Samuel George
Project Manager,
Bertelsmann Foundation

Samuel George joined the Bertelsmann Foundation in 2012 to develop a Latin America/Western Hemisphere portfolio for the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Global Economic Dynamics project.

Highlights of his work include the introduction of the “Pacific Pumas” concept, which relates to the advancements and opportunities of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. His study on the subject has since been presented in Washington, DC, Berlin and Madrid, and has been referenced in the Financial Times and The Economist.

Samuel manages the Bertelsmann Foundation’s strategic cooperation with the Fundação Getúlio Vargas, a collaboration that led to the joint study Brazil and Germany: A 21st-Century Relationship, Opportunities in Trade, Investment and Finance. His subsequent work on Brazil includes the recently published study Five Steps to Kickstart Brazil, co-authored with Cornelius Fleischhaker of the World Bank


Samuel has also focused on Latin American debt dynamics, beginning with his 2013 study Surviving a Debt Crisis: Five Lessons for Europe from Latin America. More recently, he has collaborated with the Organization of American States to develop a Caribbean-led strategy for debt reduction and economic re-balancing, and he has analyzed the Argentine debt-restructuring case.

As part of the Global Economic Dynamics team, Samuel co-managed the team’s efforts to build an interactive Web-based presentation that brings data to life.





Published Posts bySamuel George
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GED Video: The Crossroads India
Growth and Growing Pains

In recent years, India has emerged as one of the globe’s fastest growing economies. Overall, the country has has averaged seven percent growth annually over the last decade. How has India’s digital transition helped push this growth? And can digital tools help make this growth accessible for all? More ...


Turkey after the Coup Attempt
An interview with Soner Cagaptay

On July 15, 2016, elements of the Turkish military staged a coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The putsch failed, but that day stands out as a clear “before” and “after” moment for Turkish democracy. For the Crossroads Turkey, Samuel George interviewed Turkey expert Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for a better understanding of the coup’s ramifications. More ...

Marcelo Montecino @ , slightly edited Marcelo Montecino @ , slightly edited

Cuba after Castro
More money, new problems?

On November 25, 2016, a true icon of the 20th century passed away. Love him or hate him—and most people seem to pick one or the other—Fidel Castro remains one of the most recognized politicians of all time. The fact that he achieved such notoriety governing an island in an often forgotten corner of the globe is a testament to the intensity of the nerve he struck. More ...

Mix CucombreLibre / Julian Serrato Mix CucombreLibre / Julian Serrato

Will Peace in Colombia Boost Growth?

In late 2015, I asked both Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas one simple question – what single policy could best generate sustainable growth? In separate interviews, both answered simply and without hesitation: “Peace”. More ...

Sam George / GED Sam George / GED

Three Things To Watch in Brazil

Brazil finds itself in a state of turmoil. Sam George looks at three underlying trends that might indicate where the country is going. More ...

Shutterstock / Donatas Dabravolskas Shutterstock / Donatas Dabravolskas

Brazil & Mega-Trade Deals
The Opportunity Cost of Opportunities Lost

A number of major economies in Latin America are not participating in the mega-deals. However, since the proposed agreements include many of their key trading partners, outsiders will still be effected. In this blog post, we have a look at how this could affect the region’s largest economy: Brazil. More ...

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The Crossroads: Colombia
Our third episode, The Crossroads: Colombia, considers a country with significant growth momentum, but facing a thorny peace process and a slumping global economy

The Crossroads video series from the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Global Economic Dynamics team focuses on these decisive moments for emerging markets. Our third episode, The Crossroads: Colombia, considers a country with significant growth momentum, but facing a thorny peace process and a slumping global economy. More ...

Camilo Rueda López © Flickr Camilo Rueda López © Flickr

A New Day in Colombia? Conversation with President Juan Manuel Santos

On September 24, 2015, Colombian President J.M. Santos and leaders of the FARC guerrilla announced a breakthrough in peace negotiations that could end a conflict that has plagued the country since the 1960s. See here a short interview with President Santos explaining what a peace deal would mean for Colombia. More ...

Jesus Statue in Rio dmitry_islentev / Shutterstock Images

Brazil - a Country of Buts

It’s tough to visit Brazil without noticing the buts. Every objective statement seems to require a subsequent hedge. So today we look a little closer at some of Brazil's fundamental fault lines. More ...

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The Crossroads: Cuba

As the US and Cuba reopen their embassies in each other's countries Cuba finds itself at a crossroads. Which path into the future will it follow? This is the second installment of the GED team's new video series "The Crossroads". More ...

© Niyazz / © Niyazz /

Argentina Election 2015: Polls Point to Scioli

This Post is part of Samuel George’s ongoing series “Argentina at a Crossroads”. In it Sam takes a closer look at the newest polls in the run up to the 2015 general elections in Argentina. More ...


The Crossroads: Argentina

The Crossroads is a new video series from the GED team that focuses on decisive moments for different economies. In our first episode we take a look at Argentina, a country facing turbulent economic conditions and an ongoing debt crisis just as it prepares for crucial presidential elections in October 2015. More ...


The Rise of the Holdouts: Disrupting Sovereign Debt Restructuring

In the wake of the 2001 Argentine financial crisis and subsequent default, firms specializing in distressed sovereign debt purchased defaulted Argentine bonds at steep discounts with the explicit intent of subsequently litigating for payment of full face value plus interest. These firms have achieved international notoriety stemming from their recent legal victories against the government of Argentina, but the strategy of investing in distressed bonds and resisting restructuring is by no means original. In fact, holdout funds have been developing, improving and employing different strategies for roughly three decades. More ...


Argentina at a Crossroads

To address Argentina’s economic malaise—and to fully close the door on the 2001 crisis—the next government would need to address subsidies, return the keys to the Central Bank, and come to an agreement with the disdained holdout firms. These are neither easy nor popular measures for a new and untested government. Argentines may say they want change now, but will they reach for the casserole pans if their energy bills spike? More ...

A word cloud taken from an article on the European Debt Crisis / Euro Crisis. Image Courtesy: EuroCrisisExplained © flickr

The Euro Crisis: Is Trade the Solution?

Five years have passed for the European Union to consider the causes of the Euro Crisis; five years to implement reforms, and five years to kickstart growth. So where do we really stand? How did we get here? And what is left to do? We sat down with some experts from both sides of the debate to find answers More ...

Image Courtesy: Adam Baker © flickr Image Courtesy: Adam Baker © flickr

Quantitative Easing in the EU: Addressing the Symptom or the Cause?

It may be a new year, but Europe’s economic malaise remains decidedly familiar. Current headlines announcing anemic growth, unemployment, and the looming potential of a Syriza-provoked Grexit could easily be pulled from newspapers published in 2011. The eurocrisis increasingly appears like a virus that must be kept in remission. The latest course of treatment, Europe’s version of quantitative easing, was announced by the European Central Bank More ...

Image Courtesy: Diego Torres Silvestre © flickr Image Courtesy: Diego Torres Silvestre © flickr

The Future of Sovereign Debt – the Answer May Lie in Argentina

What happens when sovereign debt goes bad? In the corporate world, debt contracts are subject to bankruptcy and liquidation laws. But no such mechanism exists following sovereign default. Recent legal rulings in the Argentine debt saga suggest that this system may now be unattainable. More ...

Photo of Jason Furmann

Jason Furman Welcomes but Admits Challenges to Globalization

We set out to get an opinion on how global interconnectedness affects the biggest economy and went to visit a man who President Barack Obama listens to when it comes to economic advice: Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. More ...

Picture showing the landmark of Rio de Janeiro, the Redeemer statue

Five Steps to Kickstart Brazilian Growth

Since 2011, Brazil’s burgeoning middle class has faced growing pains. When hundreds of thousands took to the streets to protest in 2013, they demanded improved efficiency, transparency, and above all, a return to growth. Here are five ways to accomplish that. More ...

Die Pacific Pumas: Mexiko, Kolumbien, Peru und Chile

Study: The Pacific Pumas
An Opportunity of a Century

The Puma: A powerful, fast, agile and discreet animal. It is a fitting mascot for Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile. These four countries have taken great economic strides, and they are poised to emerge as regional leaders. Our new study highlights these opportunities. More ...