The Whole Can Be Greater Than the Sum of its Parts

By Vitor Gaspar, Maurice Obstfeld and Ratna Sahay

There are policy options to bring new life into anemic economic recoveries and to counteract renewed slowdowns.  Our new paper, along with our co-authors, debunks widespread concerns that little can be done by policymakers facing a vicious cycle of (too) low growth, (too) low inflation, near-zero interest rates, and high debt levels.

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Weak Global Economy Tops Agenda at IMF-World Bank Gathering

Recent turbulence in financial markets and increased risks in the global economy mean that the 2011 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank are taking place at a critical time for the global economy. Economic leaders will come together to assess the state of the world economy and discuss the policy actions needed to deal with today’s global economic challenges. About 10,000 policymakers, private sector and civil society representatives, journalists, and academics are expected to attend the Annual Meetings, which are set to take place on September 23–24. In an interview, Reza Moghadam, Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, discusses the issues that are likely to receive most attention at the meetings.

A Problem Shared Is a Problem Halved: The G-20’s “Mutual Assessment Process”

The Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies (G-20) has broken new ground over the past year or two. It has embraced the type of collaborative approach to policy design and review that is well suited to today’s interdependent world, where policies in one country can often have far-reaching effects on others. In this spirit, the backbone of the G-20’s “Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth” is a multilateral process that includes a ‘mutual assessment’ of their progress toward meeting shared objectives. But, what exactly will this G-20 Mutual Assessment Process—or “MAP”—imply in terms of prospective actions? And what have we learned so far?

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