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Tag Archives: Covid-19

Time is Ripe for Innovation in the World of Sovereign Debt Restructuring

By Peter Breuer and Charles Cohen 中文, Español, Français, Português, Русский  When corporations have too much debt and need to restructure i, creditors often end up exchanging bonds or loans for stocks. They trade the guaranteed payout of a fixed-income investment for an equity position whose return depends on the company’s future results. In other words, investors accept to share risk. Could a similar mechanism be applied when a sovereign nation has to restructure its debt, tying payouts to...

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Chart of the WeekIMF Lending Lifeline: Addressing Urgent Financing Needs Brought on by the Pandemic

IMF Blog  Español, Français, Português The human toll and global economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic triggered unprecedented demand for financing. More than 1/3 of the IMF’s membership have received relief from the Fund. Since the onset of the pandemic, the IMF has responded rapidly and decisively to meet urgent and exceptional demand for financial assistance from its membership. Since March 2020, 70 members, including many low-income countries, have received financial support...

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Together Again: Physical Distancing on the Decline

Era Dabla-Norris, Frederico Lima, and Hibah Khan Earlier this year, stringent lockdowns and uncertainty about the severity and transmission of COVID-19 led to the widespread adoption of physical distancing measures across the world. However, as COVID-19 outbreaks began to ebb and lockdowns eased over the summer, measures tracking mobility, such as Google Community Mobility Reports, showed that adherence to keeping our distance from others began to relax. Our ongoing research finds that these...

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Chart of the WeekData Disruption: The Impact of COVID-19 on Inflation Measurement

By Marshall Reinsdorf Lockdowns, working from home, and physical distancing caused people to spend larger shares of their household budgets on food and housing, while fewer people bought nonessentials, like airline tickets and clothing. And with incomes down as millions have lost their jobs, spending on nonessential items will likely remain depressed. The consumer price index (CPI) does not reflect these abrupt changes in spending patterns because the CPI weights are not continuously updated....

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Bridging the Digital Divide to Scale Up the COVID-19 Recovery

By Patrick Njoroge and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  Digitalization has in the past few years enabled developing countries in particular to leapfrog on financial inclusion. Countries like Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania have made great advances in connecting their citizens to financial systems by leveraging on mobile phone technology. Digitalization must be driven by the needs of the people and work for them. As the world has grappled with the...

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Chart of the WeekThe Crisis is Not Over, Keep Spending (Wisely)

By Oya Celasun, Lone Christiansen, and Margaux MacDonald The pandemic-induced economic crisis is set to leave deep scars. Human capital erosion from prolonged high unemployment and school closures, value destruction from bankruptcies, and constraints on future fiscal policy from elevated public debt top the list. Groups that were already poor and vulnerable are set to see the largest setbacks. Swift and unprecedented action by policymakers, including among the Group of Twenty (G20) advanced...

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How COVID-19 Will Increase Inequality in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

By Gabriela Cugat and Futoshi Narita Emerging markets and developing economies grew consistently in the two decades before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, allowing for much-needed gains in poverty reduction and life expectancy. The crisis now puts much of that progress at risk while further widening the gap between rich and poor. Despite the pre-pandemic gains in poverty reduction and lifespans, many of these countries have struggled to reduce income inequality. At the same time, they saw...

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Chart of the WeekFirms’ Environmental Performance in Times of Crisis

By Pierre Guérin, Fabio Natalucci, Felix Suntheim عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  Leaders are often called upon to “rise to the challenge” in times of crisis. As firms and their leaders rise as best they can amid the ongoing health and economic crises, yet another crisis lies on the horizon. A looming environmental crisis, obscured by the exigency of the pandemic, requires action be taken by firms (and others). So how will business leaders and companies respond? Our...

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Emerging and Frontier Markets: Policy Tools in Times of Financial Stress

By Dimitris Drakopoulos, Rohit Goel, Fabio Natalucci, and Evan Papageorgiou عربي, 中文, Español, Français After the unprecedented hit to economic activity in emerging market economies from the COVID-19 pandemic, their economic output is projected to shrink by 3.3 percent in 2020. Central banks across emerging markets responded swiftly and forcefully with an unprecedented response of their own. They did this by using a variety of policy tools and, to a great extent, helped stabilize markets and...

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Pandemic Persistence Clouds Latin America and Caribbean Recovery

By Samuel Pienknagura, Jorge Roldós, and Alejandro Werner Español, Français COVID-19 has hit Latin America and the Caribbean harder than other parts of the world, both in human and economic terms. The relatively large human toll is evident: with only 8.2 percent of the world population, the region had 28 percent of cases and 34 percent of deaths, by end-September. Our new Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere projects a real GDP contraction of 8.1 percent in 2020. Unlike in previous...

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