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Sounding the Alarm on Leveraged Lending

November 15, 2018|

By Tobias Adrian, Fabio Natalucci, and Thomas Piontek

November 15, 2018

A drilling crew member raises a pipe on an oil rig in Texas: Energy is among the industries in which leveraged lending is most prevalent, along with telecommunications, health care, and technology (photo: Nick Oxford/Reuters/Newscom)

We warned in the most recent Global Financial Stability Report that speculative excesses in some financial markets may be approaching a threatening level. (more…)

When History Rhymes

November 5, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

November 5, 2018

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The graves of soldiers who died in World War I, near Verdun, France: on the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, leaders should listen closely to the echoes of history (photo: Mathieu Pattier/SIPA/Newscom)

Mark Twain once said that “History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” As heads of state gather in Paris this week to mark 100 years since the end of World War I, they should listen closely to the echoes of history and avoid replaying the discordant notes of the past. (more…)

Realizing the Potential of the G20 Compact with Africa

October 30, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

October 30, 2018

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Power Plant, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The G20 Compact with Africa was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure. So far, eleven African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia (photo: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters/Newsom)

The Compact with Africa focuses on a fundamental challenge for the continent: how to accelerate private sector investment and create jobs. To realize its full potential, all parties need to deliver. (more…)

Chart of the Week: Financial Reform Report Card

October 29, 2018|

By Tobias Adrian, Dirk Jan Grolleman, and Anastasiia Morozova

October 29, 2018

Countries have improved banking sector regulation considerably in the past decade, but areas of weakness remain (Steve Gottlieb/Newscom)

The many 10th anniversary retrospectives of the global financial crisis mostly agree: the financial system is safer today than it was when US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. (more…)

Chart of the Week: Government Debt Is Not the Whole Story: Look at the Assets

October 23, 2018|

By IMFBlog

October 23, 2018

The Millennium Bridge in London, England: governments often don’t include the value of their assets, like bridges and roads, as well as natural resources, when they measure public wealth (Ingram Publishing/Newscom)

Lost track of your personal finances?  You are not alone.  Your government has often lost track of its finances too.  While it keeps close tabs on debt, it is less clear on how much it owns: the assets. (more…)

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

October 9, 2018|

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman

October 10, 2018

عربي,中文, Español, FrançaisBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語PortuguêsРусский

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. (more…)

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

October 9, 2018|

By Tobias Adrian

October 10, 2018

عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Baˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語PortuguêsРусский

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. (more…)

Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize

October 8, 2018|

By Maurice Obstfeld

October 9, 2018

عربي中文, Español, FrançaisBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語, Русский

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.

(more…)

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