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Public Debt

The Trillion-dollar Question: Who Owns Emerging Market Government Debt?

Serkan Arslanalp | Posted 03.05.2014 | Business
Serkan Arslanalp

There are a trillion reasons to care about who owns emerging market debt. That's how much money global investors have poured into in these government...

The Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014

Alejandro Werner | Posted 04.05.2014 | Business
Alejandro Werner

Looking to the year ahead, how do we see the global economic landscape, and what will this mean for our region? This question is especially on people's minds today, given the risks of deflation in advanced economies and of sustained turbulence in emerging markets.

China's Local Government Debt Explodes

Sheldon Filger | Posted 03.04.2014 | Business
Sheldon Filger

One of the most rapidly growing factors of public debt is occurring right now, in China, largely under the radar of the so-called fiscal prophets of doom.

Fiscal Policy in Latin America: Prudence Today Means Prosperity Tomorrow

Alejandro Werner | Posted 02.12.2014 | Business
Alejandro Werner

With further pressures likely to build over the period ahead -- as economic growth has slowed, commodity prices have softened, and external funding costs are bound to rise -- now is the right time to rethink fiscal policies across the region.

The Times They Are a-Changin': Will (Fiscal) History Repeat Itself?

Carlo Cottarelli | Posted 09.24.2013 | Business
Carlo Cottarelli

Recent political and social unrest in some emerging and developing countries may have idiosyncratic features. But they also have a common denominator.

Europe Is Strangled By Its 3 Percent Budget Deficit Ceiling

Georges Ugeux | Posted 06.30.2013 | Business
Georges Ugeux

By fixing annual budget deficits, Europe is shooting itself in the foot: while it does, of course, authorize lower budget deficits during good years, it makes it impossible to allow further budgetary deficits when the economy is in recession. Europe is in recession.

Public Debt and Economic Growth

Robert Reich | Posted 06.29.2013 | Politics
Robert Reich

Reinhart and Rogoff seem to be correct in one basic respect: Economic growth does seem to be lower in very-high-debt countries. But the entire debate over their paper's flaws begs the central question of cause and effect. Is growth lower because of the high debt? Or does cause-and-effect the other way around?

Chained CPI Is a Fraud: Set Constant Dollar COLA, Not Percent COLA

Susan Rhea | Posted 06.17.2013 | Politics
Susan Rhea

The president is asking Congress to change the way cost of living adjustments are determined so corporations, Wall Street financiers, and others in the top 10 percent don't see an income tax increase, closure of tax loopholes, or reduced income deductions.

The Fiscal Milestone: Achievements, Fatigue, and Prospects

Carlo Cottarelli | Posted 06.16.2013 | Business
Carlo Cottarelli

The 2008-09 global economic crisis pushed public debt ratios of advanced economies to levels never seen before during peacetime. These high debt levels expose countries to a loss of market confidence and, ultimately, damage long-term growth prospects.

Subsidizing Energy Consumption: Why it's Wrong and What Can Be Done About it

Carlo Cottarelli | Posted 06.10.2013 | Business
Carlo Cottarelli

Let's face it. Everybody loves cheap energy. Almost all human activities require energy consumption and, if something is so basic, it seems pretty obv...

Is It Really Important to Stabilize the Public Debt? And, If So, When and at What Level?

Jared Bernstein | Posted 04.12.2013 | Business
Jared Bernstein

Suppose, just for entertainment purposes, that we wanted to have a sane, rational, and even informative discussion about what to do about our public deficits and debt -- one that doesn't automatically default to the "hair-on-fire, we're Greece!" that we too often get from the deficit reduction industry.

It's the Entitlements, Stupid!

Michael Farr | Posted 02.07.2013 | Business
Michael Farr

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its updated budget projections for 2013 through 2023. The new projections reflect all development...

How to Tell When Your Country Is Managing Its Riches Well

Marcelo Giugale | Posted 03.10.2013 | World
Marcelo Giugale

Say that your country is blessed with natural resources. Oil, gas, minerals -- it has it all. New technologies are leading to even more discoveries. The future looks good. But deep down you worry that the bonanza could turn into a bust -- how do you know that's not going to happen?

Has Decentralization Worked?

Marcelo Giugale | Posted 12.04.2012 | World
Marcelo Giugale

The real question is not whether decentralization has worked or not, but whether there is something in common among the cases where it has. There is.

U.S. Fiscal Policy: Avoiding Self-Inflicted Wounds

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti | Posted 10.09.2012 | Business
Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

For the U.S. economy, serious risks could come at the end of this year from two potential self-inflicted wounds: the so-called "fiscal cliff" and the debt ceiling.

Lessons From Latvia

Olivier Blanchard | Posted 08.12.2012 | Business
Olivier Blanchard

The Latvian experience makes a strong political case for taking into account adjustment fatigue in Europe.

Study: High Government Debt Leads To 'Panic And Contradictory Policies'

The Huffington Post | Bonnie Kavoussi | Posted 04.23.2012 | Business

It might not be government debt itself that's a danger to the U.S. economy. That's because government debt does not necessarily lead to lower econ...

Mediocre Growth, High Risks, and the Long Road Ahead

Olivier Blanchard | Posted 06.17.2012 | Business
Olivier Blanchard

For the past six months, the world economy has been on what is best described as a roller coaster.

Despite Public Fears, Federal Deficit Actually Shrank From This Time Last Year

AP | By DEREK KRAVITZ | Posted 01.12.2012 | Business

WASHINGTON -- The federal deficit was lower in the first quarter of the 2012 budget year than the same period last year. Yet, the imbalance remains hi...

Government Accounted For Nearly A Third Of All Layoffs In 2011: Report

The Huffington Post | Alexander Eichler | Posted 01.05.2012 | Business

For government workers and financial sector employees, last year was a particularly bad one -- and 2012 likely won't be much better. More jobs were...

Moody's Downgrades Belgium's Credit Rating

Posted 12.16.2011 | Business

Moody's on Friday cut Belgium's credit ratings by two notches, saying "fragile sentiment" in the euro zone may cause funding stress for countries ...

The Euro Crisis Is Serious but Not Lethal

Georges Ugeux | Posted 11.29.2011 | World
Georges Ugeux

The solution is in Europe, not in Washington or Beijing. Europe cannot continue to act irresponsibly and must assume its responsibilities to avoid a global crisis.

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.

A Five-Point Checklist To Prepare for Another Global Crisis

Marcelo Giugale | Posted 11.21.2011 | Business
Marcelo Giugale

Imagine you are minister of finance in an average developing country. Suddenly you learn that a new global crisis may be looming in the horizon.