The leaders of the Group of 20 gathered in London this week to chart a course for the global economy through the current recession. Will Straw, Matt Browne, Sabina Dewan, and Nina Hachigian laid out the case for strengthening the organization to tackle key global crises both now and in the future, while Straw and Dewan also detailed a plan for President’s Obama’s actions at the summit. President Obama also traveled to Turkey on his European trip, acting on a recommendation from Spencer Boyer and Brian Katulis in their report, The Neglected Alliance. Boyer and Katulis wrote more about the visit’s significance this week.
Marilyn Moon released a CAP Action report—featured at a CAP Action event—on the lessons Medicare and its programs can offer in crafting a reformed health care system, while Health Care Policy Advisor Peter Harbage explained in this week’s “Ask the Expert” video why we need health insurance reform, who will benefit from reform, and what’s at stake if Congress can’t pass it.
The economy continued to sink this week, as monthly job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate rising to 8.5 percent. Heather Boushey noted that the Bush recession is now the worst in post-World War II history in terms of total job losses. Scott Lilly discussed the U.S.-China trade imbalance and its implications for the economy, while David Min argued that the Financial Accounting Standards Board should resist calls to change corporate accounting rules pertaining to "mark to market" provisions.
Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited Mexico this week, on the heels on an Obama administration announcement of a $700 million border security strategy. Stephanie Miller recommended a more comprehensive strategy to reduce drug trafficking and related violence that takes into account Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Brian Katulis answered questions about a sustainable security strategy in Pakistan, and also reported on a rash of violence in Baghdad, indicating the collapsing surge bubble in Iraq. And on the home front, PJ Crowley and Lindsey Ross proposed reforms to help the Transportation Security Administration practice the risk-management principles that the Department of Homeland security preaches.
Energy and Environment
Senior Fellow Tom Kenworthy and Research Associate Kari Manlove showed why Congress should take advantage of the energy savings from water conservation in “Don’t Flush an Energy Opportunity.” Also, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy Daniel J. Weiss and Fellows Assistant Alexandra Kougentakis wrote about the contradiction between big oil companies’ clean, green image and their refusal to make significant investments in clean-energy technologies and fuels despite their record profits during the Bush years.
“Wired for Progress 2.0” by Senior Fellow Bracken Hendricks updated February’s report based on progress made on Capitol Hill in advancing many of the recommendations in the original “Wired for Progress: Building a National Clean-Energy Smart Grid.” And “Easy Being Green” looked at the emerging shipping container housing trend that aims to help alleviate the needs for low-income housing and temporary shelters following natural disasters.