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Elisa Diehl

The global economy is showing signs of recovering from the financial crises of the previous two years, according to the governors representing the IMF’s 182 member countries. Speaking during the plenary sessions of the 1999 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, held on September 28–30 in Washington, D.C. most governors nonetheless cautioned that great care would be necessary to nurture the recovery, which they considered fragile. A second key message to emerge from the governors’ addresses was one of unanimous support for the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and approval of the strengthened link between poverty reduction and debt relief.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

02/5: IMF, World Bank Conclude Joint Poverty Reduction Strategy Conference, January 18 (see page 33)

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IN THE WAKE of the global financial crisis, many observers—including the Queen of England, who asked why economists hadn’t foreseen the crisis—questioned the usefulness of traditional economics. Heterodox economists even called for alternative approaches. But French economist Jean Tirole spells out the usefulness of rigorous economic thinking for society in deep, yet accessible, language in his book Economics for the Common Good.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are edited excerpts from the closing press conference by Ahmed Macki, Chair of the Annual Meetings; Horst Köhler, IMF Managing Director; and James Wolfensohn, World Bank President, held on September 29. The full text of the press conference is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In the last week of January, several heads of state, chief executives of some of the world’s largest corporations, academics, and senior officials of international organizations met in Davos, a small Swiss Alpine town, to discuss the state of the world. The occasion was the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, the Geneva-based foundation that famously serves as a vehicle to bring together governments, the corporate sector, multilateral institutions, and civil society. The IMF was represented by First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer. Also present in Davos this year were hundreds of people protesting globalization. They believed the main players in the international community are not acting in the best interests of the world.

Ebrahim-zadeh Christine

One of the main points of contention surrounding globalization is whether the flow of technology, skills, culture, ideas, news, information, entertainment, and people across borders consigns many parts of the world to grinding poverty. On February 18, Jagdish Bhagwati (Professor, Columbia University), in discussing his new book, In Defense of Globalization, took on the skeptics, arguing that, when properly managed, globalization is the most powerful force for social good in the world today. The venue was an IMF Economic Forum moderated by Raghuram Rajan (Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department) and with commentary by Daniel Yergin (Chair, Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy).

Mr. Paul Streeten

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The world’s finance ministers and central bank governors will gather in Washington on September 29 for the Annual Meetings of the Governors of the IMF and the World Bank, against a backdrop of increased concerns about the strength and durability of the global economic recovery. On September 28, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF’s principal advisory Committee of Governors, and the Development Committee, a joint committee of IMF and World Bank Governors, will meet. The Annual Meetings have been shortened, owing to U.S. security concerns.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx