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iMFdirect
iMFdirect features views by IMF economists and officials about pressing issues in the global economy. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF and its Executive Board.

iMFdirect

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

By IMFBlog June 15, 2018 Lea Giménez Duarte, Paraguay’s Finance Minister speaking at IMF World-Bank Spring meetings seminar Restoring Trust by Curbing Corruption (photo: IMF) Current Paraguayan Finance Minister Lea Giménez Duarte knows first-hand that transparency pays off. In this podcast, Duarte says the changes began after the government passed a transparency law in 2014. “We started to rethink about how we manage resources, and why it’s important for people to know what we’re...

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Chart of the Week: Japan’s Robots

By IMFBlog June 12, 2018 Version in 中文 A Panasonic robot moves around the lounge of Tokyo's Narita International Airport (photo: Yoshio Tsunoda/AAFLO/Alamy Live News) As Japan’s population ages and the birth rate is too low to sustain growth, the country is no stranger to coping with a limited number of working age people.  As shown in our Chart of the Week, which we also feature in the latest issue of Finance and Development, Japan is still a leader in robot production and...

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An Imbalance in Global Banks’ Dollar Funding

By John Caparusso, Yingyuan Chen, Hideo Hashimoto, David Jones, Will Kerry and Aki Yokoyama June 12, 2018 Versions in Español, Deutsche, Français, 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...

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

By Ian Parry June 8, 2018 Version in 中文,  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.  Here are five ways the IMF helps countries move forward with their strategies as part of...

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Chart of the Week: The Rise of Corporate Giants

By Federico J. Díez and Daniel Leigh June 6, 2018 Version in  Español The market power of “superstar” companies in advanced economies is growing (photo: iStock by Getty Images) The growing economic wealth and power of big companies—from airlines to pharmaceuticals to high-tech companies—has raised concerns about too much concentration and market power in the hands of too few. In particular, in advanced economies, rising corporate market power has been blamed for low investment despite...

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Chart of the Week: Distribution of Globalization’s Gains

By IMFBlog May 31, 2018 A garment factory in Ethiopia, which globalization has helped to boost its growth (photo: Kay Neitfeld/Newscom). While globalization is generally good for economic growth, the benefits are subject to diminishing marginal returns, according to a recent study of 147 countries from 1970 to 2014. The study looks at how globalization affects the distribution of incomes across and within countries.    The IMF Working Paper The Distribution of Gains from...

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Our Digital Future

By Camilla Lund Andersen May 30, 2018 “Money makes the world go around,” Liza Minnelli famously sang in the movie Cabaret. Money has for centuries been central to human relationships. Loss of faith in its value can result in economic and political instability, even war. In the past few years, financial technology—fintech for short—has caught the world’s imagination by offering alternatives to traditional means of payment. Will digitalization redefine money? In this issue, we explore the...

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Creating a Better Global Trade System

By Christine Lagarde May 29, 2018 Versions in عربي,  Русский     Engineers inspect the 3D printing of a bicycle frame in California: trade in services has risen dramatically and the use of technology is changing how countries trade with each other (photo: Stephen Lam/Reuters /Newscom). Recent news on global trade has tended to focus on protectionist measures and diplomatic tensions. These challenges have raised concerns over growth and jobs across the world. Yet what is often lost in...

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Chart of the Week: Greenery and Prosperity

By João Tovar Jalles and Prakash Loungani May 21, 2018 Version in Español Brandenburg, Germany: in three advanced economies—Germany, the United Kingdom, and France—emissions have fallen despite the increase in incomes (photo: Caro / Kaiser/Newscom). Economic growth has traditionally moved in tandem with pollution. But can countries break this link and manage to grow while lowering pollution? Our research, based on joint work with Gail Cohen and Ricardo Marto, shows that yes, progress...

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Mapping Income Polarization in the United States

By Ali Alichi and Rodrigo Mariscal May 15, 2018 Investment in education an important countervailing force in addressing income inequality (photo: Istock by Getty Images). When it comes to income inequality among American households, outcomes have varied widely across the 50 U.S. states.  The impact of international competition gets a lot of the blame, along with automation, in states that have fared the worst. That has contributed to a backlash against free trade on the national...

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