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Taylor-made policy

There are few bigger jobs in finance than US Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. So meet John Taylor, the former academic economist who finance ministers and central bank governors from around the world will be courting for the next few years. Taking time out from the negotiations over Argentina he delivers some tough messages on official sector financing packages: they should come with fewer conditions, but those conditions should be strictly monitored and enforced, before funds are disbursed. He offers to share useful experience with Japan, expresses confidence in the European single currency project and explains to James H Smalhout why the US current account deficit is sustainable

John Taylor

Undersecretary of the US Treasury John Taylor is a man who needs no introduction at central banks around the world and in Washington's corridors of power.

A prominent macroeconomist from Stanford University in California, the man has been a fixture in Republican policy-making circles since working for president Gerald Ford's Council of Economic Advisors in 1976. His research, including the well-known Taylor Rule, has gained a wide following for its ability to describe, predict and guide monetary policy.

Taylor, who taught economics at Columbia, Princeton and Yale before joining the Stanford faculty in 1984, displays a decidedly conservative, even cautious demeanour. He is organized and disciplined enough to produce a highly successful series of textbooks while carrying a normal teaching load and continuing to work on his influential research.

But there's another side to the man that made him immensely popular with his 18 and 19-year-old students.

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