Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Getting the Labor Markets Working Again

2017-04-15T14:00:55-04:00November 7, 2012|

The sharp and persistent rise in unemployment in advanced economies since the 2008-09 financial crisis is a hotly debated policy issue. Rightly so: High persistent unemployment has major human and economic costs, from loss of morale to loss of skills. More broadly, it seems to undermine the very fabric of society. An IMF conference explores how to revive labor markets.

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.

Japan Stands Up

2017-04-15T14:04:30-04:00August 1, 2012|

In a display of its resilience, Japan is getting up once again after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of a year ago. But the world’s third largest economy still faces multiple challenges, and in our latest assessment of the country’s economy, the Japanese mission team at the International Monetary Fund has proposed a range of mutually reinforcing policies to strengthen confidence, raise growth and help restore Japan’s economic vitality.

Making Sure Middle East Growth Is Inclusive

2017-04-15T14:08:13-04:00May 10, 2012|

We know that social exclusion and unemployment, especially among young people, are very painful and that the challenges ahead are formidable. We should not let the hopes and aspirations of the people who took to the street go unfulfilled. We must strive to ensure that the people of the Arab countries in transition have the opportunity for a fairer and more prosperous future.

Bringing the Informal Sector into the Fold

2017-04-15T14:15:56-04:00November 16, 2011|

The informal economy is large and pervasive—and, often, ignored; however, the experience of those who work in the informal sector came under the media spotlight when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire that fateful day in December last year, sparking the Arab Spring protests.

Lively Debate on the Dead Sea Shores

2017-04-15T14:16:38-04:00October 24, 2011|

One of my biggest (and heartening) takeaways was that there were more young people bubbling with ideas and entrepreneurial spirit (ready to take risk) than ever before at this regional forum—which reflects a growing recognition of their current role in the Arab Spring and the role they will have to play in the future as drivers of economic change.

More Asian Geese Ready to Fly

2017-04-15T14:39:48-04:00March 22, 2010|

The emergence of successive waves of new growth drivers not only benefits Asia, through the creation of trade and investment linkages and greater Asian integration, the formation of North-South economic linkages means wider benefits accrue.
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