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” »

Lasting Effects: The Global Economic Recovery 10 Years After the Crisis

By Wenjie Chen, Mico Mrkaic, and Malhar Nabar

October 3, 2018

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Woman cleaning in Berlin, Germany: the 2008 global financial crisis has had long-lasting effects on economic growth (photo: Caro/Olaf Jandke/Newscom)

In the year following the 2008 financial crisis, economic activity declined in half of all countries in the world. Our analysis in Chapter 2 of the October World Economic Outlook shows that in many countries output is still well below levels that would have prevailed had output followed its precrisis trend. Continue reading “Lasting Effects: The Global Economic Recovery 10 Years After the Crisis” »

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” »

Trade and Remittances Within Africa

By Francisco Arizala, Matthieu Bellon, Margaux MacDonald, Montfort Mlachila, and Mustafa Y. Yenice

August 1, 2018 

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Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are more closely tied than ever, thanks to rising trade with one another and remittances (photo: AfricaImages/Getty Images by iStock)

Contrary to popular belief, countries in sub-Saharan Africa are more closely tied than ever, thanks to rising trade with one another and remittances—the money people send home when working in another country.  Continue reading “Trade and Remittances Within Africa” »

By | August 1st, 2018|Africa, trade|

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.|

The Global Expansion: Still Strong but Less Even, More Fragile, Under Threat

By Maurice Obstfeld

July 16, 2018

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The escalation of trade tensions is the greatest near-term threat to global growth (photo: wildpixel/Getty Images by iStock)

Amid rising tensions over international trade, the broad global expansion that began roughly two years ago has plateaued and become less balanced. Continue reading “The Global Expansion: Still Strong but Less Even, More Fragile, Under Threat” »

Creating a Better Global Trade System

By Christine Lagarde

May 29, 2018

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Engineers inspect the 3D printing of a bicycle frame in California: trade in services has risen dramatically and the use of technology is changing how countries trade with each other (photo: Stephen Lam/Reuters /Newscom).

Recent news on global trade has tended to focus on protectionist measures and diplomatic tensions. These challenges have raised concerns over growth and jobs across the world. Continue reading “Creating a Better Global Trade System” »

By | May 29th, 2018|Advanced Economies, capital markets, technology, trade|

Malta’s Good Bet

By IMFBlog

May 7, 2018

Marsaxlokk Harbor, Malta. Not only tourist paradise: the country’s economy makes profits on the betting and gambling industry (photo: iStockPhoto/Andrey Danilovich).

Known mostly for its azure seas and spectacular old towns, Malta has also become a hub for gambling and betting companies: nowhere else in the European Union does this sector account for such a large part of the economy as on the island south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. While the gambling and betting boom contributes to the country’s trade balance and job creation, it also draws attention to a skills shortage and infrastructure gaps the sector is grappling with, a recent IMF paper shows. Continue reading “Malta’s Good Bet” »

Mounting Debt Threatens Sustainable Development Goals

By Chris Lane and Elliott Harris

April 27, 2018

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A market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: some developing countries are falling behind when it comes to incomes (photo: Dumont Bildarchiv/Newscom).

In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an overarching policy roadmap through 2030. These goals are predicated on the idea that for a sustainable future, economic growth must go hand-in-hand with social inclusion and protection of the environment.

Our respective institutions, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), fully support these goals. From the UN perspective, they represent a down payment on a more peaceful, prosperous, and cooperative world, especially in increasingly perilous times. For the IMF, they help underpin economic stability and sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Continue reading “Mounting Debt Threatens Sustainable Development Goals” »

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