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Bourn-Jong Choe

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.

This paper highlights that since its inception in 1956, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested more than US$1.7 billion in nearly 300 enterprises in 62 developing countries in total projects costing about US$9 billion. The IFC is the affiliate of the World Bank, which has been given the specific task of furthering economic development by encouraging the growth of productive private enterprise in developing countries. The paper underscores that IFC plays an essentially catalytic role in generating investment funds from local and foreign sources.

Mr. Paul Collier

Africa's Middle-Class Motor finds growing evidence that a recent resurgence in the continent's economic well-being has staying power. In his overview article, Harvard professor Calestous Juma says the emphasis for too long has been on eradicating poverty through aid rather than promoting prosperity through improved infrastructure, education, entrepreneurship, and trade. That is now changing: there is a growing emphasis on policies that produce a middle class. The new African middle class may not have the buying power of a Western middle class but it demands enough goods and services to support stronger economic growth, which, as IMF African Department head Antoinette Sayeh points out, in turn helps the poorest members of society. Oxford University economist Paul Collier discusses a crucial component of Africa's needed infrastructure: railways. It is a continent eminently suited to rail, development of which has been held back more by political than economic reasons. But even as sub-Saharan African thrives, its largest and most important economy, South Africa, has had an anemic performance in recent years. We also profile Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's colorful economic czar. "Picture This" mines current trends to predict what Africa will look like a half century from now and "Data Spotlight" looks at increased regional trade in Africa. Elsewhere, Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad, examines a global role reversal in which emerging, not advanced, economies are displaying resilience in the face of the global economic crisis. The University of Queensland's John Quiggin, who wrote Zombie Economics, examines whether it makes sense in many cases to sell public enterprises. Economists Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago and Rodney Ramcharan of the U.S. Federal Reserve find clues to current asset booms and busts in the behavior of U.S. farmland prices a century ago.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Two Faces of Financial Globalization looks at the phenomenon of rising cross-border financial flows-credited with boosting growth in developing countries but also blamed for the emerging market crises of the late 1980s and 1990s. The lead article puts together a framework for analyzing studies about the costs and benefits of financial globalization. Other articles look at the worldwide allocation of capital, the role of finance in macroeconomic management, and changes in the investor base. "Picture This" illustrates the growth and direction of capital flows. One guest contributor describes India's capital account liberalization, and another looks at how participants in international finance can cope with a fluid financial landscape. "People in Economics" profiles Guillermo Calvo; "Back to Basics" explains the difference between the purchasing power parity exchange rate and market exchange rates as measures of global economic growth; and "Country Focus" spotlights Australia.

Gobind T. Nankani

This paper highlights that the flow of IMF-related resources to member countries was maintained at a high level during 1979, amounting to the equivalent of SDR 6,917 million, compared with SDR 4,955 million in 1978. Some SDR 3.77 billion became available to non-oil developing countries in 1979. Repurchases in the General Resources Account by all members—at SDR 4.2 billion—exceeded their purchases of SDR 1.8 billion by an unprecedented SDR 2.4 billion. These large repurchases reflected the substantial improvement in the balance of payments of some industrial member countries that had large outstanding drawings.

David M. Sassoon

The World Bank Group may now be expected to increase its lending to the mining sector. The pressure to find and develop new mineral resources is increasing the risk of mining ventures at every stage. The author, a Bank attorney, discusses previous lending for mining in the context of guarantees both to mining companies and to the developing countries where the mines are located.

BRIAN LEVY

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.

Kathryn McPhail

This paper describes the need to broaden the agenda for poverty reduction. The broadening of the agenda follows from a growing understanding that poverty is more than low income, a lack of education, and poor health. The poor are frequently powerless to influence the social and economic factors that determine their well being. The paper highlights that a broader definition of poverty requires a broader set of actions to fight it and increases the challenge of measuring poverty and comparing achievement across countries and over time.

PETER VAN DER VEEN and CYNTHIA WILSON

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.