Mark Weisbrot

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Mark Alan Weisbrot
Born Chicago, Illinois, United States
Institution Center for Economic and Policy Research
Alma mater University of Michigan

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 pundit, 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 neoliberal 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. His work on Greece's ongoing debt crisis has influenced the debate over what measures the Greek government should take in negotiating a solution with the European Central Bank and European Commission, including with Greece's former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.[2][3]

Weisbrot has several times contributed testimony to Congressional hearings, in 2002 to a House of Representatives committee, on Argentina's 1999–2002 economic crisis[4] 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.[5]


Weisbrot received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.[6][7] His 1993 thesis, Ideology And Method In the History of Development Economics[8] explains how the mainstream neoclassical economics model set boundaries for development economics and is presented in the perspective where "development economics can be seen as an attempt to break out of the boundaries delineated by the neoclassical project in order to understand the problems of underdeveloped countries".[6]


In 1999, Weisbrot 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".[9] 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.[10]

Weisbrot is also the President of Just Foreign Policy, a non-governmental organization dedicated to reforming United States foreign policy.[11]


Commenting on international matters, Weisbrot argues that globalization, as promoted 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."[12][13] He has criticized the role played by the IMF[14] 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.[15][16] Weisbrot has been described as the intellectual architect behind the bank, and has provided some advice to countries seeking to take part in it.[17][18]

Latin America

Weisbrot's work on Latin American countries (including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela) has attracted national and international attention,[19][20][21][22][23][24] 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[25][26][27] and international attention.[28][29][30]

In a 2016 National Review article describing Venezuela's deterioration following the Bolivarian Revolution, Weisbrot was described as one of the "leftist admirers of Venezuela" and an "ardent cheerleader" of Hugo Chávez's policies.[31]



Weisbrot, a supporter of the policies implemented during Hugo Chávez's presidency,[24][32] also spoke out about the media following the death of Chávez. On 26 February 2014, Weisbrot and his colleague Deborah James attended the "Chávez Was Here" gathering created by the Embassy of Venezuela, Washington, D.C. to commemorate the legacy of Hugo Chávez and show support for the Bolivarian Revolution. At the gathering, Weisbrot beside the Venezuelan ambassador Julio Escalona and peace activist Daniel Kovalik, spoke about the progress under the Bolivarian Revolution and criticized the Latin American media, the United States media and the Venezuelan opposition.[33][34][35][36][37] The following month in March 2014, Weisbrot also headed the "Chavez, Communicator of the 21st Century" ceremony with Venezuelan government officials at the mausoleum of Hugo Chávez in the Cuartel de la Montaña (es), where he denounced alleged media attacks on Venezuela and the former president.[38]


In 2009, Weisbrot and Tariq Ali wrote the screenplay for the Oliver Stone's South of the Border,[39][40][41] which examined the "pink tide" of elected leftist governments in South America.[42]


Weisbrot writes a column on economic and policy issues that is distributed across the United States by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.[43] 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,[43] the Common Dreams NewsCenter[43] and The Huffington Post.[44] Internationally, Weisbrot writes a column for the UK's The Guardian, and for Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo.[43]

Weisbrot's commentaries on Latin American affairs have been broadly sympathetic to many governments in South America, including Argentina,[45][46] Bolivia,[47] Brazil,[48] Ecuador,[49] and Venezuela.[24][32][50] 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.[51][52]


Weisbrot has also appeared on national and local television and radio programs, including CBS, the PBS Newshour, CNN, the BBC, National Public Radio and Fox News.[citation needed]


Francisco Rodríguez, Head of Research of the United Nations Human Development Report Office, has debated with Weisbrot due to the praise Weisbrot gave to Hugo Chávez's economic policies.[53]

Weisbrot has also sparred with Larry Rohter, the former South American bureau chief of The New York Times, over his statements on Venezuela. Rohter claimed that in support of the film "South of the Border", Weisbrot, Tariq Ali, and Oliver Stone manipulated data to present a positive image of Hugo Chávez.[54] Weisbrot has contested the claims of inaccuracies, suggesting that they are indicative of sloppy and misleading coverage of Venezuela in the popular press.[55]


Co-authored with Dean Baker


  1. ^ a b MercoPress, 4 April 2008, Diversified markets have cut Brazil's exposure to US crisis
  2. ^ País, Ediciones El (2012-03-04). "Grecia solo ve pobreza". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Weisbrot and Krugman are Wrong: Greece cannot pull off an Argentina". Yanis Varoufakis. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  4. ^ 5 March 2002, Argentina’s Economic Meltdown: Causes and Remedies
  5. ^ "Testimony of Mark Weisbrot on the state of democracy in Venezuela" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  6. ^ a b 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 Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  8. ^ Page 2450: "Doctoral Dissertations in Economics Ninetieth Annual List" (PDF). Journal of Economic Literature. American Economic Association. 31 (4): 2425–2455. December 1993. 
  9. ^ Staff. "CEPR – About Us". Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Staff. "Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot Social Security The Phony Crisis". The University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Board". Just Foreign Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  12. ^ Veseth, Michael (2002). The rise of the global economy. Taylor & Francis. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-57958-369-9. 
  13. ^ Weisbrot, Mark (May 2000). "Globalization on the Ropes". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Keith, Tamara (April 24, 2009). "The Scrutinizing the role of the IMF". Marketplace. NPR. Retrieved January 24, 2010. Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and a critic of the IMF. 
  15. ^ "Chavez and allies challenge IMF, World Bank". MSNBC. December 9, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  16. ^ Heredia, Lourdes (December 10, 2007). "Why South America wants a new bank". BBC News. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ Pino, Soledad (September 2007). "Mark Weisbrot entrevista: El modelo americano no es mejor que el europeo" (PDF). La Clave (in Spanish). CEPR. Retrieved January 23, 2010. ... se le considera el artífice intelectual del Banco del Sur, un proyecto impulsado por el presidente venezolano ... Segun fuentes cercanas, el propio Chavez consulta con cierta frecuencia a Weisbrot, aunque no siempre seguiría sus consejos. (He is considered the intellectual architect of the Bank of the South, a project initiated by the Venezuelan president ... according to sources close to him, Chavez himself consults Weisbrot with some regularity, although he may not always follow his advice.) ... Yo estoy muy involucrado en las discusiones y de asesoria especifica a los Gobiernos cuando me solicitan. (I'm very involved in the discussions and in providing specific advice to the governments when they ask me.) 
  18. ^ "Promocionan Banco del Sur en Madrid". El Universal (in Spanish). September 19, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  19. ^ USA Today, 7 November 2007, Argentina's snub of conventional wisdom pays off
  20. ^ Página/12, 22 April 2007, "Gracias a la Argentina, el FMI cada vez es más irrelevante"
  21. ^ Time, 7 December 2009, Morales' Big Win: Voters Ratify His Remaking of Bolivia
  22. ^ The Independent, 28 November 2006, Correa hails victory for the left in Ecuador
  23. ^ EFE, 10 December 2008, Expertos creen Ecuador no puede pagar deuda y además mantener política social
  24. ^ a b c Romero, Simon (May 18, 2008). "Chávez Seizes Greater Economic Power". New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2010. Mark Weisbrot, a Washington-based economist who is broadly supportive of Mr. Chávez’s economic policies, ... 
  25. ^ Paul Krugman, 10 February 2010, Riga Mortis
  26. ^ Reuters, 10 February 2010, How the poor can get poorer, and be OK about that
  27. ^ Wall Street Journal, 3 February 2010, Euro Rules Take Bite Out of Peripheral Countries
  28. ^ Dienas Bizness, 4 February 2010, Latvijas glābšanas sociālā un ekonomiskā maksa bijusi milzīga
  29. ^ Baltic Business News, 20 January 2010, US economist: Latvia should devalue
  30. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt, 13 February 2010, Athen zittert vor der lettischen Lösung
  31. ^ Cardenas, Jose (18 May 2016). "In Venezuela, Socialism Is Killing Venezuelans". National Review. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "Polls: Support for Chavez government falling". USA Today. March 18, 2008. Retrieved January 26, 2010. ... Weisbrot, who has supported Chavez's policies. 
  33. ^ "The Legacy of Hugo Chávez One Year After His Death (Audio)". North American Congress on Latin America. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  34. ^ "Peoples of Latin America continue progressing to reach our destiny: independence". Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  35. ^ "The Legacy of Hugo Chávez: At Home and Abroad Hosted by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela". CEPR. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  36. ^ "Por Aquí Paso Chávez". Flickr. Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "Dan Kovalik Dan Kovalik". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Chávez comunicador nos convirtió en poder popular". Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Comunicación y la Información. Gobierno Bolivariano de Venezuela. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  39. ^ Chavez walks Venice red carpet with Oliver Stone MSNBC. 7 Sept 2009. (Archived by WebCite at
  40. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  41. ^ "Oliver Stone - Page 2". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  42. ^ 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
  43. ^ a b c d "Mark Weisbrot: Op-Eds and Columns". Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Mark Weisbrot". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  45. ^ New York Times, 26 December 2004, Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts
  46. ^ Los Angeles Times, 30 October 2007, How Argentina jump-started its economy
  47. ^ McClatchy Tribune Information Services, 19 March 2007, Democracy Pays Off in Bolivia
  48. ^ The Nation, 10 October 2002, Lula's Back in Town
  49. ^ The Guardian, 28 October 2009, Latin America's Economic Rebels
  50. ^ New York Times, 4 November 2007, The Perils of Petrocracy
  51. ^ Associated Press, 3 January 2007, Brazil's Silva Faces Tough Challenges
  52. ^ Enerpub, 1 February 2010, Venezuela's gamble with currency devaluation Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^ Rodríguez, Francisco. "How Not to Defend the Revolution: Mark Weisbrot and the Misinterpretation of Venezuelan Evidence" (PDF). Wesleyan University. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  54. ^ Rohter, Larry. "Oliver Stone Still Doesn't Get It". History News Network. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  55. ^ "Adam Serwer on DOJ/New Black Panthers, Mark Weisbrot on South of the Border". Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

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