The international monetary system is a topic that encompasses a wide range of issues—reserve currencies, exchange rates, capital flows, and the global financial safety net, to name a few. Some are of the view that the current system works well enough. I take a less sanguine view. Certainly the world did not end with the crisis that began in 2008 and a recovery is under way. But, it is not the recovery we wanted—it is uneven, unemployment is not really going down, there are widening inequalities, and global imbalances are back. Reform of the international monetary system may be wide-ranging and complex. But concrete reforms are needed to achieve the kind of well-balanced and sustainable recovery that the world needs, and to help prevent the next crisis.
“Never again can we let ourselves be caught unprepared by an economic and financial crisis of such global magnitude.” This was the spirit, in late 2008, in which G-20 Finance Ministers tasked the IMF and the Financial Stability Board to jointly develop an Early Warning Exercise (EWE). The inspiration was clear: In the wake of the onset of unprecedented financial turmoil, policymakers recognized that earlier danger signs had not been synthesized into an actionable warning. The EWE was intended to fill the analytical gap—to produce an effective “call to arms” as threats emerge, but well before crises erupt. Here, IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky discusses how the EWE works, and how it will help to more systematically and effectively reduce the risk of a new global crisis.
In Daejeon, Korea earlier this week, a remarkable event took place that enabled the world to hear the voice of Asia and to learn how the region has been able to show such great resilience in the face of the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s. On July 12 and 13, more than 1,000 officials, economists, bankers, analysts, and media assembled for a conference titled Asia 21: Leading the Way Forward, hosted by the Korean government and the IMF. I personally learned a great deal about Asia’s growing stake in the global economy—and the global economy’s growing stake in Asia. As the world strives to leave the crisis behind, the economic center of gravity is shifting increasingly eastwards, and Asia’s role is more vital than ever before.
The Korean government and the IMF will jointly host a high-level international conference in Daejeon, Korea in just a few days time. In this blog, Anoop Singh outlines how the conference will be an important part of broader efforts by the Fund to enhance its strategic dialogue and partnership with Asia.