Oil prices have fallen sharply and remained persistently low, but the expected demand boost has not materialised. This column notes that when nominal interest rates are pinned at zero, lower inflation due to a drop in oil prices raises real interest rates, working against the traditional positive income effects. Dangers arise from the possibility of unanchored inflation expectations and dislocations – including corporate and sovereign defaults – that could spook already jittery financial markets. To combat such negative loops, demand support by the global community – along with a range of country-specific structural and financial-sector reforms – is urgent.
Maurice Obstfeld, Rabah Arezki, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 13 April 2016
Nobel Prizes in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, Angus Deaton and Michael Spence will lecture at the I.S.E.O International Summer School 2016 focused on "Looking forward: new challenges and opportunities for the World Economy”. The course takes place in a wonderful location in northern Italy and it's promoted by I.S.E.O Institute chaired by Robert Solow. Post graduate students, young economists and researchers are eligible. Partial scholarships available. Info www.istiseo.org or [email protected].
Giovanni Federico, Antonio Tena-Junguito, 07 February 2016
Parallels are often drawn between the Great Recession of the past decade and the economic turmoil of the interwar period. In terms of global trade, these comparisons are based on obsolete and incomplete data. This column re-estimates world trade since the beginning of the 19th century using a new database. The effect of the Great Recession on trade growth is sizeable but fairly small compared with the joint effect of the two world wars and the Great Depression. However, the effects will become more and more comparable if the current trade stagnation continues.
Richard Dobbs, Anu Madgavkar, 19 September 2012
Unemployment in the US and UK is over 8% and in many Eurozone countries is far higher. This column argues that we can’t just blame the recession – this is also symptomatic of long-term trends that, without a concerted effort by policymakers, will continue to stunt growth, deepen income inequality, weigh on public budgets, and cause living standards in many countries to stagnate.
Arvind Virmani, 22 June 2012
Looking at the economic and business media over the past few months you can be forgiven for thinking there are no other problems with the world economy. This column argues that we need to remind ourselves of the need to reform the IMF, lest the ‘International’ part will lose all credibility.
Jean Imbs, 10 November 2010
What makes the global crisis global? This column argues that the interdependence of the global economy, brought about by financial linkages between developed countries as well as goods trade ties with developing countries, has made the global crisis the first global recession in decades.
Kati Suominen, 03 November 2010
Will financial regionalism damagingly fragment the global financial architecture precisely at the time when sturdy system-wide management is needed? This column points to the world trading system’s engagement with regional trade agreements as a source of lessons for how to harmonise regional and global approaches to international finance.
Yiping Huang, 19 October 2010
The ongoing global imbalances has strengthened calls for the US to declare trade war with China. This column argues that the US did not emerge victorious from the last currency war with Japan, and against China the chances are even slimmer. Instead the upcoming G20 meeting should focus on a broad range of structural adjustments from both sides.
Brad Setser, 28 January 2009
While national policy considerations dominate debates on macroeconomic policies, this column argues that these debates need to take into account the global consequences of their policy choices. The sum of individual macroeconomic policy choices will determine whether large imbalances remain a defining feature of the global economy – and thus the risk of future trouble.
Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 28 January 2009
The crisis has produced a number of highly unusual macroeconomic effects. Preliminary estimates suggest that the US net international investment position deteriorated by over $2 trillion over 2008 − some 15% of GDP. This column explores the reasons for this unprecedented worsening.