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Noel Maurer
I'm a university professor.
Interests: My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.
Recent Activity
Texas and northern Mexico are in the middle of an astonishing cold snap. Conditions are so bad that the bad weather pops out on a national map of traffic conditions: The cold snap is also prompting blackouts across Texas and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2021 at The Power and the Money
Joint with Leticia Abad The 2020 election was strange, and not just because the President denied he had lost, was believed by millions, and inspired a violent plot to use a mob to seize control of Congress and overturn the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at The Power and the Money
Nothing. Texas went purple … ish. Joe Biden did better than previous Democrats, but still got beat by six points. Texas is not quite red any more. Call it magenta, or rose. But why did it not not go purple,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2020 at The Power and the Money
I am reading “Divided We Fall” by David French. He may be the first thoroughly mainstream commentator to seriously posit that the American federation may break up under the weight of our political differences. Cheery reading for another happy election... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2020 at The Power and the Money
All eyes are on Texas. I love Texas! And I have for a very long time. Maybe this dates back to a trip to Dallas to visit my stepfather back in 1986? Or maybe there’s just something about the state... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2020 at The Power and the Money
What would it take to get one billion Americans by 2100? Matt Yglesias does a good job of explaining why that would be a worthy cause in his book titled … well … One Billion Americans, but he doesn’t really... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2020 at The Power and the Money
Did Donald Trump just repeal Article 1 of the constitution on Saturday? After looking at the details, I published a hot take on Twitter that seems to be standing up to the test of time. So my short answer: no.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2020 at The Power and the Money
Manuel Bartlett is the corrupt head of CFE, Mexico’s state electricity company. He hates renewables. So he’s trying to kill it with the support of Mexico’s president. From the man himself: “Wind and photovoltaic (plants) don’t pay the CFE for... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2020 at The Power and the Money
Argentina is going to get a large haircut on its debt. That was a foregone conclusion. Now, though, Covid-19 has worsened the situation. Yet for some reason Argentina has made a very generous opening offer, about what I would have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at The Power and the Money
The United States is not joining OPEC. The United States is not leading a cartel to raise oil prices. The United States is, to quote my 5-year-old daughter, “not doing nothing.” The President of the United States is posturing. Right... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2020 at The Power and the Money
Oil prices are crashing due to Covid-19. So what happens to American output? Market reactions first, then political ones. Well, first the oldest building in Dallas, circa 2019: Yes, my shoes are bright blue. Now market reactions to the Covid... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at The Power and the Money
OPEC has been trying to negotiate production cuts in order to prop up oil prices. Mexico resisted making any cuts. AMLO then declared that he had asked the United States to make part of the requested cuts on Mexico’s behalf.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at The Power and the Money
In 2015, Chile reformed its horror of a Senate. (This blog is no fan of senates.) Previously, Chile elected two senators from 19 constituencies. Eight of the constituencies conformed to Chilean regions, regardless of population. The remainder consisted of regions... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Power and the Money
The Republic of Chile is set to replace its constitution. After the mass demonstrations, all the political parties signed on to writing a new Magna Carta. Amendments readily passed authorizing a constitutional convention if a national referendum gives the thumbs... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2020 at The Power and the Money
The excitement around the recent Argentine election felt unprecedented. Everyone was talking about how fired up people were. Both sides thought this was a critical election. Random people on the subway called it, “The end of the world.” News reports... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Joint with Leticia Abad. First things first: Macri won 90% of the Antarctican vote! Sure, that’s only 102 people, but hey, climate change. Just wait until the 2059 election. He also won everything in the Malvinas, getting zero of zero... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Even with the República Argentina on the verge of an historic election, the riots and subsequent demonstrations in Chile have attracted a lot of attention. Below is a much smaller sympathy demonstration getting started in Buenos Aires, organized by the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2019 at The Power and the Money
The new Brexit deal seemed like a weird animal. The old Brexit deal kept the whole U.K. in a customs union with the E.U. since nobody wanted a customs border running down the Irish Sea. The new Brexit deal seems... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at The Power and the Money
So, the Trump administration just announced tariffs on a swathe of European imports, and the Europeans announced they would retaliate. More Trumpian trumpety trump? No. The WTO is working as it is supposed to work, regardless of the predilections of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2019 at The Power and the Money
So, yesterday the President of Peru dissolved Congress and called for new legislative elections. The Congress called that illegal, and deposed the President. What’s going on? Constitutionally, we have a bit of a mess. The reason, however, isn’t really that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Abad and Maurer here, with some thoughts on the next 50 days. President Macri has only one chance at re-election. That is to villify his opponent. The markets tanked when it looked like Fernández might win, he has to say.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Leticia Abad and Noel Maurer here again, reporting on some news that while not unexpected, has arrived unexpectedly prematurely. Imagine you are a banker in the mid-19th century. All of a sudden, you observe more and more people demanding that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Back in September 2016, Ian Bremmer made a very silly post in an attempt to be contrarian. It boiled down to: “The CEOs I talk to say that they are not worried about Trump, therefore he won’t do anything radical.”... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Leticia Arroyo Abad here, our woman in the Southern Cone. Argentines have been battling a recession, several mini-crises, and high inflation for a while now. The result was a resounding defeat for the incumbent administration in the recent primary elections.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2019 at The Power and the Money
Back in 2009, I made the modest proposal that Iceland become an unincorporated territory of the United States. It wasn’t serious. But it looks like the Trump administration is serious about buying Greenland. Or, well, “serious,” because it is the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at The Power and the Money