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Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
A universal testing and isolation policy is the most viable way to vanquish a pandemic. Its implementation requires: (i) an epidemiological rather than clinical approach to testing, sacrificing accuracy for scalability, convenience and speed; and (ii) state intervention to ramp up production, similar to True Industrial Policy (TIP), on a global level to achieve a scale and speed the market alone would fail to provide. We sketch a strategy to tackle market failures and implement smart testing, especially in densely populated areas. The estimated cost of testing is dwarfed by its return, mitigating the economic fallout of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The October 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies. The report proposes that policymakers mitigate these risks through stricter supervisory and macroprudential oversight of firms, strengthened oversight and disclosure for institutional investors, and the implementation of prudent sovereign debt management practices and frameworks for emerging and frontier market economies.

Ms. Longmei Zhang, Mr. Ray Brooks, Ding Ding, Haiyan Ding, Hui He, Jing Lu, and Rui Mano
China’s high national savings rate—one of the highest in the world—is at the heart of its external/internal imbalances. High savings finance elevated investment when held domestically, or lead to large external imbalances when they flow abroad. Today, high savings mostly emanate from the household sector, resulting from demographic changes induced by the one-child policy and the transformation of the social safety net and job security that occured during the transition from planned to market economy. Housing reform and rising income inequality also contribute to higher savings. Moving forward, demographic changes will put downward pressure on savings. Policy efforts in strengthening the social safety net and reducing income inequality are also needed to reduce savings further and boost consumption.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Guinea-Bissau’s commitment to the Extended-Credit-Facility-supported program is strong and the results are apparent. The economy is growing strongly and the fiscal position has improved markedly. Supported by favorable terms of trade, real GDP growth averaged almost 6 percent in 2015–16, with a surplus on the external current account and inflation below 2 percent a year. Public financial management has improved and the 2017 fiscal deficit is projected to fall under 2 percent of GDP. The outlook is broadly favorable, with growth projected at 5 percent over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
On December 24, 2013, a tropical trough system impacted St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The heavy rains resulted in severe floods and landslides, with damages and losses estimated to be equivalent to about 15 percent of GDP. With most of the impact falling on infrastructure, including bridges, roads and hydroelectric facilities, emergency relief costs and rehabilitation and reconstruction expenses are opening a balance of payments gap in 2014.