Jean-Pierre Chauffour, Thomas Farole, 05 September 2009

In April, G20 leaders agreed to massively support trade finance. Should international trade finance be a significant concern in current circumstances? This column cautions against overestimating the trade finance “gap”, yet highlights the possible rationales and conditions for an effective intervention in support of trade finance.

Guillermo Calvo, 31 August 2009

This column introduces "triple time-inconsistent" episodes. First, a public institution is expected to cave in and offer a bailout to prevent a crisis. Then, in an attempt to regain credibility, it pulls back. Finally, it resumes bailing out the survivors of the wreckage caused by the policy surprise. This column characterises the 1998 Russian crisis and the current crisis as triple time-inconsistency episodes and says that a financial crisis may simply be a bad time to try to build credibility.

Guillermo Calvo, Rudy Loo-Kung, 29 June 2009

The financial sector is prone to crises, which are typically associated with serious effects on output and employment. This column weighs the costs and benefits of financial deregulation that spurs temporarily high growth that then collapse and suggests that bubbles may be socially efficient.

Wei Liu, Yann Duval, 19 June 2009

The current crisis has drawn attention to the important role of trade finance in supporting international trade. This column argues that emerging market economies in Asia need to significantly develop and strengthen national trade finance institutions.

Francesco Daveri, 05 June 2009

The post-crisis data indicate that Italy is faring worse than the rest of Europe, except Germany. Moreover, the Italian economy entered a period of hardships and disappointing growth well before the mortgage crisis developed. This column argues that Italy cannot afford to postpone reforms if it wants to resume faster long-run growth.

Kimberly Elliott, 27 May 2009

The economic crisis is hitting the world’s poorest countries through falling trade and commodity prices. This column argues that the US should respond by further opening its market to exports from small, poor economies. That would not only provide an additional stimulus to those economies but also strengthen US global leadership, give a boost to the Doha Round, and serve broader US national interests by helping to promote political stability in some very shaky parts of the world.

Viral Acharya, Hyun Song Shin, Irvind Gujral, 31 March 2009

Banks’ corporate governance is under fire. Perhaps one of the worst failures of governance has been the continued payment of dividends throughout the financial crisis. This column says that dividends’ erosion of common equity deprived banks of capital when they most needed it. It proposes cutting dividends as the first step in the resolution of future banking crises.

Mike Elsby, Bart Hobijn, Aysegul Sahin, 14 February 2009

Unemployment is rising – job losses are up 30% in the US and 50% in the UK since 2007. How bad will it get? This column uses data on unemployment inflows and duration to predict labour market trends. A conservative estimate says that unemployment will reach at least 5% in Britain and 13.5% in Spain.

Xavier Vives, 13 May 2008

Information is at the heart of the recent liquidity crisis: Who bears risks? Who has losses? Who is insolvent? This column, which draws on the author’s recently published book, 'Information and Learning in Markets', explains why solving the crisis requires closing such information gaps.

Dennis Snower, 30 April 2008

The financial turmoil has been worsening as lagged adjustment processes play out. This column outlines economic dangers that may arise as they unwind, including a scenario in which the United States suffers extended stagflation.

Tommaso Monacelli, 31 August 2007

The public is overreacting to the current turmoil in financial markets. The turmoil is most likely a situation where very specific problems are spread out extensively across investors and countries and thus the defaults are benign.

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