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Mahamadu Bawumia and Theresa Owusu-Danso

Ghana’s macroeconomic stabilization has allowed it to achieve remarkable success in developing its financial sector. The development has been driven by wellsequenced financial sector liberalization policies, enhanced competition (including from abroad), and gradual capital account liberalization. The success of Ghana’s reforms can be attributed largely to solid “buy-in” from key stakeholders—especially the private sector—and coordinated donor assistance.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Investors’ low expectations of the global economy contributed to lower yield curves, widening credit spreads, and further declines in already weak equity markets during the fourth quarter of 2000, according to the March 2001 Quarterly Review: International Banking and Financial Market Developments released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Market attention was focused on the United States, where economic data reinforced concerns that a slowdown would continue during the first half of 2001.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The dynamic economies of China and India, two of the fastest-growing emerging market countries and among the three largest economies in Asia, are having far-reaching effects on the global economy through, for example, their impact on world trade, their demand for energy and other commodities, and their huge accumulation of foreign currency reserves. What does the future hold? How can each continue to grow and develop in a sustainable way? And what lessons can the two countries draw from each other’s experiences? A new book from the IMF, China and India: Learning from Each Other, attempts to address these questions.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The main job of the IMF is to promote international monetary cooperation, and economic and financial stability in member countries and at the global level, as a basis for sustained economic growth, which is essential for raising living standards and reducing poverty. Promoting macroeconomic and financial stability is partly a matter of avoiding economic and financial crisis, which can destroy jobs, slash incomes, and cause great human suffering. But it is also a matter of avoiding large swings in economic activity, high inflation, and excessive volatility in exchange rates and financial markets. Any of these types of instability can increase uncertainty and discourage investment, impede economic growth, and hurt living standards.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF surveillance of national and global economic and financial developments has intensified in recent years. In today’s global economy, economic developments and policy decisions in one country are more likely than in the past to affect other countries significantly, and financial market information is transmitted around the world instantaneously. In such an environment, it is more important than ever before that developments and policies be monitored so that tensions and imbalances are identified before major problems or crises arise. The IMF fills this need by holding regular dialogues with its member countries about their economic and financial policies and by continuously monitoring and assessing economic and financial developments at the country, regional, and global levels. Through its surveillance operations, the IMF seeks to signal dangers on the economic horizon and enable its member countries to take early corrective policy action.

Rachel Ray

Current Developments in Monetary and Financial Law, Volume I, prepared in the IMF’s Legal Department, is the most recent addition to its series of books, previously entitled Current Legal Issues Affecting Central Banks. The new series title reflects an expansion of the topics under review. As part of the IMF’s ongoing efforts to increase transparency, the book explains how the organization makes decisions. It analyzes international financial crises, financial sector developments, governance of central and commercial banks, and payment systems developments, as well as criminal activities that affect the financial world. The book—a valuable annotated reference source—presents international perspectives from almost fifty authors, including officials of international financial organizations, central bankers, attorneys, academicians, and economists.

Mr. Piero Ugolini and Mr. Bernard J Laurens

The progress of 32 sub-Saharan African countries, from independence through December 1997, in liberalizing their financial sectors is the subject of IMF Occasional Paper 169, Financial Sector Development in Sub-Saharan African Countries, published in September 1998 (see IMF Survey, November 16, 1998, page 365). The paper also recommended how these countries could sustain and accelerate the modernization that is under way in many of them. Since the release of the Occasional Paper, the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) have implemented a number of measures that modify the overall picture of financial sector development.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Do countries with better-developed banks and stock markets grow faster? Ross Levine, Carlson Professor of Finance at the University of Minnesota, pointed out in a May 24 IMF Institute seminar that economists hold startlingly different opinions about whether financial markets help or hurt economic growth in the long run. Drawing on theoretical debates and evidence collected from a wide range of sources, he suggested that banks and securities markets stimulate economic growth through improved resource allocation rather than through a higher saving rate. He also explored which regulatory policies promote healthy financial development.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
La edición en Internet del Boletín del FMI, que se actualiza varias veces a la semana, contiene numerosos artículos sobre temas de actualidad en el ámbito de las políticas y la economía. Consulte las últimas investigaciones del FMI, lea entrevistas y escuche podcasts de los principales economistas del FMI sobre importantes temas relacionados con la economía mundial.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
L’édition web du Bulletin du FMI est mise à jour plusieurs fois par semaine et contient de nombreux articles sur des questions de politique générale et de politique économique d'actualité. Accédez aux dernières recherches du FMI, lisez des interviews et écoutez des podcasts proposés par les principaux économistes du FMI sur des questions importantes de l'économie mondiale.