Sounding the Alarm on Leveraged Lending

2019-03-13T12:03:03-04:00November 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 […]

Managing Debt Vulnerabilities in Low-Income and Developing Countries

2019-03-14T13:28:16-04:00March 22, 2018|

By Tao Zhang

March 22, 2018

Versions in Português (Portuguese)  

Congested streets in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In a third of low-income countries, including Bangladesh, government deficits finance investment in much needed infrastructure (photo: Motoya Taguchi/Jiji Press/Newscom).

Government debt in some of the world’s poorest countries is rising to risky levels, a new IMF report shows. The report looks at economic developments and prospects among the world’s low-income […]

The Lowdown on U.S. Core Inflation

2019-03-26T16:43:13-04:00July 26, 2016|

Yasser AbdihBy Yasser Abdih

There was a time when U.S. central bankers worried that inflation was too high, and they tried to bring it down. Now the opposite is true: the Federal Reserve is concerned that inflation has remained stubbornly low, and it’s trying to boost prices. The reason: persistently low inflation raises the risk that prices will actually start to decline, a dangerous condition known as deflation. That’s bad news because it makes people less willing to borrow and spend—anticipating lower prices, consumers will put off spending—and could […]

Capital Controls: When Are Multilateral Considerations of the Essence?

2017-04-15T14:03:57-04:00September 7, 2012|

When should multilateral considerations trump national interests in the imposition of controls on capital flows? An IMF paper explores the reasons why countries may want to impose controls and looks at when the wider interest should be taken into consideration, requiring some multilateral principles for their safe management.

Bridging the Gap: How Official Financing Can Ease the Pain of Adjustment

2017-04-15T14:04:26-04:00August 3, 2012|

As I step down from my position as Director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, I would like to share some reflections on one of the central issues facing many countries—adjustment under fixed exchange rates. It goes without saying that these reflect a personal and not an institutional view. In the old days, fixed exchange rates were the norm rather than the exception. A body of literature and a wealth of country experience have accumulated on how to adjust under such exchange rate regimes, mostly in emerging economies. The expression “adjustment and financing” came to summarize what economies should do when faced with severe funding constraints brought on by high borrowing costs for government debt in financial markets.

Practicing Safe Borrowing in Low-income Countries

2017-04-15T14:53:40-04:00September 4, 2009|

By Hugh Bredenkamp

Low-income countries face vast development needs. One of the biggest impediments to rapid growth is a massive “infrastructure deficit.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, indicators of road and rail infrastructure are only about half those in developing countries as a whole—comparisons with advanced economies, of course, would look even bleaker. Insufficient power generation capacity and telecommunications networks are also a big constraint. It is clear that large-scale investment programs, sustained over many years, will be needed to close these gaps. Both private and public sectors will have a role to play.

The snag, of course, is […]

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