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 a threatening level. […]

5 Things You Need to Know About the IMF and Climate Change

2019-03-14T10:35:05-04:00June 8, 2018|

By Ian Parry

June 8, 2018

Versions in  عربي,  中文,  Español, Français, 日本語Português, Русский 

A polar bear on shrinking ice in the Arctic: climate change means the world is getting hotter (photo: Sven-Erik Arndt/Newscom)

The world is getting hotter, resulting in rising sea levels, more extreme weather like hurricanes, droughts, and floods, as well as other risks to the global climate like the irreversible collapsing of ice sheets.  […]

Oil Prices and the Global Economy: It’s Complicated

2019-03-27T10:52:25-04:00March 24, 2016|

By Maurice Obstfeld, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, and Rabah Arezki

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French),
日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), Español (Spanish)

Oil prices have been persistently low for well over a year and a half now, but as the April 2016 World Economic Outlook will document, the widely anticipated “shot in the arm” for the global economy has yet to materialize. We argue that, paradoxically, global benefits from low prices will likely appear only after prices have recovered somewhat, and advanced economies have made more progress surmounting the current low interest rate environment.

[…]

The Price of Oil and the Price of Carbon

2019-03-27T13:39:56-04:00December 2, 2015|

By Rabah Arezki and Maurice Obstfeld

(Versions in عربي中文Français日本語,  Русский, and Español)

“The human influence on the climate system is clear and is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.”Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report

Fossil fuel prices are likely to stay “low for long.” Notwithstanding important recent progress in developing renewable fuel sources, low fossil fuel prices could discourage further innovation in and adoption of cleaner energy technologies. The result would be higher emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Policymakers should not allow low energy prices to derail the clean energy transition. Action to restore appropriate price incentives, notably through corrective carbon pricing, is urgently needed to lower the risk of irreversible and potentially devastating effects of climate change. That approach also offers fiscal benefits.

[…]

Unpicking the Riddle of Sluggish Investment by Japanese Firms

2019-03-27T15:14:10-04:00September 10, 2015|

By Joong Shik Kang and Shi Piao

(version in 日本語)

Japanese-brand cars have become everyday, household items in the United States, and it’s hard to drive in the country without seeing one on the roads. These cars may be manufactured by Japanese firms, but about 70 percent of these vehicles are actually produced in North America. Globally, in 2014, about two-thirds of Japanese cars were produced on assembly lines outside of that country. Despite the increase in overseas demand for Japanese vehicles, this hasn’t been mirrored by an expansion in investment, and the building of factories in Japan to meet that demand.

Against this background, our IMF Working Paper looks at possible reasons for this sluggish recovery of corporate investment in Japan, focusing on the role of Japanese firms overseas.

[…]

Act Local, Solve Global: The $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem

2019-03-27T17:12:12-04:00May 18, 2015|

By Benedict Clements and Vitor Gaspar

(Versions in 中文, Français日本語Русский and Español)

US$5.3 trillion; 6½ percent of global GDP—that is our latest reckoning of the cost of energy subsidies in 2015. These estimates are shocking. The figure likely exceeds government health spending across the world, estimated by the World Health Organization at 6 percent of global GDP, but for the different year of 2013. They correspond to one of the largest negative externality ever estimated. They have global relevance. And that’s not all: earlier work by the IMF also shows that these subsidies have adverse effects on economic efficiency, growth, and inequality.

What are energy subsidies

We define energy subsidies as the difference between what consumers pay for energy and its “true costs,” plus a country’s normal value added or sales  tax rate. These “true costs” of energy consumption include its supply costs and the damage that energy consumption inflicts on people and the environment. These damages, in turn, come from carbon emissions and hence global warming; the health effects of air pollution; and the effects on traffic congestion, traffic accidents, and road damage. Most of these externalities are borne by local […]

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