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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

Global Banks May Grow More Vulnerable to a Dollar Disruption

By Claudio Raddatz and Adolfo Barajas عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский When a Mexican airline buys Brazilian airplanes, it’s likely to finance the purchase with a US dollar loan obtained from a non-US bank. That’s just one example of the dollar’s outsize role in international financial transactions between non-US counterparts. What happens if non-US banks suddenly find themselves short of dollars? That was the case during the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, when...

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Fiscal Policies to Curb Climate Change

By Vitor Gaspar, Paolo Mauro, Ian Parry, and Catherine Pattillo عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Global warming has become a clear and present threat. Actions and commitments to date have fallen short. The longer we wait, the greater the loss of life and damage to the world economy. Finance ministers must play a central role to champion and implement fiscal policies to curb climate change. To do so, they should reshape the tax system and fiscal policies to discourage...

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Connecting the Dots Between Sustainable Finance and Financial Stability

Evan Papageorgiou, Jochen Schmittmann, and Felix Suntheim عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Unsafe working conditions. Use of child or forced labor. Environmental impact on protected areas. More and more investors are looking at issues and factors beyond traditional financial analysis when directing their money. Sustainable finance aims to help society better meet today’s needs and ensure that future generations will be able to meet theirs too. The latest IMF Global...

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Widening Gaps: Regional Inequality within Advanced Economies

By John Bluedorn, Weicheng Lian, Natalija Novta, and Yannick Timmer عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Differences in economic performance between regions within countries can be large and sometimes even larger than between countries. For example, average real GDP per person in the United States is about 90 percent higher than in Slovakia. At the same time, within the United States, per capita GDP in the state of New York is 100 percent higher than in Mississippi. Many...

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How To Reignite Growth in Emerging Market and Developing Economies

By Romain Duval and Davide Furceri عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский Emerging markets and developing economies have enjoyed good growth over the past two decades. But many countries are still not catching up with the living standards of advanced economies. At current growth rates, it would take more than 50 years for a typical emerging market economy to close half of its current income gap in living standards, and 90 years for a typical developing economy. Our research...

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To Tackle Housing Affordability in Canada, Build More Houses

By Michal Andrle, Cheng Hoon Lim and Troy Matheson Français Policymakers across the world worry about affordable housing. They should. It represents the cost of a basic human need—shelter. Canada is no exception as it grapples to provide affordable housing in some cities, like Vancouver and Toronto, where rents are high, and for many, the dream of owning a home has faded. People who can afford a down payment typically borrow as much as they can to get a foothold in the market—stretching...

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chart of the weekMobile Money Spreads to Asia

By Esha Chhabra and Bidisha Das Thanks to mobile money, any person with a basic phone can now make cash transfers, pay bills, and send money to family members abroad without having a bank account. This is a game-changing innovation, particularly for the world’s poor as it is easy and cheap. Our chart of the week from the IMF’s Financial Access Survey shows the growth in mobile money accounts across regions. While mobile money continues to grow in its epicenter in Africa, it’s also taking...

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From Stablecoins to Central Bank Digital Currencies

By Tobias Adrian and Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli (Español, Português) As privately issued stablecoins continue to encroach on more traditional forms of money—like cash and bank deposits—policymakers will not simply look on from the sidelines. They will arbitrate. Their rules and actions will determine how we will eventually pay for everyday items like a cup of coffee, and, more importantly, will affect the structure and risks of our financial sector. Our last blog introduced...

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Chart of the WeekWhen the Night Lights Go On in Asia

By Jiaxiong Yao It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The value of a picture taken from space is a new metric we can use to measure economic growth and activity. The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in economists’ use of satellite images of the earth at night.  These “night lights”, as they are called, help study a wide variety of topics, ranging from growth and development to poverty and inequality, particularly in places where economic data are scarce and...

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The Economics of Data

By Yan Carrière-Swallow and Vikram Haksar Español, Português Look around the global economy and you’ll see an American company developing the next generation of driverless cars, a Chinese financier extending loans to “mom-and-pop” stores that used to lack access to credit, and researchers at a Swiss pharmaceutical company developing a treatment for a chronic health condition. What do all these valuable economic activities have in common, despite taking place on different continents and in...

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