Monday , October 15 2018
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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

The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman October 10, 2018 A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom) What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about...

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The Financial System Is Stronger, but New Vulnerabilities Have Emerged in the Decade Since the Crisis

By Tobias Adrian October 10, 2018 عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Português, Русский Debt owed by governments, companies and households in economies with globally systemically important financial sectors has risen since the global financial crisis (Photo: Richard B. Levine/Newscom) Although the global expansion has plateaued, easy monetary policies continue to support growth. But we shouldn’t rest too easily. Chapter 1 of the latest Global Financial Stability Report finds that short-term...

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Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize

By Maurice Obstfeld October 9, 2018 عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Baˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語, Русский Uncertainty over trade policy is becoming a drag on economic activity (photo: Imagine China/Newscom) The latest World Economic Outlook report projects that global growth will remain steady over 2018–19 at last year’s rate of 3.7 percent. This growth exceeds that achieved in any of the years between 2012 and 2016. It occurs as many economies have reached or are nearing full employment and...

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Lasting Effects: The Global Economic Recovery 10 Years After the Crisis

By Wenjie Chen, Mico Mrkaic, and Malhar Nabar October 3, 2018 عربي,中文, Español, Français, Baˈhasa indoneˈsia, Português, Русский Woman cleaning in Berlin, Germany: the 2008 global financial crisis has had long-lasting effects on economic growth (photo: Caro/Olaf Jandke/Newscom) In the year following the 2008 financial crisis, economic activity declined in half of all countries in the world. Our analysis in Chapter 2 of the October World Economic Outlook shows that in many countries...

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A Decade After Lehman, the Financial System Is Safer. Now We Must Avoid Reform Fatigue

By Adolfo Barajas, Claudio Raddatz, and James P. Walsh October 3, 2018 A ticker in New York’s Times Square flashes the news of the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008: In the decade since, the financial sector has  strengthened considerably, but the reform agenda remains incomplete (Photo: Joshua Lott/Reuters/Newscom) In the decade since the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers sparked the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, regulation and...

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Central Bank Credibility Pays Off in Times of Stress

By Rudolfs Bems, Francesca Caselli, Francesco Grigoli, Bertrand Gruss, and Weicheng Lian October 3, 2018 عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Português Shopping center in Warsaw, Poland: emerging market economies have been able to bring down inflation to a low level (photo: Caro/Bastian/Newscom) Since the mid-2000s, inflation in emerging market economies has been remarkably low and stable, in sharp contrast to the 1990s. But rising interest rates in advanced economies like the United States...

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The Digital Accelerator: Revving Up Government in Asia

By Vitor Gaspar and Chang Yong Rhee September 25, 2018 عربي, 中文, Русский A driver from the Malaysian ride-hailing tech startup, Grab, picks up a passenger in Jakarta, Indonesia: digitalization is transforming Asia’s businesses and governments (photo: Afif C. Kasuma/iStock by Getty Images) Asia’s digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down. From e-commerce giants like China’s Alibaba and Japan’s Rakuten, to ride-hailing, and digital payment tech startups, like Indonesia’s Go-Jek...

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Chart of the Week: The Digital Divide in Asia

By IMFBlog September 25, 2018 Young people on their phones in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia: about 70 percent of the country does not have internet access and can’t participate in the digital economy (Samrang Pring/Reuters/Newscom) The countries of Southeast Asia are young—more than half of its 643 million people are under 30— and together they live in an economy of $2.8 trillion. The ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are moving toward greater economic...

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Give Today’s Children a Chance

By  Christine Lagarde and Vitor Gaspar September 24, 2018  中文  Français Children in early childhood education in Indonesia: more money put into education helps countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (Photo: Ajun-Ally/Pacific Press/Newscom) World leaders are gathering at the United Nations to discuss how to deliver on development for all that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable—“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” and its 17 Sustainable...

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Chart of the Week: Inequality in China

By Sonali Jain-Chandra September 20, 2018 中文, 日本語 A gardener outside a luxury auto showroom in Beijing. China has moved from being moderately unequal in 1990 to being one of the world’s most unequal countries (photo: Stephen Shaver/UPI/Newscom) More than two decades of spectacular economic growth in China have raised incomes dramatically and lifted millions of people out of poverty. But growth hasn’t benefited all segments of the population equally. In fact, China has moved from being...

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