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Michel Camdessus

Abstract

Thank you for giving me the honor of speaking with you on the occasion of this Summit of the Organization of African Unity. I am all the more conscious of this honor because this meeting is taking place at this particular point in time. Despite all the tragedies besetting it, Africa is moving forward. Economic growth has resumed in most of the continent, and your countries are reaping the fruits of implementing sound economic policies.

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

In a world that becomes more global every day, in a world where private business every day plays an increasingly dominant role in innovation, investment, financing, and ultimately human progress, let me tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to address this transatlantic business council. Of course the timing of your meeting could not have been more appropriate.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

With a sustained economic recovery under way and another successful enlargement of the European Union (EU) under its belt, Europe should finally have something to cheer about. Instead, reform fatigue has gripped many policymakers, and Europe’s citizens seem intent on blaming the EU and globalization for their countries’ woes. For instance, a new FT-Harris poll showed that an overwhelming majority of citizens in the big euro area countries now believe that the euro has damaged their national economies. In this interview with Camilla Andersen of the IMF Survey, Michael Deppler, head of the IMF’s European Department, explains why the notion that Europe’s problems are caused by excessive globalization is badly off the mark.

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to participate in this forum, not only because of the importance of transparency and good governance, but also because it gives me the opportunity to express my admiration for the work that Transparency International is doing around the world. By helping to enhance public sector accountability and transparency and developing greater public awareness about the need for and requirements of good governance, your organization is performing a vital service to individual countries and the global economy. So I was very pleased in looking at my schedule following the most recent series of negotiations in Asia to find an opening—all too small, but large enough—for me to come to pay tribute to the work that you do. On the advice of my friend and former colleague at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Dommel, I will do so by describing the IMF’s activities in this field and recounting, without embellishment, our experience in Asia.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Despite attempts to spur recovery and accelerate reforms, many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration. How can the region reinvigorate growth and reignite the reform process? On September 9, a panel of experts—Amer Bisat (Senior Economist and Portfolio Manager, UBS Asset Management), Hani Findakly (Director, Clinton Group), Mustapha Kamel Nabli (Chief Economist and Director, Middle East/North Africa, World Bank), and Shibley Telhami (Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland)—gathered at an IMF Economic Forum to discuss the opportunities for reform and the constraints that will need to be faced. The discussion was moderated by George T. Abed (Director, IMF Middle Eastern Department).

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

This paper explains various challenges posed by the new global economy for the IMF. The urgent tasks of restoring stability to crisis-ridden countries have been accompanied by other more far-reaching questions. The five speeches included in this collection cover a broad range of activities and thinking over the past year. The themes range from immediate crisis management to the broad questions of a new architecture for the global economy; and from the specific concerns of individual countries and regions to the conditions for a strong and equitable world economy. One of the speeches, delivered in September 1998, steps back from prevailing worldwide market turbulence, seeking lessons from the crises, and stressing that conditions vary extensively among emerging economies. Clear, calm analysis is essential by market participants to differentiate among economies. Another speech sets out initial thoughts not just on the key elements of a new financial architecture, however, also on the role that can be played by each constituency in the world economy.

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you, the business leaders of Southeast Asia, at this critical moment in the region’s economy. The crisis that began in Thailand has now shaken a number of other economies in the region, and its aftershocks have been felt as far away as Latin America and eastern Europe. Countries that have been accustomed to, in some cases, decades of high growth now face the prospect of a marked slowdown in economic activity. This has prompted some observers to suggest that perhaps the so-called Asian miracle was only a “mirage.”

Michel Camdessus

Abstract

The Group of Seven/Group of Eight Summit will be held in Birmingham next week. High on the Summit agenda will be the issue of how to renovate the architecture of the international financial system in the face of the tremendous changes under way in the global economy. The Asian crisis has been so unexpected in many of its aspects, so broad, so cruel in its human consequences that—even before the crisis has run its full course—the leaders of the world want to embark on the design of a new architecture. This is certainly the right thing to do, and the venue of this meeting could hardly be more fitting. Like many other cities in advanced countries, Birmingham has experienced the forces of change in the global economy firsthand—from the loss of traditional industries to the challenge of finding new employment opportunities. Moreover, two centuries ago, this city was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, an era that, like our own, was a time of extremely rapid change. At that time, intellectuals of all schools of thought used to meet frequently in Birmingham—every full moon, I understand—and bring their reflections to bear on the challenges of their new world. This was the so-called Lunar Society, which included such personalities as Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), and William Small—a friend of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, all with wide-ranging interests, all sharing a sense of optimism and responsibility for building a better world. Imagine what a blessing it would be if the G-7/G-8—our new Birmingham group—were to be inspired by such an example when dealing with their pressing agenda!