How much longer can major economies like the U.S. engage in historically unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus that provides, at best, levels of economic growth so unimpressively marginal?
The US debt ceiling is a legislative limit on the US Treasury's ability to borrow money. It was first created in 1917 and can be modified by Congress. As of this month's agreement, the debt ceiling has been raised 79 times since 1960.
The Fed's lending to the global banking system through front and back doors has distorted the value of U.S. dollar. Foreign central banks engage in money printing to keep in step. As a result, we've inflated distorted asset bubbles on a scale never before seen in the history of the world.
In a self-perpetuating cycle of gloom, lack of confidence has led to capital flight, sparking a market-induced devaluation of India's currency, the rupee. The collapse of the rupee has in turn sparked a large increase in the country's energy imports, especially oil.
The federal government budget deficit has fallen sharply in recent years. But if the choice and timing of policy measures is not right, the deficit reduction may turn out to be too much in the short run -- stunting the economic recovery -- and not enough in the long run.
So, what does the scarceonomics of food, water, energy, and other critical commodities mean for governments, economies, investors, and consumers? If we apply some lessons learned and a little ingenuity, the prospects could be positive.
After years of strong growth, the BRICS in particular are beginning to run into speed bumps. This means that the focus of policies will increasingly need to turn to boosting potential output growth or, in the case of China, to achieving more sustainable and balanced growth.
While every scientist faces the possibility of being the bearer of bad news, statisticians are especially vulnerable. At present, two countries -- Greece and Argentina -- are bringing charges against statisticians who are reporting truthful, yet unpleasant, data.
Although Arab leaders often cite Turkey as a beacon of hope, they rarely acknowledge that the country's recent transformation from the "sick man of Europe" to one of the world's fastest-growing emerging markets would not have been possible had it not pursued regional synergies.
The financial institutions' focus on generating economic growth without ensuring the concomitant increase in jobs, and the inequality this generates, is partly to blame for the waning public support for global economic integration.
Rethinking and reforms are both taking place. But we still do not know the final destination, be it for the redefinition of monetary policy, or the contours of financial regulation, or the role of macroprudential tools.
Of course the IMF event was not without opposition voices. The strongest was Luc Frieden, the finance minister of Luxembourg, where a light regulatory and tax regime has boosted the size of the banking sector relative to GDP to a level similar to that of Cyprus.