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Mr. Yasser Abdih

'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF's Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.

Ina Kota

The June 2007 issue of F&D spotlights gender equality. The lead article discusses progress toward fulfilling the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on redressing gender discrimination and empowering women and related MDGs. The section also looks at how budgeting with gender issues in mind can help countries promote gender equality and what needs to be done to get girls from 'excluded' social groups into school. Other articles focus on Asia 10 years after the financial crisis, the implications of China's and India's growing ties with Africa, and making remittances work for Africa. 'Country Focus' looks at the challenges facing Bulgaria now that it has joined the European Union, 'Picture This' highlights the globalization of labor, and 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on microfinance. Two other pieces discuss the efficiency of public spending in Latin America and how countries can use the public sector balance sheet approach to diagnose vulnerabilities that are not immediately visible in the budget.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines the expanded role for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with a major capital increase. The paper highlights that for the first time in its history, the IFC is undertaking a major increase of its share capital. In a decision made by its Board of Governors in November 1977, the IFC’s authorized capital stock has been increased by US$540 million, from US$110 million to US$650 million. Of the increase, US$480 million has been allocated for subscription by current member countries. More than US$165 million has already been subscribed and US$33 million paid.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes economic implications of high rates of population growth in the world. The paper highlights that today, the world population is growing at a rate that is 30 times as high as the average rate of growth between the first century A.D. and 1650. In less developed countries, this rate is 40 times as high. In discussing the advantages that economic development derives when human fertility is reduced, the paper shows that while some commonly held beliefs about these are correct, others are out of touch with modern expert thinking.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.