Chart of the weekGlobal Uncertainty Related to Coronavirus at Record High

2020-04-05T08:25:17-04:00April 4, 2020|

By Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, and Davide Furceri

The coronavirus continues to spread. As more countries impose quarantines and social distancing, the fear of contagion and income losses is increasing uncertainty around the world.

A new measure of economic uncertainty related to pandemics and other disease outbreaks finds that uncertainty around the coronavirus is exceptionally high and is much higher than in past outbreaks.

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An Imbalance in Global Banks’ Dollar Funding

2019-03-14T10:32:01-04:00June 12, 2018|

By John Caparusso, Yingyuan Chen, Hideo Hashimoto, David Jones, Will Kerry and Aki Yokoyama

June 12, 2018

Versions in Español, DeutscheFrançais, 日本語Português

The US Treasury is issuing more T-bills, potentially putting upward pressure on the interest rates non-US banks must pay for short-term dollar funding (photo: Jennifer Hack/KRT/Newscom)

For companies and investors outside the United States, the dollar is often the currency of choice. Surprisingly, though, US banks play only a limited role in lending dollars to international borrowers. Most of the $7 trillion in banks’ dollar lending outside the United States is handled by banks based in Europe, Japan and elsewhere. […]

The Buzz of Populism and Its Pull on the Economy

2019-03-14T15:44:05-04:00February 9, 2018|

By IMFBlog

February 9, 2018

(photo: Berkeley Review)

If you believe the economy can explain the rise of populism, political scientist Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser says it’s a bit more complicated than that.

“If you think about populist radical right parties in Western Europe, the party that gets the most votes is in Switzerland. And the economy in Switzerland is running perfectly!”

Populism has become a bit of a buzz word of late, and it was the subject of a seminar at the 2018 American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting. The IMF’s Antonio Spilimbergo organized the panel, which included Kaltwasser and economic stalwarts Dani Rodrik and Raghuram Rajan. […]

The ECB’s Negative Rate Policy Has Been Effective but Faces Limits

2019-03-26T16:33:44-04:00August 10, 2016|

By Andy Jobst and Huidan Lin

Versions in Français (French), and Español (Spanish)

More than two years ago, seeking to revive a moribund economy, the European Central Bank (ECB) embarked on a new monetary policy measure: charging interest on excess liquidity that banks held at the central bank. The move complemented a series of other easing measures aimed at bringing inflation back to the ECB’s price stability objective of below, but close to, two percent over the medium term. […]

The Broader View: The Positive Effects of Negative Nominal Interest Rates

2019-03-27T10:28:54-04:00April 10, 2016|

By Jose ViñalsSimon Gray, and Kelly Eckhold

Versions in: عربي (Arabic), Deutsch (German), 日本語 (Japanese), and Español (Spanish)

We support the introduction of negative policy rates by some central banks given the significant risks we see to the outlook for growth and inflation. Such bold policy action is unprecedented, and its effects over time will vary among countries. There have been negative real rates in a number of countries over time; it is negative nominal rates that are new. Our analysis takes a broad view of recent events to examine what is new, country experiences so far, the effectiveness of negative nominal rates as well as their limits and their unintended consequences. Although the experience with negative nominal interest rates is limited, we tentatively conclude that overall, they help deliver additional monetary stimulus and easier financial conditions, which support demand and price stability. Still, there are limits on how far and for how long negative policy rates can go. […]

Flash Crashes and Swiss Francs: Market Liquidity Takes a Holiday

2019-03-27T17:05:44-04:00May 20, 2015|

GFSR

By José Viñals

Financial market liquidity can be fleeting. The ability to trade in assets of any size, at any time and to find a ready buyer is not a given.  As discussed in some detail last fall in this blog, a number of factors, including the evolving structure of financial markets and some regulations appear to have pushed liquidity into a new realm: markets look susceptible to episodes of high price volatility where liquidity suddenly vanishes.

In our April 2015 Global Financial Stability Report we identify a new aspect to the problem:  asset price correlations have risen sharply in the last five years across all major asset classes (see figure). […]

Fiscal Arrangements in Federations: Four Lessons for Europe

2017-04-14T01:45:59-04:00February 25, 2015|

Martine GuerguilBy Martine Guerguil 

Does the European Union need closer fiscal integration, and in particular a stronger fiscal center, to become more resilient to economic shocks? A new IMF book, Designing a European Fiscal Union: Lessons from the Experience of Fiscal Federations, published by Routledge, examines the experience of 13 federal states to help inform the debate on this issue. It analyzes in detail their practices in devolving responsibilities from the subnational to the central level, compares them to those of the European Union, and draws lessons for a possible future fiscal union in Europe.

The book sets out to answer three sets of questions: (1) What is the role of centralized fiscal policies in federations, and hence the size, features, and functions of the central budget? (2) What institutional arrangements are used to coordinate fiscal policy between the federal and subnational levels? (3) What are the links between federal and subnational debt, and how have subnational financing crises been handled, when they occurred?

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Building a Camaraderie of Central Bankers: How Monetary Policymakers in the Caucasus and Central Asia Can Learn From Each Other

2017-04-14T01:51:29-04:00November 17, 2014|

Min ZhuBy Min Zhu

(Versions in 中文Русский)

The world’s central bankers are certainly in the news these days. Not a week goes by without the Fed, the European Central Bank or the Bank of Japan taking big and often unprecedented actions to fight deflation, preserve financial stability, or address mediocre growth. We tend to forget, however, that these are not the only central banks that are struggling to adapt their policies to changing circumstances in our connected world.

Take the Caucasus and Central Asia — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Central banking in these former Soviet republics rarely makes international headlines. But figuring out how best to design and run monetary policy is no less a challenge than in the United States or the euro zone.

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