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” »

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” »

Chart of the Week: Educate Girls and Women to Boost Equality

By IMFBlog

August 22, 2018

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Schoolgirls in Valladolid, Mexico: Policies that focus on educating girls increase the likelihood that they will enter the labor force (photo: kertu_ee/iStock by Getty Images)

Government policies have boosted women’s participation in the work force. But women still make up a smaller percentage of the labor force than men in most countries. Of the many policies available, such as education and legal rights, which ones provide the most “bang for the buck” to reduce inequality between men and women? Continue reading “Chart of the Week: Educate Girls and Women to Boost Equality” »

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.|

Chart of the Week: An Answer to the U.S. Wage Puzzle

By Yasser Abdih

July 10, 2018

Hiring is strong, but workers still aren’t seeing big raises (photo: Kutay Tanir/Getty Images by iStock).

Wages in the US have grown slowly in recent years, even as the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest levels in decades. Continue reading “Chart of the Week: An Answer to the U.S. Wage Puzzle” »

By | July 10th, 2018|Advanced Economies, labor markets, productivity, U.S., unemployment, wages|

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.|

Chart of the Week: Distribution of Globalization’s Gains

By IMFBlog

May 31, 2018

A garment factory in Ethiopia, which globalization has helped to boost its growth (photo: Kay Neitfeld/Newscom).

While globalization is generally good for economic growth, the benefits are subject to diminishing marginal returns, according to a recent study of 147 countries from 1970 to 2014. The study looks at how globalization affects the distribution of incomes across and within countries.   Continue reading “Chart of the Week: Distribution of Globalization’s Gains” »

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