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Tag Archives: inflation

Is fiat money to blame for the Iraq war, police brutality, and the war on drugs?

I often encounter memes claiming that fiat money is to blame for all sorts of government evils. Here is one example from Kraken spokesperson & bitcoin meme factory Pierre Rochard: The military-industrial complex that deliberately creates wars is financed by inflationary State fiat currencies. — Pierre Rochard (@pierre_rochard) January 8, 2020 The rough idea behind this family of memes is that the Federal Reserve, the world's largest producer of "fiat" money (i.e. irredeemable...

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Inflation Expectations in Times of COVID-19

Olivier Armantier, Gizem Kosar, Rachel Pomerantz, Daphne Skandalis, Kyle Smith, Giorgio Topa, and Wilbert van der Klaauw As an important driver of the inflation process, inflation expectations must be monitored closely by policymakers to ensure they remain consistent with long-term monetary policy objectives. In particular, if inflation expectations start drifting away from the central bank’s objective, they could become permanently “un-anchored” in the long run. Because the...

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Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean: New Challenges to Growth

By Alejandro Werner Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean stagnated in 2019, continuing with the weak growth momentum of the previous five years and adding more urgency and new challenges to reignite growth. Indeed, real GDP per capita in the region has declined by 0.6 percent per year on average during 2014–2019—a sharp contrast from the commodity boom’s average increase of two percent per year during 2000–2013. This weak momentum reflects structural and cyclical factors....

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Top 10 Charts of the Week for 2019

By IMFBlog The decade is over and with it goes another year of insightful, thought-provoking, and dare we say clever, charts of the week brought to you by the IMF. Everyone likes a great chart, right? So to get the new year started on the right foot, take a minute and look back at what caught your eye (or what you might have missed) in 2019. Here are the top ten charts of the week for 2019, based on your readership. 1. Mapping the World’s Financial Weak Spots 2. Corruption and Your...

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Chart of the WeekEurope’s Wage-Price Puzzle

By Richard Varghese Does higher wage growth fuel inflation? In Europe, that has historically been the case. But the link between wage growth and inflation has weakened in recent years amid low inflation expectations, robust corporate profitability, and strong competitive pressures. The price of labor—namely wages—is rising at a robust pace, especially in the European Union’s newer member states. Yet, surprisingly, inflation has barely risen. We set out to shed light on this puzzle in...

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Reform Doesn’t Have to Cost Votes

By Davide Furceri, Jonathan D. Ostry, and Chris Papageorgiou Economic reforms are often painful in the short term and hence unpopular, but does that mean reform-minded leaders always pay a price at the ballot box? Not necessarily, we learned in our analysis of structural reforms and election outcomes in 66 countries. The question is timely, because the economic policy agenda in both advanced and developing economies is increasingly focused on structural reforms, amid persistently weak...

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The life and death of an internet monetary meme

Over the last few years I've increasingly crossed paths with the following claim on the internet: "The average life expectancy for a fiat currency is 27 years." Is this claim true? What definitions are being used? I mean, are we talking about inconvertible paper money here, or currency that was convertible into gold, too? I finally got curious enough that I decided to chase down the source of this meme. After all, without knowing what data it is based on, it's hard to evaluate the claim's...

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Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean: A Stalling Recovery

By Alejandro Werner Español Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean remains sluggish. Real GDP is expected to grow by 0.6 percent in 2019—the slowest rate since 2016—before rising to 2.3 percent in 2020. The weak momentum reflects negative surprises in the first half of 2019, elevated domestic policy uncertainty in some large economies, heightened US-China trade tensions, and somewhat lower global growth. Elevated policy uncertainty in some large economies of the region has...

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Global Trends in Interest Rates

Marco Del Negro, Domenico Giannone, Marc P. Giannoni, Andrea Tambalotti, Brandyn Bok, and Eric Qian Long-term government bond yields are at their lowest levels of the past 150 years in advanced economies. In this blog post, we argue that this low-interest-rate environment reflects secular global forces that have lowered real interest rates by about two percentage points over the past forty years. The magnitude of this decline has been nearly the same in all advanced...

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Cashing In: How to Make Negative Interest Rates Work

By Ruchir Agarwal and Signe Krogstrup Many central banks reduced policy interest rates to zero during the global financial crisis to boost growth. Ten years later, interest rates remain low in most countries. While the global economy has been recovering, future downturns are inevitable. Severe recessions have historically required 3–6 percentage points cut in policy rates. If another crisis happens, few countries would have that kind of room for monetary policy to respond. To get around...

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