News & Commentary:

April 2009 Archives


How Development Leads to Democracy
Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel (Foreign Affairs) Mar/Apr 2009
Democratic institutions cannot be set up easily; they are likely to emerge only when certain social and cultural conditions exist. But economic development and modernization push those conditions in the right direction and make democracy increasingly likely.

Turning Japanese?
Robert Madsen (Foreign Affairs) Mar/Apr 2009
Does the current financial crisis resemble Japan's "lost decade" of the 1990s? It may be even worse.

The Japan Fallacy
Richard Katz (Foreign Affairs) Mar/Apr 2009
The financial crisis of 2008 is not a replay of Japan’s “lost decade” of the 1990s. The current crisis is the result of correctable policy mistakes rather than deep structural flaws in the economy.

The Long Legs of the Crash: 13 Unexpected Consequences of the Financial Crisis
Daniel W. Drezner (FP) Mar/Apr 2009
Last year had more than its share of vertigo-inducing headlines: major banks suddenly disappearing, the Dow plunging day after day, and billion-dollar bailouts failing to make a dent in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Think Again: Globalization
Moisés Naím (FP) Mar/Apr 2009
Never mind the premature obituaries. To its critics, globalization is the cause of today’s financial collapse, growing instability, unfair trade, and insecurity. To its boosters, it’s the solution to these problems. What’s not debatable is that it’s here to stay.

Wall Street on the Tundra
Michael Lewis (Vanity Fair) Apr 2009
Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy—its currency (the krona) is kaput, its debt is 850 percent of G.D.P., its people are hoarding food and cash and blowing up their new Range Rovers for the insurance—resulted from a stunning collective madness. What led a tiny fishing nation, population 300,000, to decide, around 2003, to re-invent itself as a global financial power? In Reykjavík, where men are men, and the women seem to have completely given up on them, the author follows the peculiarly Icelandic logic behind the meltdown.

A Time to Dare
George Soros (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The upcoming G-20 meeting is a make-or-break event. Unless it introduces practical measures to support the countries at the periphery of the global financial system, global markets will suffer another round of decline, just as they did after United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s failure in February to produce practical measures to recapitalize America’s banking system.

1929 or 1989?
Dominique Moisi (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
As the economic crisis deepens and widens, the world has been searching for historical analogies to help us understand what has been happening. At the start of the crisis, many people likened it to 1982 or 1973, which was reassuring, because both dates refer to classical cyclical downturns.

The Transition to Sustainability
Jeffrey D. Sachs (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The global economic crisis will be with us for a generation, not just a year or two, because it is really a transition to sustainability. The scarcity of primary commodities and damage from climate change in recent years contributed to the destabilization of the world economy that gave rise to the current crisis. Soaring food and fuel prices and major natural disasters played an important role in undermining financial markets, household purchasing power, and even political stability.

China’s Recovery and Global Growth
Martin Feldstein (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
China is likely to be the first of the major economies to recover from the current global downturn. Its pace of expansion may not reach the double-digit rates of recent years, but China in 2010 will probably grow more rapidly than any country in Europe or in the western hemisphere.

The IMF’s Lending Overhaul
Dominique Strauss-Kahn (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The International Monetary Fund should be an essential port of call for emerging-market and developing countries facing financing needs. With its ability to mobilize large financial resources and buttress policy credibility, the IMF can help mitigate the large economic and social costs often associated with crises. Against this background, the world has come together in the midst of the crisis to radically overhaul the framework for IMF lending.

Scientific Capitalism
Daniel Cloud (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
To understand how we got ourselves into our current economic mess, complicated explanations about derivatives, regulatory failure, and so on are beside the point. The best answer is both ancient and simple: hubris.

New Rules for Finance At Last
Christine Lagarde (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The World Monetary and Economic Conference took place in London 76 years ago, in June 1933, with 66 countries meeting to put an end to the unfolding monetary disorder and trade wars while trying to draw the lessons of the Great Depression. When it was over, the negotiators admitted failure.

Brave New Financial World
Kenneth Rogoff (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
A huge struggle is brewing within the G-20 over the future of the global financial system. The outcome could impact the world – and not only the esoteric world of international finance – for decades to come.

Developing Countries and the Global Crisis
Joseph E. Stiglitz (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
This year is likely to be the worst for the global economy since World War II, with the World Bank estimating a decline of up to 2%. Even developing countries that did everything right – and had far better macroeconomic and regulatory policies than the United States did – are feeling the impact. Largely as a result of a precipitous fall in exports, China is likely to continue to grow, but at a much slower pace than the 11-12% annual growth of recent years. Unless something is done, the crisis will throw as many as 200 million additional people into poverty.

Government's Role in the Financial Crisis
A. Michael Spence (PIMCO) Apr 2009
Government can play an important role in helping to stabilize the economy through the implementation of both fiscal and monetary policy.

Beggar-Thy-Neighbor Exchange Rates?
Charles Wyplosz (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
When the Swiss National Bank (SNB) recently brought its interest rate down to 0.25%, it announced that it would engage in “quantitative easing,” following in the footsteps of the United States Federal Reserve and the Bank of England. More surprising was the simultaneous announcement that it was intervening on the foreign-exchange market with the aim of reversing the appreciation of the franc. Will this be the first salvo in a war of competitive devaluations?

An IMF We Can Love?
Dani Rodrik (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
What a difference the crisis has made for the International Monetary Fund. It was just a few months ago that this important but unloved institution, a landmark of post-war global economic arrangements, seemed destined to irrelevance.

Which Globalization Will Survive?
Joseph S. Nye (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The world economy will shrink this year for the first time since 1945, and some economists worry that the current crisis could spell the beginning of the end of globalization. Hard economic times are correlated with protectionism, as each country blames others and protects its domestic jobs. In the 1930’s, such “beggar-thy-neighbor” policies worsened the situation. Unless political leaders resist such responses, the past could become the future.

The Dead Cat Bounce
Nouriel Roubini (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
Mild signs that the rate of economic contraction is slowing in the United States, China, and other parts of the world have led many economists to forecast that positive growth will return to the US in the second half of the year, and that a similar recovery will occur in other advanced economies. The emerging consensus among economists is that growth next year will be close to the trend rate of 2.5%.

The Rise of the Beijing Consensus
Jonathan Holslag (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
President Barack Obama’s first appearances outside North America – in London, Strasbourg, Prague, and Istanbul – galvanized world attention. But what that trip singularly failed to do was paper over a startling fact: the “Washington Consensus” about how the global economy should be run is now a thing of the past. The question now is what is likely to replace it.

The New IMF
Age Bakker (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
When Ministers meet for the IMF’s Spring Meeting this month they will find an institution with regained self-confidence. The London G20 summit gave a strengthened mandate to the IMF, while tripling its resources. More concessional finance will be available for low-income countries, and international liquidity will be increased by a hand-out of $ 250 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs). This is a boost for the IMF, and it gives hope to emerging and developing countries that have been severely hit by a crisis that originated elsewhere.

The Threat of Protectionism
Uri Dadush & Lauren Falcao (CEIP) Apr 2009
The global economic crisis and the resulting domestic political pressures may force policy makers across the world to reconsider their support for free trade. Leaders of the largest economies must take bold steps to forestall the resurgence of protectionism.

Hold the Champagne
Uri Dadush (CEIP) Apr 2009
The global economy may begin recovering later in 2009 or in early 2010, but the latest data from the industrialized economies paints a murkier picture. In these highly uncertain times, even the most optimistic policy makers must recognize the consequences of an unabated downturn, and do more to counteract the crisis.

As China's Exports Drop, Can Domestic Demand Drive Growth?
Albert Keidel (CEIP) Apr 2009
China's financial system is healthy, its government finances are in good shape, and its leaders are providing a swift and strong economic stimulus. But no one knows how far global trade will fall, and China's spending is largely supporting exporters.

G20 ‘trillion’ dollar magic trick
Bretton Woods Update No.65 Mar/Apr 2009
Plus: World Bank under fire over support for private sector health care; IFC's role in Yemen Mining; World Bank and IMF launch disclosure reviews; and more.

Check It
Jagdish Bhagwati (TNR) Apr 1, 2009
Union-loving free traders unite!

Beyond the dollar
Martin Hutchinson (AT) Apr 1, 2009
China's proposal that the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights replace the US dollar as the world's main currency is a non-starter. But China could break an IMF prohibition by putting the yuan on the gold standard. That would be of long-term benefit to the world economy and its own citizens.

China's White House hostage
Peter Navarro (AT) Apr 1, 2009
It remains in China's interests to finance US budget and trade deficits as the White House throws ever-more dollars into the economy. But ultimately neither country will prosper under this status quo.

Priority 1: World Growth
Nicolas Sarkozy (WP) Apr 1, 2009
We must enhance financial regulation and help emerging economies, the president of France says.

The G-20's Funny Money
WSJ Apr 1, 2009
The IMF has a plan to create cash and pass it all over the world.

The G-20 and the Future of Capitalism - Part II
Jean-Pierre Lehmann (YaleGlobal) Apr 1, 2009
The London G-20 summit spotlights the great disunion of the European Union at a critical juncture

Reforming global governance: How to make the IMF more independent
Daniel Gros, Ulrich Klüh & Beatrice Weder di Mauro Apr 1, 2009
The world needs a watchdog institution for global economic stability. Most agree that the IMF is the only serious candidate, but IMF management and staff need more independence. This column argues that this could be achieved by having separate Executive Board voting procedures for lending and analytic decisions, and some independent members on the Board.

Global Disaster Recovery
Michael Boskin (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
With the global economy mired in recession and financial crisis, policymakers everywhere have launched a series of monetary, financial, and fiscal responses. Nevertheless, economies continue to contract, unemployment to rise, and wealth to decline.

Set the IMF Free
Daniel Gros (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The International Monetary Fund is back in business. During the bubble years, neither its advice nor its money seemed to be needed. But now more and more countries need balance-of-payments support, and there is general agreement that the global monetary system needs a body to oversee its overall stability. The IMF is the only candidate for this task, but experience has shown that the Fund can fulfill this role only if its governance is reformed.

Lessons from Japan’s failed fiscal stimulus Recommended!
Keiichiro Kobayashi (VoxEU) Apr 1, 2009
Bad debt is the root of the crisis. Fiscal stimulus may help economies for a couple of years but once the “painkilling” effect wears off, US and European economies will plunge back into crisis. The crisis won’t be over until the nonperforming assets are off the balance sheets of US and European banks.

The poor must be included in a global economy
Bob Geldof (FT) Apr , 2009
I do not want to hang the bankers. Let the more shamefaced and remorseful serve their penance by using their skills for a purpose other than self gain.

China is just sabre-rattling over the dollar
David Pilling (FT) Apr 1, 2009
The proposal distracts from the point that China would not have huge dollar holdings if it had not pursued specific policies – namely export-led growth predicated on a competitive renminbi.

G20 Confronts Global Crisis
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 12 Apr 1, 2009
As leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies prepare to meet in London on Thursday, divisions are emerging over how the world should respond to the global economic crisis. But tentative consensus appears to be forming around calls to secure funding for trade finance, and to both prop up and reform international financial institutions.

WTO Warns of ‘Significant Slippage’ toward Protectionism
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 12 Apr 1, 2009
Global commerce is in danger of “an incremental build-up of restrictions that could slowly strangle international trade” and undermine worldwide attempts to boost demand and restore growth, the WTO director-general warned last week.

OECD: 'International Trade in Free Fall'
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 12 Apr 1, 2009
World trade is in free fall and is likely to drop by 13.2 percent in 2009, according to an interim report released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Tuesday just two days before a summit of leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies.

Public Policy Considerations Prominent in WIPO Patent Discussions
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 12 Apr 1, 2009
After a week of intense deliberations, the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) at the World Intellectual Property Organization decided to pursue further work on four critical issues. The delegates, who met at WIPO headquarters in Geneva from 23 to 27 March, also reviewed preparations for the July 2009 WIPO Conference on global challenges in the field of intellectual property.

The London Summit and development: A view from the UK's development agency
L Alan Winters (VoxEU) Apr 2, 2009
The crisis, started by rich nations, is now harming developing nations. In this column Alan Winters – one of the world’s leading trade and development economists and now chief economist of the UK’s Department for International Development – argues that Summit commitments show that development and developing countries are at the heart of G20 leaders’ vision for the twenty-first century.

How to make financial regulation macro-prudential
Jean-Charles Rochet & Pierre-François Weber Apr 2, 2009
The world will see new financial regulations. This column argues that a macro-prudential framework must be part of the regulatory reform. Macro-prudential policy should rely both on automatic regulatory requirements and a more flexible, yet still rules-based framework, possibly similar to the two-pillar monetary framework of the Eurosystem.

Are 'Mark-to-market' Accounting Rules on the Mark?
K@W Apr 2, 2009
On April 2, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is expected to vote on a proposal to relax a standard at the heart of the financial crisis -- mark-to-market accounting rules that require toxic assets to be carried on companies' books at fire-sale prices, based on recent trades of similar assets for far less than they would command in normal times. Many big banks say the crisis has been made worse by these rules. Not everyone agrees.

G-20 Backs Big Boost to IMF's Financing
IMF Survey Apr 2, 2009
The Group of Twenty industrialized and emerging market economies back a big boost to the IMF's financing capacity as part of measures to counter the global economic crisis, and call for further revisions in country representation in the 185-member institution.

Credibility is key to policy success
Martin Wolf (FT) Apr 2, 2009
The ability to navigate through the financial crisis depends on the sincerity of the authorities' commitment to long-term stability.

Summit success reflects a different global landscape
Philip Stephens (FT) Apr 2, 2009
The G20 summit's deeper significance lay in its unspoken recognition of a changed geopolitical landscape. Not so long ago, this would have been a gathering of the Group of Eight rich nations, perhaps with cameo roles for China, India and a few others. Now, as Hu, Singh and the rest take their places as of right, the world is at last catching a true reflection of itself.

The Economic Summit
NYT Apr 2, 2009
The world's top 20 economic powers had an urgent responsibility to come up with concrete policies to fix the global financial system. They fell short.

China's Dollar Trap Recommended!
Paul Krugman (NYT) Apr 2, 2009
China now owns so many dollars that it can't sell them off without driving the dollar down and triggering the very capital loss its leaders fear.

Greed and Stupidity
David Brooks (NYT) Apr 2, 2009
Dueling explanations for the financial crisis overlap, but lead to different ways of thinking about where to go from here.

The Financial Stability Forum overhauls banking rules
Economist Apr 2, 2009
Regulators' new blueprint for bank supervision avoids the trickiest bits.

The cost of capitalism
Economist Apr 2, 2009
A new appraisal of an economist's theories challenges the blind faith in free markets.

Mexico secures an IMF credit line
Economist Apr 2, 2009
The IMF hopes a credit line for Mexico may set a trend.

An end to inequality? Recommended!
Economist Apr 2, 2009
The gap between rich and poor has been widening for 30 years. It has started narrowing again

The G-20 and the Future of Capitalism - Part III
Pranab Bardhan (YaleGlobal) Apr 3, 2009
For all its inequity, instability and immorality, a chastened capitalism is here to stay

The big emerging market economies will weather the storm
Markus Jäger (VoxEU) Apr 3, 2009
Will big emerging economies be sunk by the global crisis? This column says that they should be able to avoid external payments defaults and systemic banking crises, provided that they allow exchange rates to adjust and refrain from running outsized fiscal deficits.

G20 Summit: Reasons to be cheerful
Avinash Persaud (VoxEU) Apr 3, 2009
Did the Summit succeed? This column argues that the G20 Summit is not the turning point, but it provides the strongest reason yet to be less pessimistic. The commitments may leave plenty of room for the devil to make mischief with, but it is hard to think what more the G20 could have done. Gordon Brown has pulled some large rabbits from his hat.

The outcome of the G20 Summit: A sceptic’s view
Charles Wyplosz (VoxEU) Apr 3, 2009
Did the Summit succeed? This column argues that, except for the promises of more resources for the IMF, the summit did not move the agenda forward. Doing more was probably impossible, but now national governments must do more at home, and very urgently. It would be a tragedy if the Summit outcome encouraged complacency.

G-20 Reality Check
WSJ Apr 3, 2009
An awareness that stimulus has limits.

Reserves Prove Their Usefulness as Global Economic Crisis Bites
IMF Survey Apr 3, 2009
After years of large-scale global accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, and even talk of excessive reserves, official reserves are now being drawn upon in many countries and are proving their usefulness, a conference of sovereign asset and wealth fund managers hears.

Global: The Morning After
Spyros Andreopoulos & Joachim Fels (MS GEF) Apr 3, 2009
The current post-bubble malaise makes it more likely that central banks will pay more attention to asset prices and try to prevent or lean against bubbles when setting monetary policy in the future.

Why Creditors Should Suffer, Too
Tyler Cowen (NYT) Apr 4, 2009
The Obama administration’s proposals to reform financial regulation immunize the creditors and counterparties of financial firms by protecting them from their own lending and trading mistakes.

Saving banks requires partial nationalisation
Hans-Werner Sinn (VoxEU) Apr 4, 2009
Banks’ balance sheets need to be fixed, but they cannot be allowed to shrink themselves back to health – instead of accepting government money – because that would severely harm the economy. This column proposes that any bank that cannot privately find at least 4% equity capital and a tier-one ratio of 8% must let the state supply the required capital and become a partner.

Pregnant (Again) and Poor
Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT) Apr 4, 2009
There's simply no way to elevate families from poverty unless women have fewer children. And yet global family-planning efforts have stalled.

Trade and the London Summit outcome
Richard Baldwin (VoxEU) Apr 4, 2009
G20 leaders made a number of commitments on trade in their London Communiqué. This column argues that the anti-protection pledge is more credible than the one agreed in the Washington Declaration. The commitment on the Doha Round, by contrast, was pitiful.

The London summit has not fixed the crisis
Wolfgang Münchau (FT) Apr 5, 2009
It ducked the question of bank rescue beyond a few meaningless and self-congratulatory statements. Instead, our leaders showed more interest in future crises than in the current one.

Steady Through This Storm
Ricardo J. Caballero (WP) Apr 6, 2009
If the administration's economic team is persistent, we have a good chance of getting out of this mess.

China's Dollar Deception
Robert J. Samuelson (WP) Apr 6, 2009
The Chinese denounce American profligacy after promoting it and profiting from it.

Aid Keeps Latin America Poor
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Apr 6, 2009
For real progress, they need the means to accumulate wealth.

From Bubble to Depression? Recommended!
Steven Gjerstad & Vernon L. Smith (WSJ) Apr 6, 2009
Why the housing crash ruined the financial system but the dot-com collapse did not.

The world economy is tracking or doing worse than during the Great Depression Recommended!
Barry Eichengreen & Kevin H. O’Rourke (VoxEU) Apr 6, 2009
Often cited comparisons – which look only at the US – find that today’s crisis is milder than the Great Depression. In this column, two leading economic historians show that the world economy is now plummeting as it did in the Great Depression; indeed, world industrial production, trade and stock markets are diving faster now than during 1929-30. Fortunately, the policy response to date is much better.

The G20 communiqué: Work in progress but good news for emerging markets
Guillermo Calvo (VoxEU) Apr 6, 2009
The G20 communiqué revealed a clear attitude towards chain-reaction crises. Here one of the world’s most experienced and insightful crisis-watchers argues the G20 communiqué reflects a major improvement in the way leaders view financial crises – moving away from the view that blames the victims and towards a view that recognizes systemic crises and chain-reaction accidents involving many innocent bystanders.

A freer China would stimulate spending
Minxin Pei and Ali Wyne (FT) Apr 6, 2009
The root cause of the country's problem is political, not economic. The lack of democracy disenfranchises the groups that would otherwise pressure ruling elites to provide social services.

In Defense of Derivatives and How to Regulate Them
René M. Stulz (WSJ) Apr 7, 2009
The much-maligned financial instruments have legitimate uses.

The dark side of Dubai Recommended!
Johann Hari (Independent) Apr 7, 2009
Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging.

What the G2 must discuss now the G20 is over
Martin Wolf (FT) Apr 7, 2009
Given the scale of the world's macroeconomic imbalances, it is far from obvious that higher regulatory standards alone would have saved the world. This is not just a matter of historical interest. It is also relevant to the sustainability of the recovery.

Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (FT) Apr 7, 2009
We need to return to a world in which entrepreneurs, not bankers, take the risks and companies are born and die every day without making the news.

The G20 Summit: A Critical Assessment (Part I)
Bretton Woods Project Apr 7, 2009
How much have world leaders achieved in terms of solving the global crisis at the recent G20 summit?

The G20 Summit: A Critical Assessment (Part II)
Bretton Woods Project Apr 8, 2009
What other opportunities could have helped solve the global economic crisis?

The G20 and the IMF
Economist Apr 8, 2009
Banking on the fund.

G20 Leaders Boost Trade Finance, Renew Vow to Resist Protectionism
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 13 Apr 8, 2009
In the face of the steepest drop in world trade in 60 years, leaders from the Group of 20 economic powers agreed last week to provide funding for US$ 250 billion worth of international trade flows. The heads of state also reiterated the vow they made in November not to establish any new barriers to trade, this time adding a promise to report any such measures to the WTO.

The G20 and the world economy
Economist Apr 8, 2009
Despite unprecedented stimulus, the biggest risk is still that governments overall do too little

The G20's urge to regulate Recommended!
Raghuram Rajan (Economist) Apr 8, 2009
There needs to be a regulatory system that is immune to boom and bust.

The IMF's next mission
Economist Apr 8, 2009
The IMF has been promised lots more money and has a new sense of purpose. But reform is still needed—especially if it is to win the trust of emerging economies

Can credit revive world trade?
Economist Apr 8, 2009
With G20 cash in their saddlebags, export-import banks ride to the rescue.

Held in reserve
Economist Apr 8, 2009
A brief guide to the IMF’s “currency”.

We should listen to Beijing's currency idea
Fred Bergsten (FT) Apr 8, 2009
This is an ideal issue for China and US to develop a 'G2' partnership to provide global economic leadership.

China's consumption is a disappearing act
David Pilling (FT) Apr 8, 2009
Far from being massive consumers who will ride to the world's rescue, most Chinese are "survivors", whose purchases of basic food and clothing have little impact on global demand.

Can the IMF Really Save the World Economy?
Desmond Lachman (AEI) Apr 8, 2009
Increasing the resources of the International Monetary Fund does virtually nothing to ameliorate the slump presently afflicting the world’s major industrialized countries.

Keeping Africa's Turnaround on Track
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (WP) Apr 9, 2009
The Liberian president worries that the continent's prospects will be cut short by a crisis beyond its control.

The G-20 Summit and the End of Ideology: From Washington to London to New York
Daniel Kaufmann (Brookings) Apr 9, 2009
Upon conclusion of last week's G-20 Summit in London, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that the death of the Washington Consensus has been met with the rise of a new era of consensus. But the Summit's communiqué and the global response to the financial crisis is more evidence of a shift toward pragmatism than the advent of a new ideology.

Unravelling Free Trade
Nayan Chanda (YaleGlobal/Businessworld) Apr 9, 2009
The G-20 needs to institute stricter enforcement.

Making Banking Boring
Paul Krugman (NYT) Apr 9, 2009
The regulated era of banking that followed the Great Depression was far less lucrative than the previous era, but one of spectacular economic progress. Perhaps the political winds need to shift again.

'Empty Creditors' and the Crisis
Henry T.C. Hu (WSJ) Apr 9, 2009
How Goldman's $7 billion was 'not material.'

Obama in a Pear Tree
WSJ Apr 10, 2009
Trade protectionism is the fruit of Big Labor.

Prolonged Global Winter
Martin Hutchinson (Globalist) Apr 9, 2009
Will inflation stemming from $5 trillion of global stimulus programs lengthen the recession?

The penny drops
AT Apr 9, 2009
It is at last dawning on those who should already know - such as foreign-exchange punters - that quantitative easing is a negative for currencies. And as the penny drops, golden coins can only go in the opposite direction.

Irrational everything Recommended!
Haaretz Apr 10, 2009
Prof. Daniel Kahneman has dozens, perhaps hundreds, of stories about people's irrational behavior when it comes to making economic decisions. It's no wonder, because for dozens of years he and his late colleague Amos Tversky researched human behavior. Many of their studies concerned the making of financial decisions.

China's unreal estate
Chan Akya (AT) Apr 10, 2009
Chinese property is a perfect example of what happens when irresponsible policies meet indomitable market forces. The u-turn - within a year - from efforts to cool property prices to measures to prop up the sector highlights the consequences of a pegged exchange rate maintained by a government that claims to know what's best for the country, with all evidence to the contrary.

Appeasement and decline
Peter Morici (AT) Apr 10, 2009
With US imports from China remaining strong, Beijing is exporting unemployment while threatening to stop buying US Treasuries if the Washington acts to offset China's currency and other subsidies. The Barack Obama administration is foolishly buying the threat.

The “Washington Consensus”: Another Near-Death Experience? Recommended!
John Williamson (PIIE) Apr 10, 2009
Many times, since I first used the phrase in 1989, the “Washington Consensus” has been proclaimed dead, most recently by Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain at the press conference following the G-20 summit in London earlier this month. Yet most of the governments of the world seem to be determined to follow the precepts originally enshrined in my ten points under the Washington Consensus heading, irrespective of the ritual condemnations by their leaders.

Completing the G-20’s Agenda
Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg (Project Syndicate) Apr 2009
The near-complete collapse of financial systems worldwide has exposed fundamental weaknesses in their architecture and in how they are regulated. In calling for measures to “guard against systemic risk,” the G-20 summit has begun the process of reconstruction by recognizing that the system in its entirety, not just individual institutions, must be regulated.

Mr. Soddy's Ecological Economy
Eric Zencey (NYT) Apr 11, 2009
What a forgotten chemist knew about fixing the financial system.

China Slows Purchases of U.S. and Other Bonds
NYT Apr 12, 2009
Reversing its role as the world's fastest-growing buyer of U.S. Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government sold bonds heavily this winter.

False Economy
William Easterly (FT) Apr 13, 2009
False Economy is a book about how economic triumphs and disasters have shaped the world – and why it’s so hard to change the course of history once decisions have been made. The book’s central idea is that our smart or stupid choices determine whether a country’s economic development is successful – but that success is still often a surprise.

New Rules of Engagement for IMF Loans
IMF Survey Apr 13, 2009
As part of a wide-ranging reform of lending practices to help improve its ability to combat the current crisis, the IMF has redefined its engagement with countries on issues related to structural reform of the economy, making adjustments that will help remove the perceived stigma in seeking IMF financial assistance.

It is time to put finance back in its box
Philip Augar (FT) Apr 13, 2009
Unless governments in America and Britain really open themselves up to new ideas, emerging economies in Asia and mainland Europe will seize the initiative and redefine the global agenda.

China needs reform to become world class
Michael Skapinker (FT) Apr 13, 2009
Shanghai wants to become a leading business and tourist centre. If it is to achieve its ambitions, companies need to know contracts will be enforced and rights protected.

Let us put markets to the service of the good society
Phillip Blond (FT) Apr 13, 2009
We need a decentralised civic economy that crafts together moral values and economic power to create the type of society that most people want to live in.

Designing Economic Policy for a Second-Best World
Karen Johnson (Globalist) Apr 13, 2009
What are the main causes of the economic crisis?

Designing Economic Policy for a Second-Best World (Part II)
Karen Johnson (Globalist) Apr 14, 2009
What should regulators keep in mind as they try to avert another crisis?

We are all macroprudentialists now
Claudio Borio (VoxEU) Apr 14, 2009
There is now a growing consensus among policymakers and academics that a key element to improve safeguards against financial instability is to strengthen the “macroprudential” orientation of regulatory and supervisory frameworks. This column explains the approach and various issues that regulators must address to implement it.

Presto: Another $750 Billion
WSJ Apr 14, 2009
How Treasury will conjure that new money for the IMF.

Four Questions about the Financial Crisis
Ben S. Bernanke (FRB) Apr 14, 2009
My remarks today will focus on the ongoing turmoil in financial markets and its consequence, the global economic recession.

Uncertainty bedevils the best system
Edmund Phelps (FT) Apr 14, 2009
The Future of Capitalism: Unfortunately, there is still no wide understanding among the public of the benefits that can fairly be credited to capitalism and why these benefits have costs. This has left capitalism vulnerable to opponents and to ignorance within the system. Regaining a well-functioning capitalism will require re-education and deep reform.

Dollar’s Fade Won’t Support Stock Rally
Paul Kennedy (Bloomberg) Apr 14, 2009
A number of interesting things have happened in the past few weeks which, if you put them together in the manner that Sherlock Holmes would have done, make for serious thought.

Is America the new Russia?
Martin Wolf (FT) Apr 14, 2009
Is the US Russia? Simon Johnson compares the hold of the “financial oligarchy” over US policy with that of business elites in emerging countries. Do such comparisons make sense? The answer is Yes, but only up to a point.

In the Age of Pirates
Thomas L. Friedman (NYT) Apr 14, 2009
This is increasingly an age of pirates, failed states, nonstate actors and nation-building -- the stuff of snipers, drones and generals, not diplomats.

The politics of the Maastricht convergence criteria
Paul De Grauwe (VoxEU) Apr 15, 2009
This column shows that the Maastricht convergence criteria are political instruments, not economically vital measures. They were ignored in 1998 so as to facilitate the Eurozone’s creation, and now they are stringently applied so as to slow its enlargement.

A Triple-A Idea
WSJ Apr 15, 2009
Ending the rating oligopoly.

Concorde's fate offers a lesson for finance
Viral Acharya, Matthew Richardson and Nouriel Roubini (FT) Apr 15, 2009
`The goal is not to have the most advanced financial system, but one that is reasonably advanced and robust.

China juggles its future in Africa
Bright B Simons (AT) Apr 16, 2009
The myth that China is merely in Africa for its resources is as false as the myth that China will soon need to retreat from the continent due to the global recession. Beijing is there for soft power, new markets and nurturing a new diaspora, while the downturn will merely sap the West's viability as a competitor.

Decouple the world from the dollar
Korkut A Erturk (AT) Apr 16, 2009
While monetary easing and fiscal stimulus may limit the current slump, the broken machinery of the global economic system must be fixed. For a start, a wedge should be driven between the dollars held in foreign reserves and those the US will be creating at a much faster clip.

Global Recession to Be Long, Deep with Slow Recovery
IMF Survey Apr 16, 2009
Two features of the current recession-its association with deep financial crisis and its highly synchronized nature-suggest that it is likely to be unusually severe and followed by a slow recovery, according to new IMF research. However, macroeconomic policies can cushion the blows to incomes.

Rapid Spread of Crisis Reflects Close Global Economic Ties
IMF Survey Apr 16, 2009
Emerging economies are now so closely integrated with advanced economies that financial stress transmits rapidly and forcefully, with financial linkages a key channel of transmission, according to new IMF research.

More Needed to Revive Global Economy, Says IMF
IMF Survey Apr 16, 2009
More still needs to be done to revive the global economy and pull it out of recession, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn says. In a Washington speech he calls for improvements in the national and international financial architecture in several key areas.

The role of the state is crucial in this crisis
Pat McFadden (FT) Apr 16, 2009
The financial crisis raises the issue of the role of the state in a fundamental way. Government intervened in the banking sector but this does not mean it can say yes to every cause that comes knocking.

How well are banks really doing?
Economist Apr 16, 2009
The numbers are less wholesome on closer inspection.

The curse of politics
Economist Apr 16, 2009
Financial crises can drag on because efficient remedies are politically unpalatable.

Have banks hit bottom?
Economist Apr 16, 2009
Optimism that banks' fortunes have reached bottom may be premature.

Credit for Poland
Economist Apr 16, 2009
Poland, following Mexico, asks the IMF for a no-strings credit line.

Do Trade Deficits Call for a Sledgehammer?
Philip I. Levy (AEI) Apr 16, 2009
Large U.S. trade deficits have been central to demands for change in trade policy.

Europe Is No Model for Our Banks
David Smick (WSJ) Apr 17, 2009
We need a financial system that supports innovation.

Global: Green Shoots to Bear Fruit?
Manoj Pradhan (MS GEF) Apr 17, 2009
We see green shoots of recovery and expect global growth to resume in 2H09. The Great Recession still has a way to go, and the recovery is not likely to be V-shaped.

Is the global food crisis over?
Pedro Conceição & Ronald U. Mendoza Apr 18, 2009
The global economic crisis shifted attention away from high food and oil prices. But this column says that the global food crisis persists. International food prices are still above their average levels, and domestic food prices in many countries have remained “sticky”. The poor still have many reasons to worry, as many of the factors that contributed to high and volatile prices remain unaddressed.

It's 2009. Do You Know Where Your Soul Is?
Bono (NYT) Apr 18, 2009
So much of the discussion today is about value, not values. Aid well spent can be an example of both, values and value for money.

Erin Go Broke
Paul Krugman (NYT) Apr 19, 2009
The slogan "Erin go bragh," used as a declaration of Irish identity, could also be read as a prediction for the world economy.

Our Depression Obsession
Robert J. Samuelson (WP) Apr 20, 2009
Renewed interest in the Great Depression is natural -- but don't stretch parallels too far.

A Bigger, Bolder Role Is Imagined For the IMF
WP Apr 20, 2009
Inside a cavernous assembly hall in downtown Washington, dignitaries gather twice a year for routine meetings of the International Monetary Fund. Before long, though, the room could take center stage in the IMF's transformation into a veritable United Nations for the global economy.

What we will miss about the prophets of doom
David Marsh (FT) Apr 20, 2009
For two years now, we have collectively gorged on tales of tears and deeds of downfall. If the bulls really are back and the economic and financial misery is about to end, here are 16 reasons why we will miss the gloomy times.

Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Save? Examining the Systemic Threats of Large Financial Institutions
Simon Johnson (PIIE) Apr 21, 2009
In testimony before the US Congress, Simon Johnson argues that the United States has taken on the characteristics of an emerging-market country, particularly in the creation of an American oligarchy in the financial sector with excessive wealth, power, and influence over the US political system. The enormous growth of financial services over the past 25 years, significantly aided by an ideology of deregulation and free-flowing capital, has given the sector an effective veto over US policy, hindering efforts to recover from the current crisis. This stranglehold must be broken: Aggressive recapitalization and nationalization of failing banks on terms favorable to taxpayers are urgently needed. Further, antitrust law and regulatory policies must be enacted to ensure that banks do not become so large as to threaten the health of the financial system, as any bank that is "too big to fail" should also be "too big to exist."

Financial turbulence and early crisis detection
Brenda González-Hermosillo & Heiko Hesse (VoxEU) Apr 21, 2009
This column examines the use of key global market conditions to assess financial volatility and the likelihood of crisis. Using Markov regime-switching analysis, it shows that the Lehman Brothers failure was a watershed event in the crisis, although signs of heightened systemic risk could be detected as early as February 2007.

A flawed first draft of history
Lionel Barber (FT) Apr 21, 2009
The financial media are accused of mis¬sing the global financial crisis. Why did journalists not pay more attention to the warnings.

Why the ‘green shoots’ of recovery could yet wither
Martin Wolf (FT) Apr 21, 2009
Is the worst behind us? In a word, No. The rate of economic decline is decelerating. But it is too soon even to be sure of a turnround, let alone of a return to rapid growth. These are still early days.

I.M.F. Puts Bank Losses From Global Financial Crisis at $4.1 Trillion
NYT Apr 21, 2009
The I.M.F. says that it sees glimmers of stabilization in the financial system, but that "continued decisive and effective action" will be needed.

Bank tests we should get stressed about
Mohamed El-Erian (FT) Apr 21, 2009
The aim is to ensure global consistency in banking that also clarifies accountability and responsibility.

Lamy Urges Countries to 'Remain Vigilant' against Protectionism
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 14 Apr 22, 2009
WTO delegates meeting in Geneva last week agreed that, despite warnings to the contrary, the world economy has not fallen into an all-out tit-for-tat protectionist battle since onset of the global financial crisis in September. But WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told the trade officials that there has been a slight up-tick in new trade-restricting measures in recent months, and urged them to "remain vigilant" in resisting pressures to close their borders to trade.

Obama Administration Not Ready to Support Carbon Border Tax: Kirk
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 14 Apr 22, 2009
A recent letter from US Trade Representative Ron Kirk downplays the notion that the Obama Administration would implement a border tax on imports from large developing countries to help domestic industry under a cap-and-trade scheme.

Why global brands now rise in the east
John Gapper (FT) Apr 22, 2009
For a long time, global products have been made in the image of what US consumers wanted, or dreamed. But what will western consumers make of it when Asia's influence becomes apparent in products other than games consoles?

Oil Prices Resist the World's Recession Trend
NYT Apr 22, 2009
Weakness in the global economy could send oil prices higher, especially during the summer driving season.

Growth fit for the future
Peter David Pedersen (AT) Apr 23, 2009
People globally are realizing the world cannot survive under the present economic growth model, yet human demands and the desire to meet these will not go away. Nor need they. An alternative exists that will enable unparallelled consumption and unprecedented business opportunities - and help to create a world fit for humanity.

Reforming property rights and economic development
Tim Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak (VoxEU) Apr 22, 2009
This column explores the security of property rights and the various channels through which they affect economic activity. It demonstrates a strong correlation between secure property rights and economic development and discusses the institutional challenges involved. Property rights reform is no panacea, and it faces difficult political economy hurdles in some countries.

China’s “dollar trap”: Lessons from France’s 1920s “sterling trap”
Olivier Accominotti (VoxEU) Apr 23, 2009
China’s “dollar trap” has many analysts worried about its future resolution. This column discusses a similar situation in the in the 1920s when France held more than half the world’s foreign reserves. France’s “sterling trap” ended disastrously. Sterling suffered a major currency crisis, French authorities lost a lot of money, and subsequent policy reactions deepened the Great Depression.

The crisis, reduced inequality, and soak-the-rich populism
Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano (VoxEU) Apr 23, 2009
Will Americans turn into “inequality intolerant” Europeans? Such a radical shift is unlikely, but this column argues that this crisis may be a turning point towards more government intervention and redistribution in the US. More and more Americans believe that hard work is insufficient to climb the income ladder and are expressing anger against “unfairly” accumulated wealth. Politicians should prefer wise policies but may be tempted by populist outbursts.

Financial Reforms We Can All Agree On
Charles W. Calomiris Apr 23, 2009
Rating agencies should use numbers, not letter grades.

Trade Backsliding
WP Apr 23, 2009
One of the many dangers of the global economic downturn is that it could cause countries to turn inward, with even the best of free-trade sentiments replaced by protectionist tendencies. Some taxpayers -- understandably, perhaps, but mistakenly -- believe that only money spent within their country's borders helps to expand their domestic economies. Thus, political pressure to circumvent or walk away from international trade standards mounts.

Methods to identify systemic financial risks
Christian Capuano, Brenda González-Hermosillo, Dale Gray, Heiko Hesse, Andreas Jobst, Paul Mills, Miguel Segoviano & Tao Sun (VoxEU) Apr 23, 2009
As the recent G20 Communiqué emphasised, further progress is needed to identify and address systemic risks. This column summarises some of the research in the IMF’s latest Global Financial Stability Report aimed at identifying and measuring systemic events.

A glimmer of hope?
Economist Apr 23, 2009
The worst thing for the world economy would be to assume the worst is over.

A messy future awaits central bankers
Economist Apr 23, 2009
The simple rules by which central banks lived have crumbled. A messier, more political future awaits.

Banks' capital shortfalls
Economist Apr 23, 2009
Americans fret about bank stress tests. Europeans keep their eyes wide.

China's reserves and the dollar
Economist Apr 23, 2009
Is China souring on the dollar?

Is the World Bank jealous of the IMF?
Economist Apr 23, 2009
As the IMF gets richer, will the poor get a raw deal yet again?

A Banking System We Can Trust
Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Edward Leamer (Forbes) Apr 23, 2009
Turn all financial firms into mutual funds.

Restoring Financial Stability: Book review
Charles A.E. Goodhart (VoxEU) Apr 24, 2009
The crisis has spawned a handful of books on how to fix the world’s financial system. This column reviews the NYU Stern book edited by Viral Acharya and Matthew Richardson. It says that the book’s prologue on “The Financial Crisis of 2007-8: Causes and Remedies” is the best single paper yet written on the background and development of the crisis.

Good Government and Animal Spirits
George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller (WSJ) Apr 24, 2009
Every talented player understands the importance of a strong referee.

Austan Goolsbee's Vindication
WSJ Apr 24, 2009
Obama backtracks on Nafta, as his economic advisor said he would.

Global: ¿QuÉ Pasó? ¿QuÉ Pasa?
Manoj Pradhan & Joachim Fels (MS GEF) Apr 24, 2009
Global QE is alive and kicking. The easing of M1 growth and the back-up in 10-year yields in the US are not a cause for concern, in our view. Central banks with active QE programmes have half or more of their target of asset purchases to go. This gives them enough firepower to push money supply higher, and keep yields low and spreads tight.

Financial Crisis Threatens Effort to Cut Poverty
IMF Survey Apr 24, 2009
The global financial crisis has hit poor countries especially hard, posing serious threats to their hard-won gains in boosting economic growth and achieving progress toward the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a joint IMF-World Bank report warns.

Springing into action
Economist Apr 25, 2009
Finance ministers gather for unusually significant spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

World Bank Report Card
WSJ Apr 25, 2009
'Material weakness' on corruption.

Let central banks direct the supply of credit
Stephen Green (FT) Apr 26, 2009
Policymakers have had only one weapon in their monetary armoury. They need two. It is time to give them the power to influence the supply of, as well as demand for, credit.

IMF says national deficits to remain sky-high
FT Apr 26, 2009
Budget deficits across the industrialised world will remain sky-high next year even after countries scale back their fiscal stimulus packages, the International Monetary Fund warned.

World Finance Chiefs Back Moves to Support Recovery from Crisis
IMF Survey Apr 26, 2009
World financial leaders pledge action to ensure recovery from the deepest global recession since the Great Depression, and back moves to expand the lendable resources of the IMF to combat the crisis and provide a safety net for the world's poorest.

Busting Bank of America
WSJ Apr 27, 2009
A case study in how to spread systemic financial risk.

IMF lost on the high seas
Hossein Askari (AT) Apr 28, 2009
Central bank governors and finance ministers at the weekend again underlined their failure to recognize the catalyst common to two centuries of financial panics - excessive credit creation. Their willingness to put more money into the hands of the International Monetary Fund will just create a bigger crisis in the future.

The IMF's Gold Gambit
Judy Shelton (WSJ) Apr 27, 2009
The fund's misuse of bullion reserves is crucial to its plan to use the financial crisis to expand its power.

How financial stress spreads – A first comprehensive look at the current crisis
Ravi Balakrishnan, Stephan Danninger, Selim Elekdag & Irina Tytell (VoxEU) Apr 27, 2009
financial stress reached unprecedented levels in 2008. This column presents a new IMF financial stress index and puts the current crisis into historical perspective. It also shows that bank-lending linkages appear to be the main driver of the transmission of stress. International financial integration brings both opportunities for growth and risks of contagion.

'I Am Not Dr. Doom'
WP Apr 27, 2009
Lally Weymouth interviews economist Nouriel Roubini.

Is the crisis hurting trade finance? Evidence from Africa
John Humphrey (VoxEU) Apr 28, 2009
Will developing country exporters suffer trade finance shortages induced by the crisis? This column says that, among 30 export-oriented African firms surveyed, very few face trade finance problems. The resilience of the domestic banking system and existing trading relationships likely limit potential damage, though small firms and new entrants may face difficulties in obtaining trade finance.

Fixing bankrupt systems is just the beginning
Martin Wolf (FT) Apr 28, 2009
The largest economies have made the fundamental decision to prevent bankruptcy. but this is only the first step on the long road to financial health. Those who hope for a swift return to what they thought normal two years ago are deluded.

How similar is the current crisis to the Great Depression?
Thomas Helbling (VoxEU) Apr 29, 2009
Despite the stunning contraction of industrial production and trade across the globe, the global economy is still a far cry away from the calamities of the Great Depression. However, if the economic damage of the current global crisis may have been contained so far, worrisome parallels to the early 1930s remain and preventive policy actions must be kept up.

The global recession has not turned the corner
Willem Buiter (VoxEU) Apr 29, 2009
Is the global economy turning around? Analysing the situation across the globe, this column concludes that the only reasonably convincing evidence of ‘green shoots’ comes from China – but even that recovery is unlikely to be sustainable due to China's dependency on exports. A global flu pandemic, if it were to occur, would act as a negative supply and demand shock.

Global economic slumps and migration
Timothy Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson (VoxEU) Apr 29, 2009
International migration rises and falls with the business cycle, as do attitudes towards migrants. History leads us to expect a global recession to increase anti-immigrant sentiments and possibly spur new barriers to migration. However, this column argues that such measures are less likely than in the past, as anti-immigrant sentiments are relatively weak and economic and demographic forces are reducing the long-run immigration trend.

Top Obama Trade Official Stresses Need for Openness, Doha Deal
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, Volume 13, Number 15 Apr 29, 2009
The Obama administration will reject protectionism and pursue negotiated trade liberalisation including an agreement in the stalled Doha Round of WTO talks, the new US trade representative announced last week.

On the prowl
Economist Apr 29, 2009
China's sovereign-wealth fund is back on the acquisition trail.

China Tries to Wriggle Out of the US Dollar Trap
Wenran Jiang (YaleGlobal) Apr 29, 2009
By diversifying into resources and using financial instruments, China attempts to reduce its US dollar exposure.

Coupled Economies, Decoupled Debates
Arvind Subramanian (PIIE) Apr 29, 2009
In the industrial countries, and the United States in particular, the current financial crisis has raised fundamental questions about capitalism and the so-called Anglo-Saxon version of it that had elevated the status and role of finance. The London-based Financial Times ran a series on the future of capitalism over several months, and many of the world's leading economists and other intellectuals weighed in on this topic. The global conference/seminar circuits are teeming with crisis-induced introspection and prognostication. Radical reform of the international monetary and financial system has been set in motion. All in all, it is difficult to escape the sense that the crisis represents a rupture, a discontinuity that will make the future less recognizable from the past.

Attached at the Wallet: The Delicate Financial Relationship between the U.S. and China
K@W Apr 29, 2009
The financial relationship between China and the U.S. is beginning to look like an unhealthy co-dependency. China holds so much of its foreign reserves in dollar-based assets that it is now vulnerable to shifts in the U.S. economy. And the U.S. has allowed China to purchase so much of its debt that it is now beholden to Chinese interests. Experts disagree, however, about the real motives for China's continuing investments, and whether it would ever sell them off.

How government can guide small borrowers
Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman (FT) Apr 29, 2009
Research show that there are ways to create an environment that allows those who would benefit to borrow, and those who would be harmed to avoid expensive debt traps.

The hard and simple maths of crisis
Julian Delasantellis (AT) Apr 30, 2009
Xiang Lin Li emerged from the chaos of China's Cultural Revolution to stamp his genius on the Western financial system with a mind-numbing equation that led to the present global financial crisis. Or was the crisis really just caused by the demand of the white middle class in the US for good schools?

The impact of the global financial crisis on the world’s poorest
Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion (VoxEU) Apr 30, 2009
Will the financial crisis reverse the trend of declining global poverty? This column estimates that the crisis will add 64 million people to the population living under $2 a day. It predicts that the global poverty rate will fall from 42% to 39% in 2009, while the pre-crisis trajectory would have brought the poverty rate down to 38%.

A catechism for a system that endures
Samuel Brittan (FT) Apr 30, 2009
The Future of Capitalism: The assumption that the pursuit of self-interest within the rules and conventions of society will also promote the public interest may be succeeded by a mushy collectivist pseudo-altruism, in which jealousy and envy are given a free ride.

Global: A Different Unconventional Measure
Manoj Pradhan & Joachim Fels (MS GEF) May 1, 2009
Apart from quantitative and credit easing, another unconventional monetary policy tool has become more popular with central banks recently – an explicit commitment to keep the policy rate low for a longer period than previously expected.

The IMF's new approach to emerging markets
Economist Apr 30, 2009
Has the IMF changed? Or has the world?

Assessing the World Bank's health efforts
Economist Apr 30, 2009
For once, an international institution half-agrees with its critics.

Barack Obama moves slowly on trade
Economist Apr 30, 2009
Though Barack Obama has shown less protectionism than was feared, he needs to do more to resist it in Congress and to press forward on Doha.

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