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Mr. Michael Bruno, Mr. Leonardo Leiderman, Mr. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, PATRICK LOW, Takatoshi Ito, Anne O. Krueger, Christopher Clague, Barry Bosworth, Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Lawrence E. Harrison, Mr. Taehoon Kim, Shinji Takagi, Kenneth, J. Singleton, Juro Teranishi, Yukata Kosai, and V.V. Bhatt

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.

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).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF recently concluded its annual “health checkup” (Article IV consultation with the U.S. authorities) of the U.S. economy amid continuing questions about the strength of the economic recovery. While recent data have been reassuring, IMF staff cautioned that lingering effects from the collapse of the equity price bubble could still dampen activity, so that a durable economic upswing was not a foregone conclusion. In view of the large unfunded liabilities in the public pension and health systems and the recent deterioration in the federal fiscal position, the staff also raised concerns about fiscal sustainability and pointed to the risk that fiscal deficits could crowd out private investment and exacerbate the growing U.S. current account deficit. These issues are discussed in the IMF Staff Report and Selected Issues papers now available on the IMF’s website (http://www.imf.org/external/country/usa/index.htm).
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Do IMF-supported adjustment programs pay enough attention to growth? Does the IMF favor a big-bang approach over gradual adjustment? And, why does the institution shy away from recommending the kind of interventionist industrial policies that appear to have worked well in Hast Asia? These questions and others were put to IMF staff by leading Japanese academics and policymakers at a seminar on Macroeconomic Adjustment and Growth held in Tokyo on May 21–22. The seminar—jointly sponsored by the IMF and the Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy of Japan’s Ministry of Finance—sought to shed light on differences of view between influential Japanese and IMF staff on the advice the IMF gives to countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

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.

Mr. Tamim Bayoumi

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.

Majid Malaika, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Mr. Marco Terrones

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.

Mr. Richard T. Harmsen and Nagwa Riad

All for One examines inequality and the many ways it matters. In our overview article, the World Bank's Branko Milanovic explains how income inequality is measured and tells us that it's increased in most countries. The good news, he says, is that global inequality--between countries--could be on the downturn. IMF economists Andrew Berg and Jonathan Ostry find that a more equal society has a greater likelihood of sustaining longer-term growth. Other IMF research on inequality finds that financial sector development not only 'enlarges the pie' by supporting economic growth but divides it more evenly; that higher income inequality in developed countries is associated with higher indebtedness--at home and abroad; and that while fiscal consolidation is necessary in the medium term, slamming on the brakes too quickly can harm jobs and cut wages, exacerbating inequality. Also in this issue, we profile Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for economics. In a tour of the globe, we look at how the African diaspora can help their home countries from afar, try to draw some early lessons from the euro area's debt crisis, investigate how the United States and its neighbor Canada handled public debt--with different results, and find out about the rise of emerging markets as systemically important trading centers. Back to Basics explains the difference between micro- and macroeconomics, and Data Spotlight tells us about a new worldwide survey of foreign direct investment.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

This last issue for 2005 comprises seven new papers, including a contribution to the journal's occasional Special Data Section about domestic debt markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, and also an in-depth look at the internal job market for entry-level economists at the IMF. The remaining articles cover toics as diverse as: modeling of asset markets, exchange rates in developing countries, international bank claims on Latin America, the effectiveness of "early warning" systems, and the use (by emerging market countries) of the IMF's Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).