Paul Blustein, Background

Paul Blustein is a CIGI Senior Fellow. An award-winning journalist and author, he has written extensively about international economics, trade and financial crises. Prior to joining CIGI in 2010, Paul was a staff writer for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and journalist-in-residence at The Brookings Institution. At CIGI, he is working on a book about the IMF’s role in the euro zone crisis.

A native of Washington D.C., Paul Blustein attended the University of Wisconsin (B.A., history), before heading to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with an M.A. in philosophy, politics and economics in 1975.

Paul began his career as a business and economics journalist shortly thereafter, returning to the United States to work as a writer at Forbes magazine. He then moved to The Wall Street Journal, where he became the newspaper’s chief economics correspondent, covering the US Federal Reserve, budget and tax policy.

In 1987, Paul moved to The Washington Post and began to focus his writing on the global economy, eventually becoming the paper’s international economics correspondent in 1995. In this position, he reported from countries all over the world, including Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Honduras, Indonesia, China, Qatar, Greece, Mali and Ethiopia. While at the Post, Paul took leaves to serve as a visiting fellow at the Institute for International Economics (in 1999 and 2000) and as a guest scholar at The Brookings Institution (in 2003 and 2004). During this time, Paul published his first two books, The Chastening: Inside the Crisis That Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF and And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out): Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina. In his books, Paul writes about complex economic issues and institutions using narratives and behind-the-scenes reporting, making these subjects accessible and appealing for both expert and non-expert readers.

Paul retired from The Washington Post and moved to Brookings as journalist-in-residence in 2006. Since then, he has published Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations: Clashing Egos, Inflated Ambitions, and the Great Shambles of the World Trade System and spent time at the Woodrow Wilson International Center as a public policy scholar. In 2010, Paul joined CIGI, where as a senior fellow he completed his latest book, Off Balance: The Travails of Institutions That Govern the Global Financial System, published by CIGI in October 2013.  A detailed account of the failings of international institutions in the global financial crisis that erupted in 2008, the book focuses mainly on the IMF and the Financial Stability Forum in the run-up and early months of the crisis. Currently, Paul is working on a book about the IMF’s role in the euro zone crisis.

Paul lives in Kamakura, Japan. He is married to Yoshie Sakai and is the father of four children.

Notable Media & Presentations

  1. Blustein, Paul (2010). “G-20 Leadership Lacking on the Doha Round,” Recovery or Relapse: The Role of the G-20 in the Global Economy. June.
  2. Blustein, Paul (2010). “R.I.P., WTO,” Foreign Policy. January/February.
  3. Blustein, Paul (2008). “Don’t Trade Recession for Depression,” The Washington Post. December 7.
  4. Blustein, Paul (2008). “Trade Pacts Run Amok,” World Policy Journal. August, No. 23, Issue 2.
  5. Blustein, Paul (2007). “How the World Can Save the Bank,” Guardian Unlimited. May 18.

Selected Publications

  1. Blustein, Paul (2013). Off Balance: The Travails of Institutions That Govern the Global Financial System. Waterloo: CIGI.
  2. Blustein, Paul (2009). Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations: Clashing Egos, Inflated Ambitions, and the Great Shambles of the World Trade System. New York: PublicAffairs.
  3. Blustein, Paul (2005). And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out): Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina. New York: PublicAffairs.
  4. Blustein, Paul (2001). The Chastening: Inside the Crisis That Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF. New York: PublicAffairs.

In the News

  1. How Financial Crisis Fizzled a Showdown on China’s Currency, Ian Talley, The Wall Street Journal -- Real Time Economics, December 9, 2013
  2. Shutdown threatens global stability, Michael Casey, Market Watch, October 9, 2013
  3. Japan Elections, Newshour-- BBC World Service, July 21, 2013
  4. All 'In the News' Mentions
Programs: Global Economy