiscal consolidation, the effects of an oil price shock, the implications for the U.S. economy of increases in Japanese and German fiscal spending, the effects of targeting exchange rates among the major currencies, and the gains of increased coordination of macroeconomic politics among the major economies. In several cases, their conclusions are shown to be quite different from those that form the basis of many conventional views. The authors also analyze the importance of interaction between policymakers in industrial economies and conclude by reemphasizing the need for U.S. politicians and policy experts to recognize that macroeconomic results in the U.S. now depend heavily on events abroad.
In Poland's jump to the Market Economy, Jeffrey Sachs provides an insider's analysis of the political events and economic strategy behind the country's swift transition to capitalism and democracy. The greatest challenges to economic reform, Sachs points out, have been primarily political in nature, rather than social or even economic. Sachs reviews Poland's striking progress since the start of the economic reforms three years ago, which he helped to design. He discusses the gains - more than half of employment and GDP is now in the private sector, exports to Western Europe have more than doubled, and economic growth and confidence are returning - as well as the serious problems that remain - high unemployment, a chronic fiscal deficit, the slow pace of privatization of large industrial enterprises, and the fragility of multiparty coalition governments.Sachs points out that leadership is crucial to economic reform in a newly democratic setting, as is the West's timely economic assistance. In Poland's case, the Zloty Stabilization Fund and the two-stage debt cancellation have been essential to keeping the reform program on track. Poland's example has had a powerful impact on reforms throughout the region, including the former Soviet Union, and has done much to dispel the fear that the citizens themselves, allegedly made lazy by decades of socialism, would reject the competitive rigors of a market economy. Overall, Sachs remains firmly convinced of the potential for successful economic reforms in Poland and the rest of the region.
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