Mark Weisbrot

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Mark Weisbrot is an American economist, columnist and co-director, with Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, D.C. As a commentator, he contributes to publications such as New York Times, the UK's The Guardian, and Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.

As an economist, Weisbrot has opposed privatization of the United States Social Security system and has been critical of globalization and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He has supported efforts by South American governments to create a Bank of the South, in order to make them more independent of the IMF. Weisbrot's work on Latin American countries (including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela) has attracted national and international attention, and in 2008 was cited by Brazilian Foreign Secretary Celso Amorim.[1] In early 2010 Weisbrot's work on Latvia's economic crisis attracted national and international attention.

Weisbrot has several times contributed testimony to Congressional hearings, in 2002 to a House of Representatives committee, on Argentina's 1999 - 2002 economic crisis[2] and in 2004 to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the state of democracy in Venezuela, and on media representation of Hugo Chávez and of Chávez's Venezuela.[3]

Mark Weisbrot has been critical of the opposition in Venezuela, and in turn supportive of the Chavez regime in clear contrast and comparison with policies in place in the United States. He uses the policies in Venezuela to criticize the policies set in place by the government on the United States. He has placed the burden of bad press of the Chavez regime on the shoulders of the government of the United States, as stated in an interview in PBS where he attributes the oil reserves in Venezuela as an important motive for the United States to desire a change in the south american country. [4] He compares the reaction of the United States to the election process in Mexico, without knowledge of either the Venezuelan or Mexican elections systems or history and each country's laws.


Weisbrot earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. His 1993 thesis, Ideology and method in the history of development economics,[5] was supervised by W. H. Locke Anderson.[6][7] In 1999, he co-founded, together with economist Dean Baker, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), "to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives".[8] Weisbrot is co-author, with Baker, of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 1999). In the book, Weisbrot and Baker argue that much of the United States Social Security debate has been based on misconceptions, that privatization would be unlikely to improve the system, and that the system in fact performs satisfactorily and does not need fixing.[9]

Commenting on international matters, Weisbrot argues that globalization, as understood by the United States government and American lending institutions, has failed to live up to its promise of making poorer countries grow rich, stating that "no nation has ever pulled itself out of poverty under the conditions that Washington currently imposes on underdeveloped countries."[10][11] He has criticized the role played by the IMF[12] and has taken an active role in developing the Bank of the South, a joint project by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela spearheaded by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and designed to make South America financially less dependent on the IMF and World Bank.[13][14] Weisbrot acted as a consultant to the governments concerned and has been described as the artífice intelectual, the intellectual architect, of the concept.[15][16]

Weisbrot's work on Latin American countries (including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela) has attracted national and international attention,[17][18][19][20][21][22] and in 2008 was cited by Brazilian Foreign Secretary Celso Amorim.[1] In early 2010 Weisbrot's work on Latvia's economic crisis attracted national[23][24][25] and international attention.[26][27][28]

Weisbrot is also the President of Just Foreign Policy, a non-governmental organization dedicated to reforming United States foreign policy.[29]

Media work

Weisbrot writes a column on economic and policy issues that is distributed across the United States by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.[30] His work appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times/International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe and The Nation as well as news websites such as AlterNet,[30] the Common Dreams NewsCenter[30] and The Huffington Post.[31] Internationally, Weisbrot writes a column for the UK's The Guardian, and for Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.[30] He has appeared on national and local television and radio programs, including CBS, the PBS Newshour, CNN, the BBC, National Public Radio and Fox News.

Weisbrot's commentaries on Latin American affairs have been broadly sympathetic to many governments in South America, including Argentina,[32][33] Bolivia,[34] Brazil,[35] Ecuador,[36] and Venezuela.[22][37][38] In particular, Weisbrot has praised Latin American governments' attempts to assert stronger national control over key national resources, and to take a tougher stance in relation to foreign creditors. Weisbrot has also criticized some of these governments' policies.[39][40]

In 2009, Weisbrot and Tariq Ali wrote the screenplay for the Oliver Stone's South of the Border,[41][42][43] which examined the "pink tide" of elected leftist governments in South America.[44]


  • Weisbrot, Mark (1997). "Structural adjustment in Haiti". Monthly Review 48: 25–39. 

Co-authored with Dean Baker

  • Baker, Dean; Weisbrot, Mark (1999). Social Security: The Phony Crisis. University of Chicago Press. . 


  1. 1.0 1.1 MercoPress, 4 April 2008, Diversified markets have cut Brazil's exposure to US crisis
  2. 5 March 2002, Argentina’s Economic Meltdown: Causes and Remedies
  3. Testimony of Mark Weisbrot on the state of democracy in Venezuela. URL accessed on 2009-02-07. [dead link]
  4. Assessing U.S.-Venezuela Relations After Very Close Election. URL accessed on 2013-04-22.
  5. Page 2450: "Doctoral Dissertations in Economics Ninetieth Annual List". Journal of Economic Literature (American Economic Association) 31 (4): 2425–2455. December 1993. 
  6. Weisbrot, Mark Alan (1993). Ideology And Method In the History of Development Economics. Ann Arbor: Economics Department, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan. 
  7. Mark Weisbrot. Just Foreign URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  8. Staff CEPR – About Us. Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). URL accessed on 16 February 2010.
  9. Staff Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot Social Security The Phony Crisis. The University of Chicago Press. URL accessed on 16 February 2010.
  10. Veseth, Michael (2002). The rise of the global economy. Taylor & Francis. p. 22. . 
  11. Weisbrot, Mark Globalization on the Ropes. Harper's Magazine. URL accessed on 25 February 2010.
  12. Keith, Tamara. The Scrutinizing the role of the IMF. Marketplace. NPR. URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  13. Chavez and allies challenge IMF, World Bank. MSNBC. URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  14. Heredia, Lourdes. Why South America wants a new bank. BBC News. URL accessed on January 26, 2010.
  15. Spanish Pino, Soledad. Mark Weisbrot entrevista: El modelo americano no es mejor que el europeo. (PDF) La Clave. CEPR. URL accessed on January 23, 2010.
  16. Spanish "Promocionan Banco del Sur en Madrid", El Universal, September 19, 2007. Retrieved on January 23, 2010. 
  17. USA Today, 7 November 2007, Argentina's snub of conventional wisdom pays off
  18. Página/12, 22 April 2007, "Gracias a la Argentina, el FMI cada vez es más irrelevante"
  19. Time, 7 December 2009, Morales' Big Win: Voters Ratify His Remaking of Bolivia
  20. The Independent, 28 November 2006, Correa hails victory for the left in Ecuador
  21. EFE, 10 December 2008, Expertos creen Ecuador no puede pagar deuda y además mantener política social
  22. 22.0 22.1 Simon Romero. "Chávez Seizes Greater Economic Power", New York Times, May 18, 2008. Retrieved on January 23, 2010. “Mark Weisbrot, a Washington-based economist who is broadly supportive of Mr. Chávez’s economic policies, ...” 
  23. Paul Krugman, 10 February 2010, Riga Mortis
  24. Reuters, 10 February 2010, How the poor can get poorer, and be OK about that
  25. Wall Street Journal, 3 February 2010, Euro Rules Take Bite Out of Peripheral Countries
  26. Dienas Bizness, 4 February 2010, Latvijas glābšanas sociālā un ekonomiskā maksa bijusi milzīga
  27. Baltic Business News, 20 January 2010, US economist: Latvia should devalue
  28. Hamburger Abendblatt, 13 February 2010, Athen zittert vor der lettischen Lösung
  29. Board. Just Foreign URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Mark Weisbrot: Op-Eds and Columns. Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  31. Mark Weisbrot. The Huffington Post. URL accessed on January 24, 2010.
  32. New York Times, 26 December 2004, Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts
  33. Los Angeles Times, 30 October 2007, How Argentina jump-started its economy
  34. McClatchy Tribune Information Services, 19 March 2007, Democracy Pays Off in Bolivia
  35. The Nation, 10 October 2002, Lula's Back in Town
  36. The Guardian, 28 October 2009, Latin America's Economic Rebels
  37. "Polls: Support for Chavez government falling", USA Today, March 18, 2008. Retrieved on January 26, 2010. “... Weisbrot, who has supported Chavez's policies.” 
  38. New York Times, 4 November 2007, The Perils of Petrocracy
  39. Associated Press, 3 January 2007, Brazil's Silva Faces Tough Challenges
  40. Enerpub, 1 February 2010, Venezuela's gamble with currency devaluation
  41. Chavez walks Venice red carpet with Oliver Stone MSNBC. 7 Sept 2009. (Archived by WebCite at
  42. Template error: argument title is required.  [dead link]
  43. Oliver Stone - Page 2. Interview Magazine. URL accessed on 2010-12-29.
  44. Oliver Stone heads 'South of the Border' to chat up Chavez and others by Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2009. (Archived by WebCite at

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