Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Tito Cordella, 18 April 2010

Is the international-lender-of-last-resort IMF agenda passé? This column argues that the IMF could act as a “central bank swap clearing house” – an independent entity that manages existing and enhanced central bank swap agreements in one liquidity network for eligible countries and stands ready to step in with traditional programmes if liquidity fails.

Michael Waibel, 16 April 2010

What legal basis is there for retaliating against China’s exchange-rate policy? This column says that IMF rules are likely inadequate to rule against China, while its policy does not constitute a WTO-punishable export subsidy. It argues that exchange-rate conflicts should be handled by a proposed IMF dispute settlement mechanism, not the WTO.

Jeffrey Chwieroth, 19 March 2010

Jeffrey Chwieroth of the London School of Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the evolution of economic ideas at the International Monetary Fund, drawing on his book, ‘Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization’. They discuss changes in IMF thinking about capital controls, the Tobin tax and macroeconomic policy – as well the possibility of IMF intervention in Greece. The interview was recorded in London on 16 March 2010.

Kati Suominen, 17 March 2010

Discussions over a European Monetary Fund have gained momentum over the last week. This column argues that regionalising the IMF is sub-optimal. But discussions over a European Fund offer an opportunity for a complementary fund, which can offer a reference for Asian countries.

Pradumna Rana, 14 November 2009

Will the faster-than-expected recovery from the global crisis cause governments to avoid much-needed reforms? This column says it shouldn’t, as important developing countries can now drive reforms via the G20. It suggests how Asia could leverage its growing economic weight into more effective G20 participation.

Biagio Bossone, 17 October 2009

The G20 recently asserted itself as the “the primary forum for our international economic cooperation.” This column questions the efficiency and legitimacy of such governance. It says that the IMF – the only multilateral financial institution with universal representation – is the natural place for international financial policy cooperation.

John Williamson, 02 October 2009

Do IMF special drawing rights have a role in international financial reform? This column argues that SDRs should play a large role in providing additional international liquidity, substituting for a substantial share of countries’ reserve currency holdings. It says that SDR allocation offers the surest way of reducing the inconsistency in payments objectives that currently looks to be the biggest obstacle to a strong recovery in the global economy

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 26 September 2009

The Icelandic collapse revealed shortcomings in the international community’s ability to respond to such an event. This column examines the IMF’s central role and recommends that it formulate rules to address potential conflicts between its own lending and external bilateral creditors. It should also establish a mechanism for international investigation when a country’s banks impose severe financial losses on their foreign creditors.

Helmut Reisen, 20 June 2009

If history is any guide, the Chinese renminbi will soon be due to overtake the US dollar, just as the dollar replaced the pound sterling last century. But will the renminbi be ready for reserve currency status? This column discusses the issues at hand and explains why some experts would prefer the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as the next global reserve currency.

Jorge Chan-Lau, Marco Espinosa-Vega, Kay Giesecke, Juan Solé, 02 May 2009

The current financial crisis has underscored the problem of institutions that are too connected to be allowed to fail. This column suggests new methodologies that could form the basis for policies and regulation to address the too-connected-to-fail problem.

Thomas Helbling, 29 April 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.

Brenda González-Hermosillo, Christian Capuano, Dale Gray, Heiko Hesse, Andreas Jobst, Paul Mills, Miguel Segoviano, Tao Sun, 23 April 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.

Peter Drysdale, Hadi Soesastro, 07 April 2009

This column says the G20 summit was a remarkable event as leaders crafted a coherent set of strategies to address the crisis. The Asian participants emerged as a constructive force, agreeing to expand their role in IMF funding and governance, ease the trade credit bottleneck, and advocate the standstill on trade barriers.

Richard Baldwin, 29 March 2009

As the crisis evolves, capital will flow out of emerging countries. The IMF's new facility may help with short term shocks. It is also a useful step towards risk pooling and away from self-insurance with large currency reserves and should thus help reduce global imbalances in the long run.

Fred Bergsten, 28 March 2009

The financial crisis is a global phenomenon. The downturn continues to be rapidly transmitted across borders through trade and financial channels. A global policy response to provide fiscal stimulus, avoid protectionism and help developing countries is imperative. The G20 summit in London provides a unique opportunity to mobilise the needed cooperation.

John Williamson, 24 March 2009

This column says that institutional reform is unique in that it could simultaneously address the short-run agenda of combating the collapse of aggregate demand and the long-run agenda of building a global economy fit for the 21st century. IMF reform has to be at the forefront of such an initiative.

Daniel Bradlow, 18 March 2009

Will the G20 agree to the reforms needed to make the IMF an effective part of international financial governance? The prospects are grim because it would require difficult political compromises or amendments to the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. Yet reforms are needed to address the IMF’s coordination with other international institutions, the scope of the financial regulatory regime, and its representative legitimacy. This column some initial steps the G20 might take.

Biagio Bossone, 14 March 2009

The crisis has revealed many gaps in global economic governance – problems that G20 leaders should address at the London Summit. This column describes a proposal by the “Group of Lecce”, which argues that global economic decision-making should take place within the IMF and World Bank transformed by more responsible, representative, and powerful “Governing Councils”.

Olivier Jeanne, 03 March 2009

This column proposes the organisation of a round of "multilateral consultation", under the auspices of the IMF, on how to avoid worldwide deflation. Ineffective fiscal and financial policies mean that attention will inevitably return to monetary policy – policymakers should be prepared. Getting the main central banks to agree on a basic set of principles would reduce the fog of Knightian uncertainty prolonging the crisis.

Antonio Spilimbergo, Steven Symansky, Olivier Blanchard, Carlo Cottarelli, 12 February 2009

The global crisis demands bold initiatives to i) rescue the financial sector, and ii) boost aggregate demand, with early resolution of financial sector problems being a necessary condition for the stimulus to work. Since monetary policy is at the end of its rope, early, strong, and carefully thought-out fiscal policies are urgently needed. Time and action are of the essence if we are to avoid a contraction larger than any we’ve seen since the 1930s.

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