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” »

Back to School Blogs

By IMFBlog

September 7, 2018 

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Girls on their first day of school: our latest blog helps you catch up on all the news of the summer (Shadi Jarar'ah/Newscom)

As your list of things to do gets longer and the days grow shorter, you know summer is fading, just like your tan.

To help you quickly catch up on the news and policy debates of the summer—if you live in the Northern Hemisphere—our editors have put together a list of our top reads on economics and finance.  Continue reading “Back to School Blogs” »

Ten Years After Lehman—Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

By Christine Lagarde

September 5, 2018

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A trader on the New York Stock Exchange the day US investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy: the global crisis that followed is a defining moment of our time (Photo: Nancy-Kaszerman/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

The global financial crisis remains one of the defining events of our time. It will forever mark the generation that lived through it. Continue reading “Ten Years After Lehman—Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead” »

Euro Area Inflation: Why Low For So Long?

By Yasser Abdih, Li Lin, Anne-Charlotte Paret 

August 28, 2018

Sculpture of the euro outside the European Central Bank, Frankfurt, Germany: Convergence of core inflation towards the ECB’s medium-term objective is likely to be gradual (photo: Alex Domanski/REUTERS/Newscom)

The euro area economy is in its fifth year of recovery, unemployment is close to its pre-crisis level and the output gaps of most countries have closed. Yet, core inflation continues to be low, notwithstanding temporarily high headline inflation due to higher energy prices. Continue reading “Euro Area Inflation: Why Low For So Long?” »

By | August 28th, 2018|Advanced Economies, Europe, inflation, labor markets, unemployment|

The Long-Term Impact of Brexit on the European Union

By Jiaqian Chen, Christian Ebeke, Li Lin, Haonan Qu, and Jesse Siminitz

August 10, 2018

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A container ship entering the Port of Marseille, France: The UK is among the European Union's largest trading partners, accounting for about 13 percent of its trade in goods and services (photo: Gerard Bottino/Newscom)

When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, higher barriers to trade, capital flows, and labor mobility will affect output and jobs not only in the UK but also in the remaining 27 EU member states. Continue reading “The Long-Term Impact of Brexit on the European Union” »

By | August 10th, 2018|Advanced Economies, capital flows, Europe|

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

By Christine Lagarde

July 18, 2018

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Cars to be shipped abroad, Jiangsu, China: trade tariffs have gone into effect and export orders have decreased (photo: Imagine China/Newscom)

The artist Claude Monet once said, “I worked without stopping, for the tide at this moment is just as I need it.” As the Group of Twenty finance ministers gather this week at the banks of the Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires they should be inspired by the words of Monet, and take advantage of global growth before the tides change. Continue reading “Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20” »

By | July 18th, 2018|Advanced Economies, Europe, Global Governance, Globalization, trade, U.S.|

An Imbalance in Global Banks’ Dollar Funding

By John Caparusso, Yingyuan Chen, Hideo Hashimoto, David Jones, Will Kerry and Aki Yokoyama

June 12, 2018

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The US Treasury is issuing more T-bills, potentially putting upward pressure on the interest rates non-US banks must pay for short-term dollar funding (photo: Jennifer Hack/KRT/Newscom)

For companies and investors outside the United States, the dollar is often the currency of choice. Surprisingly, though, US banks play only a limited role in lending dollars to international borrowers. Most of the $7 trillion in banks’ dollar lending outside the United States is handled by banks based in Europe, Japan and elsewhere. Continue reading “An Imbalance in Global Banks’ Dollar Funding” »

By | June 12th, 2018|Advanced Economies, banking, currency, Europe, U.S.|
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