International Monetary Fund

Stop Panicking About Our Long-Term Deficit Problem. We Don’t Have One.
August 09, 2011

Standard & Poor’s did not downgrade the U.S. political system. It did not downgrade the stock market. It downgraded United States Treasury bonds and bills—and did so after Congress had removed whatever tiny chance existed of even a small delay in payments. So it’s instructive that, on the next market day, investors moved massively out of stocks, and into the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds and bills.

The Debt Debate is Man-Made Chicanery. Our Stalled Economic Recovery Is Real.
July 27, 2011

Raising the debt ceiling is a man-made crisis amenable to straightforward policy remedies. Political will is all that is lacking. Not so the economic crisis that our preoccupation with fiscal policy has temporarily obscured. Two major reports underscore both the depth of our economic woes and our increasing social divisions. The IMF recently conducted a comparative study of ten post-war economic recoveries seven quarters after the business cycle trough, or recession’s end. Its findings for the United States are stunning.

Stop Blaming Wall Street
July 14, 2011

p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }span.Italic { font-style: italic; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } As the U.S. economy fails to recover, there is a growing fear that the United States has entered a phase of long-term decline. Conservatives blame “big government” for throttling entrepreneurship; liberals tend to take aim at Wall Street.

Stop Blaming Wall Street
July 13, 2011

As the U.S. economy fails to recover, there is a growing fear that the United States has entered a phase of long-term decline. Conservatives blame “big government” for throttling entrepreneurship; liberals tend to take aim at Wall Street.

Why is the IMF Chief Almost Always French?
July 05, 2011

When Christine Lagarde was named the new IMF managing director last Tuesday, the announcement came as little surprise to many of those who had been paying attention to the selection process. Lagarde had long been considered the front-runner in the race to replace the embattled Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who, of course, stepped down in May following accusations of sexual assault.

The U.S. and E.U.: Have They Ever Been in Such Terrible Shape?
June 23, 2011

This is no time for gloating, neither for Americans nor for Europeans. For both sides are in deep economic trouble, only in different ways. The U.S. runs the worst deficit (as share of GDP) since World War II, and yet Keynesianism to the max won’t budge the unemployment rate—pace Professors Krugman and Stiglitz. What does fall is the dollar and the price of real estate, a double-whammy if ever there was one. The euro, meanwhile, may be rising, at least against the greenback, but the common currency, now ten years old, is about as stable as was Confederate script back in the Civil War.

The U.S. Economy: Not Yet in the Clear?
June 08, 2011

After yet another weak jobs report came out last Friday—the U.S. private sector, it turns out, added just 38,000 jobs in May—economists have been groping for an explanation. One theory is that the economy is still in a deep, deep funk: As the IMF warned back in 2009, it takes a long time for the world to recover from a severe financial crisis.

Another Day, Another Housekeeper Incident
May 31, 2011

Another prominent international figure has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing a housekeeper at a high-end New York hotel. This time the accused is the former chairman of a top Egypt bank and the alleged incident occurred at the Pierre Hotel. I assume this is the kind of story that nobody would have noticed as recently as a month ago, before Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper at the Sofitel in Manhattan. Now people are taking notice of these things.

An Indefensible Defense
May 18, 2011

Early in the summer of 1995, a colleague and I went into South Sudan to report from the side of the South Sudanese guerrilla army, the SPLA. At dinner on the day we arrived, completely out of the blue, one of our minders turned to me and said, “I am so sorry about this Gennifer Flowers.” I had expected to talk about many things in South Sudan, but the woman with whom Bill Clinton had had an affair in the 1980s was certainly not one of them. Not quite sure of how I should answer, I took refuge in sanctimonious platitudes.

Is 2016 the Year China's Economy Surpasses the United States'?
April 21, 2011

Last week, the International Monetary Fund released its annual World Economic Outlook, this year entitled, “Tensions from the Two-Speed Recovery: Unemployment, Commodities, and Capital Flows.” The two speed recovery emerges from the different post-crisis status in developed countries and emerging markets. While the United States and Europe are facing the prospect of slowly recovering employment and growth, emerging and developing economies are expected to grow by 6.5 percent this year. Developing countries are gathering mass in the world economy faster than expected.

Pages