The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman

October 10, 2018

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A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom)

What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about how much cash is sitting in the bank, the value of your house, and the rest of your nest egg.

Surprisingly, most governments do not approach their finances this way. Continue reading “The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe” »

The Financial System Is Stronger, but New Vulnerabilities Have Emerged in the Decade Since the Crisis

By Tobias Adrian

October 10, 2018

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Debt owed by governments, companies and households in economies with globally systemically important financial sectors has risen since the global financial crisis (Photo: Richard B. Levine/Newscom)

Although the global expansion has plateaued, easy monetary policies continue to support growth. But we shouldn’t rest too easily. Chapter 1 of the latest Global Financial Stability Report finds that short-term risks to the financial system have increased somewhat over the past six months. Continue reading “The Financial System Is Stronger, but New Vulnerabilities Have Emerged in the Decade Since the Crisis” »

Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize

By Maurice Obstfeld

October 9, 2018

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Uncertainty over trade policy is becoming a drag on economic activity (photo: Imagine China/Newscom)

The latest World Economic Outlook report projects that global growth will remain steady over 2018–19 at last year’s rate of 3.7 percent. This growth exceeds that achieved in any of the years between 2012 and 2016. It occurs as many economies have reached or are nearing full employment and as earlier deflationary fears have dissipated. Thus, policymakers still have an excellent opportunity to build resilience and implement growth-enhancing reforms.

Continue reading “Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize” »

A Decade After Lehman, the Financial System Is Safer. Now We Must Avoid Reform Fatigue

By Adolfo Barajas, Claudio Raddatz, and James P. Walsh

October 3, 2018

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A ticker in New York’s Times Square flashes the news of the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008: In the decade since, the financial sector has  strengthened considerably, but the reform agenda remains incomplete (Photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters/Newscom)

In the decade since the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers sparked the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, regulation and supervision of the financial sector have been strengthened considerably. This has reduced the risk of another crisis, with all its attendant woes—unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies. But a new risk has emerged: reform fatigue. Continue reading “A Decade After Lehman, the Financial System Is Safer. Now We Must Avoid Reform Fatigue” »

The Digital Accelerator: Revving Up Government in Asia

By Vitor Gaspar and Chang Yong Rhee

September 26, 2018

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A driver from the Malaysian ride-hailing tech startup, Grab, picks up a passenger in Jakarta, Indonesia: digitalization is transforming Asia’s businesses and governments (photo: Afif C. Kasuma/iStock by Getty Images)

Asia’s digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down. From e-commerce giants like China’s Alibaba and Japan’s Rakuten, to ride-hailing, and digital payment tech startups, like Indonesia’s Go-Jek and India’s Paytm, and the widespread use of industrial robots for manufacturing, digitalization is changing the way the region’s businesses operate. Continue reading “The Digital Accelerator: Revving Up Government in Asia” »

By | September 26th, 2018|Advanced Economies, Asia, Emerging Markets, taxation, technology|

Chart of the Week: The Digital Divide in Asia

By IMFBlog

September 25, 2018

Young people on their phones in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia: about 70 percent of the country does not have internet access and can’t participate in the digital economy (Samrang Pring/Reuters/Newscom)

The countries of Southeast Asia are young—more than half of its 643 million people are under 30— and together they live in an economy of $2.8 trillion. Continue reading “Chart of the Week: The Digital Divide in Asia” »

By | September 25th, 2018|Asia, inclusive growth, technology, youth|

Give Today’s Children a Chance

By  Christine Lagarde and Vitor Gaspar

September 24, 2018

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Children in early childhood education in Indonesia: more money put into education helps countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (Photo: Ajun-Ally/Pacific Press/Newscom)

World leaders are gathering at the United Nations to discuss how to deliver on development for all that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable—“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading “Give Today’s Children a Chance” »

Asia Needs More Access to Financial Services to Grow

By  Sarwat Jahan, Elena LoukoianovaCormac Sullivan and Yongzheng Yang

September 18, 2018

中文, 日本語

A customer pays at a supermarket using her smartphone in Bangkok, Thailand: urban and rural areas in the region widely use mobile payment platforms to access financial services (photo: Li Mangmang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom)

In Asia, the world’s fastest-growing region, expanding access to financial services for more people will mean higher growth, as well as lower poverty and inequality. Continue reading “Asia Needs More Access to Financial Services to Grow” »

By | September 18th, 2018|Asia, banking, technology|

Chart of the Week: Invest in Robots and People in Asia

By IMFBlog

August 29, 2018

عربي, 中文, EspañolBaˈhasa indoneˈsia日本語,  Português, Русский,

An engineer adjusts a robot arm in a robotics plant in Shenyang, China, where industrial robots are widely used for manufacturing (photo: Yang Qing Xinhua News Agency/Newscom)

With about 1 million robots in use in Asia, robotics and automation mean economic risks and growth opportunities for the region. Continue reading “Chart of the Week: Invest in Robots and People in Asia” »

By | August 29th, 2018|Advanced Economies, Asia, labor markets, technology, unemployment, wages|
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