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Trade Winds -- Has the Spectre of Protectionism Blown Away?

Tamim Bayoumi | Posted 03.12.2012 | Business
Tamim Bayoumi

The global crisis has pushed trade reforms off -- or at least to the edge of -- the political radar screen. But shying away from improving the trade system in these tough economic times seems a little like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Lurking in the Shadows -- the Risks From Nonbank Intermediation in China

Nigel Chalk | Posted 01.04.2012 | Business
Nigel Chalk

In the 12 months to June, over RMB 600 billion poured into China from short-term lending by nonresidents to Chinese corporations. These developments are worrying for four broad reasons.

Mideast Braces Itself for a Multi-Year Transition

Masood Ahmed | Posted 12.27.2011 | Business
Masood Ahmed

2011 has not been an easy year for many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The combination of domestic unrest and external uncertainty has resulted in a marked downturn in economic activity, and this is expected to pick up only gradually.

Resolve and Determination: How We Get Out of This Together

Christine Lagarde | Posted 11.27.2011 | Business
Christine Lagarde

I feel strongly that the global community is beginning to respond to our shared plight. Why? Three reasons: a shared sense of urgency, a shared diagnosis of the problems, and a shared sense that the steps needed in the period ahead are now coming into focus.

The Danger Zone: Financial Stability Risks Soar

José Viñals | Posted 11.22.2011 | Business
José Viñals

Several shocks have recently buffeted the global financial system: unequivocal signs of a broader global economic slowdown; fresh market turbulence in the euro area; and the credit downgrade of the United States.

Fiscal Glass Is Half Full: Some Reasons for Optimism

Carlo Cottarelli | Posted 11.21.2011 | Business
Carlo Cottarelli

In the midst of jittery financial markets, and global economic doom and gloom, it's easy to become pessimistic. Perhaps too much so; amid what seems like a steady drum beat of bad news, one can lose sight of what has been achieved over the last couple of years.

Strong Policy Action -- The Essence of Restoring Global Economic Hope

Olivier Blanchard | Posted 11.21.2011 | Business
Olivier Blanchard

The global economy has entered a dangerous new phase. The recovery has weakened considerably, and downside risks have increased sharply. Strong policies are urgently needed to improve the outlook and reduce risks.

Darn Them Piggies! Pork Prices & the Inflation Outlook for China

Nigel Chalk | Posted 11.12.2011 | Business
Nigel Chalk

During the past year, views on China's economy have yo-yoed from concerns about the recovery, to hand-wringing about inflation and overheating, and then back to talk of hard landing.

Heartbreak and Hardship -- Finding a Way Out for Fragile States

Dominique Desruelle | Posted 11.07.2011 | Business
Dominique Desruelle

Everyone agrees that countries need help to recover from these situations. But it is not easy to come to a shared understanding on what this really takes.

When Reality Doesn't Bite -- Misconceptions about the IMF and Social Spending

Benedict Clements | Posted 10.31.2011 | Business
Benedict Clements

All too often we hear the claim that the programs the IMF supports in low-income countries hurt the most vulnerable by forcing cuts in social spending. This is a misconception.