Recent popular protests in the Middle East and North Africa, although likely to have a negative economic impact in the short run, might actually help to unleash the countries’ long-term growth potential. By providing the impetus for reforms, these events may encourage better governance, greater transparency, and more competition—in other words, tackling many of the constraints that have held back progress in these societies. In a recent (video) interview, I talk more about events in the region, the policy challenges, and what actions might help these countries achieve higher standards of living and employment for all sections of society.
Oslo was the scene this week of a remarkable event that brought together global leaders from government, business, trade unions, and academia to discuss what many of them said is the biggest issue facing the world today: the jobs crisis. In this blog, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn reflects on unemployment today—the highest level in history—and, importantly, about what can be done to save the potentially "lost generation" of unemployed young people.