Daniel W. Drezner

This seems like a fitting week to publish a Fred Bergsten interview

Well, given this morning’s headlines, I can’t think of a better week for Foreign Policy to put excerpts of my interview with C. Fred Bergsten online.  Bergsten is the founder of the hugely influential Peterson Institute for International Economics.  At the end of this year, he will be stepping down as president of that institute. ...

Well, given this morning’s headlines, I can’t think of a better week for Foreign Policy to put excerpts of my interview with C. Fred Bergsten online.  Bergsten is the founder of the hugely influential Peterson Institute for International Economics.  At the end of this year, he will be stepping down as president of that institute.

Sometime this week I will post the full interview transcript.  In the meanwhile, I found this answer to be particularly interesting:

 I don’t think there’s been much change in the economic literacy of America’s foreign-policy establishment since I first started. They were not very literate then, and they’re not very literate now. The problem is that the individuals who are at the top of the foreign-policy hierarchy, both at State and at the National Security Council, tend to be less than sophisticated, shall we say, about economic issues. It’s not part of their DNA to think about economic topics when they go about their business with Syria or Iran or Russia, not to mention Europe or China.

This observation is ironic, given recent reports that Tim Geithner suggested Hillary Clinton replace him as Treasury Secretary last year.  Still, I think Bergsten’s proposition has held for quite some time.  I don’t think it will be able to hold for much longer, however. 

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