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Åke Lönnberg

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

Sweden’s recovery from the global crisis was swift reflecting its strong position at the onset of the crisis. The 2012 Article IV Consultation reports that the economic outlook remains clouded. Executive Directors have commended Sweden’s sustained strong macroeconomic performance, which has been underpinned by prudent policies and effective institutions. They have also welcomed efforts to strengthen the macroprudential framework and financial sector oversight through tighter capital and liquidity requirements, and have encouraged the authorities to further their cross-border collaboration with regional banking regulators.

Herman Kamil, Mr. Bennett W Sutton, and Chris Walker

'Crisis Shakes Europe: Stark Choices Ahead' looks at the harsh toll of the crisis on both Europe's advanced and emerging economies because of the global nature of the shocks that have hit both the financial sector and the real economy, and because of Europe's strong regional and global trade links. Marek Belka, Director of the IMF's European Department, writes in our lead article that beyond the immediate need for crisis management, Europe must revisit the frameworks on which the European Union is based because many have been revealed to be flawed or missing. But in many respects, one key European institution has proved its mettle—the euro. Both Charles Wyplosz and Barry Eichengreen discuss the future of the common currency. Also in this issue, IMF economists rank the current recession as the most severe in the postwar period; John Lipsky, the Fund's First Deputy Managing Director, examines the IMF's role in a postcrisis world; and Giovanni Dell'Ariccia assesses what we have learned about how to manage asset price booms to prevent the bust that has caused such havoc. In addition, we talk to Oxford economist Paul Collier about how to help low-income countries during the current crisis, while Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, writes about how African policymakers can prepare to take advantage of a global economic recovery. 'Picture This' looks at what happens when aggressive monetary policy combats a crisis; 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on fiscal policy; and 'Data Spotlight' takes a look at the recent large swings in commodity prices.

Mr. Mark R. Stone, Mr. Harald J Anderson, and Mr. Romain M Veyrune

Commodity Boom: How Long Will It Last?" asks how economies will fare after the record-high prices of key raw materials posted in recent months, which build on dramatic increases from their lows of 2000. The lead article warns that the impact on headline inflation levels might persist throughout 2008, even without further commodity price hikes. It urges policymakers to ensure efficient functioning of market forces at the global level, and to move swiftly to protect the poorest. Another article addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, warning that farm production will fall dramatically-especially in developing countries-if steps are not taken to curb carbon emissions. Other articles on this theme argue that policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need not hobble economies, and that financial markets can help address climate change. "People in Economics" profiles John Taylor; "Picture This" says the global energy system is on an increasingly unsustainable path; "Country Focus" spotlights South Africa; and "Straight Talk" examines early warnings provided by credit derivatives. Also in this issue, articles examine China's increasing economic engagement with Africa, and the outsourcing of service jobs to other countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

What drives growth and development? Five leading scholars looked at this elusive topic during a February 16 symposium that concluded the IMF Research Department’s conference on “Macroeconomic Challenges in Low-Income Countries.” The panelists were Abhit Bannerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Tim Besley (London School of Economics), Simon Johnson (IMF staff on leave from MIT), Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), and John Williamson (Institute for International Economics), and Arvind Subramanian (IMF staff) moderated the exchange. Participants generally agreed on the importance of quality institutions for long-term growth but disagreed on the role institutions play in igniting growth and whether microexperi-ments can be scaled up to explain big differences between countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

00/47: Compliance with IMF Program Indicators and Growth in Transition Economies, Valerie Mercer-Blackman and Anna Unigovskaya

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

IMF Staff Papers draws on IMF Working Papers, which are research studies by members of the IMF’s staff. A list of Working Papers issued in 1998:4 follows:

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Economic Reviews 1998: 3. Compilation of Public Information Notices (PINs) covering September-December 1998.

The main finding of this paper is that the European Union (EU) countries fall into two broad groups according to the effects of monetary policy adjustments on economic activity. Estimates based on a vector autoregres-sion model indicate that the full effects of a contractionary monetary shock on output in one group of EU countries (Austria, Belgium. Finland. Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) take roughly twice as long to occur, but are almost twice as deep as in the other group (Denmark, France. Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden). The paper discusses the implications of these results for the effective conduct of monetary policy in the euro area.

Mr. Ronald MacDonald

In this paper the recent literature on long-run exchange rate modeling is surveyed. In particular, we review the voluminous literature that tests for a unit root in real exchange rates and the closely related work on testing for a unit root in the residual from a regression of the nominal exchange rate on relative prices. We argue that the balance of evidence is supportive of the existence of some form of long-run exchange rate relationship. The form of this relationship, however, does not accord exactly with a traditional representation of the long-run exchange rate, and we offer some potential explanations. [JEL F31]