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Latest posts
A Downturn Without Layoffs? Reconciling Growth And Labor Markets In Latin America NEW
iMFdirect 2 Days, 12 Hours, 42 Minutes ago
By Bertrand Gruss  (version in Español) It looks as if labor markets in Latin America have not been following the economic news—literally! Economic activity has slowed markedly in the last three years, with some South American...
Infrastructure Investment: Part of Africa’s Solution NEW
iMFdirect 3 Days, 10 Hours, 54 Minutes ago
By Antoinette M. Sayeh Tremendous efforts are under way to upgrade sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure. But the needs on the ground are still immense as evidenced by the frequent electricity blackouts, poor roads, and insufficient access to cle...
Does Raising the Minimum Wage Hurt Employment? Evidence from China NEW
iMFdirect 1 Week, 1 Day, 18 Hours, 20 Minutes ago
By Prakash Loungani (version in 中文) Raising the minimum wage is a polarizing issue. One side worries that raising it will lower employment. The other side downplays the impact on employment and plays up the positive impact on the living...
Natural Gas: The New Gold NEW
iMFdirect 1 Week, 2 Days, 16 Hours, 26 Minutes ago
By Rabah Arezki Natural gas is creating a new reality for economies around the world.  Three major developments of the past few years have thrust natural gas into the spotlight: the shale gas revolution in the United States, the reduction in nuc...
Banks Should Help, Not Hinder the Economy NEW
iMFdirect 1 Week, 4 Days, 16 Hours, 31 Minutes ago
By Will Kerry and Andrea Maechler  Banks are struggling to overhaul the way they do business given new realities and new regulations adopted in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. While banks are generally stronger—they have more...
Good Governance Curbs Excessive Bank Risks NEW
iMFdirect 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 15 Hours, 58 Minutes ago
By Luis Brandão-Marques, Gaston Gelos, and Erik Oppers  The global financial crisis reminded us that banks often take risks that are excessive from society’s point of view and can damage the economy. In part, this is the result of t...
A Mirage, Not An Oasis: Easy Money and Financial Markets NEW
iMFdirect 2 Weeks, 2 Days, 16 Hours, 33 Minutes ago
By Fabio Cortes, David Jones and Evan Papageorgiou Low interest rates and other central bank policies in the United States have sent investors looking for higher returns on their investments. Money is pouring into mutual funds and exchange-traded fun...
Aristotle & the Archbishop of Canterbury: Overheard at the IMF’s Annual Meetings NEW
iMFdirect 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 16 Hours, 35 Minutes ago
By iMFdirect editors What a week it’s been.  Practical and existential questions on how to do good and be good for the sake of the global economy and finance dominated the seminars at the IMF’s Annual Meetings in Washington. Our edit...
It’s Unofficial! NEW
iMFdirect 2 Weeks, 5 Days, 11 Hours, 5 Minutes ago
By Sabina Bhatia  I know it might sound odd, but I actually like the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. I know the traffic snarls on Pennsylvania Avenue are terrible, Washington cabbies ruder than ever, lots of men in dark suits (and sadly, they ar...
Heat Wave: Rising Financial Risks in the United States NEW
iMFdirect 3 Weeks, 17 Hours, 15 Minutes ago
By Serkan Arslanalp, David Jones, and Sanjay Hazarika Six years after the start of the global financial crisis, low interest rates and other central bank policies in the United States remain critical to encourage economic risk-taking—incre...
Smart Fiscal Policy Will Help Jobs NEW
iMFdirect 3 Weeks, 2 Days, 13 Hours, 27 Minutes ago
by Vitor Gaspar  Unemployment remains unacceptably high in many countries. It increased dramatically during the Great Recession. Global unemployment currently exceeds 200 million people. An additional 13 million people are expected to be unemplo...
The New Global Imbalance: Too Much Financial Risk-Taking, Not Enough Economic-Risk Taking NEW
iMFdirect 3 Weeks, 2 Days, 18 Hours, 25 Minutes ago
 By José Viñals I have three key messages for you today: 1. Policymakers are facing a new global imbalance: not enough economic risk-taking in support of growth, but increasing excesses in financial risk-taking posing stability cha...
Legacies, Clouds and Uncertainties NEW
iMFdirect 3 Weeks, 3 Days, 17 Hours, 39 Minutes ago
By Olivier Blanchard The recovery continues, but it is weak and uneven. You have now seen the basic numbers from our latest projections in the October 2014 World Economic Outlook released today.  We forecast world growth to be 3.3% in 2014,...
The Growth of Shadow Banking NEW
iMFdirect 4 Weeks, 14 Hours, 3 Minutes ago
By Gaston Gelos and Nico Valckx Shadow banking has grown by leaps and bounds around the world in the last decade.  It is now worth over $70 trillion. We take a closer look at what has driven this growth to help countries figure out what policies...
Now Is a Good Time to Invest in Infrastructure NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 1 Day, 1 Hour, 41 Minutes ago
By Abdul Abiad, Davide Furceri, and Petia Topalova Infrastructure is the backbone of well-functioning economies. Unfortunately, that backbone is becoming increasingly brittle in a number of advanced economies. For example, there has been a decline in...
A Tale of Two States—Bringing Back U.S. Productivity Growth NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 6 Days, 5 Hours, 59 Minutes ago
By Roberto Cardarelli and Lusine Lusinyan  (Versión en español) Today’s Pop Quiz: What do Oregon and New Mexico have in common? What could possibly link the spectacular vistas of Crater Lake to the glistening White Sands? Ans...
Where Danger Lurks NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 1 Week, 2 Days, 6 Hours, 9 Minutes ago
By iMFDirect Lurking conjures up images of spies, flashers and other dodgy types.  The IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard takes readers into the dark corners of the financial crisis in his latest article ‘Where Danger Lurks&rsqu...
Three Key Questions About the Slowdown in Emerging Markets NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 1 Week, 6 Days, 7 Hours, 2 Minutes ago
By Sweta Saxena 1. Are emerging markets slowing down? Yes. They have been slowing down for some time now. GDP growth has declined from 7 percent during the pre-crisis period (2003-8) to 6 percent over the post-crisis period (2010-13) to 5 percent, in...
Carbon Pricing: Good for You, Good for the Planet NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 5 Hours, 52 Minutes ago
By Ian Parry The time has come to end hand wringing on climate strategy, particularly controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  We need an approach that builds on national self-interest and spurs a race to the top in low-carbon energy solutio...
What’s Lurking in the Shadows of China’s Banks NEW
iMFdirect 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 2 Days, 5 Hours, 48 Minutes ago
By Steven Barnett and Shaun Roache “Shadow” banking: a surprisingly colorful term for our staid economics profession. Intended or not, it conjures images of dark, sinister, and even shady transactions. With a name like “shadow banki...