Prior to joining Brookings as a journalist in residence in 2006, Blustein was a staff writer at the Washington Post, where he mostly covered economic policy and related issues. He started at the Post in 1987 and served in its Tokyo bureau as Asian economics correspondent from 1990 to 1995. As the paper's international economics correspondent, a position he assumed in September 1995, he reported stories from countries all over the world including Pakistan, Egypt, Argentina, Honduras, Indonesia, China, Qatar, Greece, Mali and Ethiopia.
He took two book leaves from the Post, during which he was a visiting fellow at the Institute for International Economics (in 1999 and 2000) and a guest scholar at Brookings (in 2003 and 2004). Before working at the Post he was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal from 1979 to 1987, the last four years of which he was the paper’s chief economics correspondent, covering the Federal Reserve, budget and tax policy; he came to the Journal after working at Forbes Magazine as a writer from 1976 to 1979.
Among the prizes he has received for his reporting is the Gerald Loeb Award, generally regarded as the most prestigious prize in the field of business and economic journalism.
In his books, Blustein specializes in writing about complex economic issues and institutions using dramatic narratives and behind-the-scenes reporting, with the aim of making the subjects appealing for expert and non-expert readers alike. He is the author of The Chastening: Inside the Crisis That Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF (PublicAffairs, 2001), And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out): Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina (PublicAffairs, 2005), and Misadventures of the Most Favored Nations: Clashing Egos, Inflated Ambitions, and the Great Shambles of the World Trade System (PublicAffairs, 2009).
His latest book, Off Balance: The Travails of Institutions That Govern the Global Financial System, was published in 2013 by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, where Blustein is a Senior Fellow. 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 to and early months of the crisis. He is currently working on a book about the IMF’s role in the euro zone crisis.
Born in 1951 in Washington, D.C., Blustein received his B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University in 1975. A resident of Kamakura, Japan, he is married to Yoshie Sakai and is the father of four children.