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International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

NEOLIBERALISM IS NOW the go-to moniker for everything that went wrong in the late 20th century and the new millennium. Often a term of abuse, it is a synonym for a crassly materialistic and superficial belief in the inherent superiority of markets. Its standard bearers were British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan.

M. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Christopher Otrok, and Mr. Eswar S Prasad

The June 2008 issue tackles the crisis in financial markets in industrial countries from a number of angles. Articles look at the origins of the crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States and track its spillover into other markets. Then authors examine what can be done to prevent future crises. Other articles look at bank capital adequacy rules and Basel II, whether emerging markets and industrial economies are decoupling or converging, capital flows to low-income countries, efforts to achieve the MDGs, and currency intervention. Back to Basics looks at over-the-counter (OTC) markets and the People in Economics column profiles Jacques Polak. Picture This is on the digital divide.

Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Mr. Marco Terrones
This paper examines the impact of rising trade and financial integration on international business cycle comovement among a large group of industrial and developing countries. The results provide at best limited support for the conventional wisdom that globalization has increased the degree of synchronization of business cycles. The evidence that trade and financial integration enhance global spillovers of macroeconomic fluctuations is stronger for industrial countries. One striking result is that, on average, cross-country consumption correlations have not increased in the 1990s, precisely when financial integration would have been expected to result in better risk-sharing opportunities, especially for developing countries.
Mr. Ayhan Kose, Mr. Marco Terrones, and Mr. Eswar S Prasad
This paper analyzes the evolution of volatility and cross-country comovement in output, consumption, and investment fluctuations using two distinct datasets. The results suggest that there has been a significant decline in the volatility of business cycle fluctuations and a slight increase in the degree of cyclical comovement among industrialized countries over time. However, for emerging market economies, financial globalization appears to have been associated, on average, with an increase in macroeconomic volatility as well as declines in the degree of comovement of output and consumption growth with their corresponding world aggregates.
Eric Monnet and Mr. Damien Puy
This paper assesses the strength of business cycle synchronization between 1950 and 2014 in a sample of 21 countries using a new quarterly dataset based on IMF archival data. Contrary to the common wisdom, we find that the globalization period is not associated with more output synchronization at the global level. The world business cycle was as strong during Bretton Woods (1950-1971) than during the Globalization period (1984-2006). Although globalization did not affect the average level of co-movement, trade and financial integration strongly affect the way countries co-move with the rest of the world. We find that financial integration de-synchronizes national outputs from the world cycle, although the magnitude of this effect depends crucially on the type of shocks hitting the world economy. This de-synchronizing effect has offset the synchronizing impact of other forces, such as increased trade integration.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix highlights that the strong economic expansion in Latvia that began in 1996 and accelerated in the following year reversed sharply in mid-1998 as a result of both external and domestic shocks. The initial expansion was fueled by accelerating domestic private and public demand, as well as growing demand for Latvia’s output in both new, mostly European Union, and the traditional Commonwealth of Independent States markets. Domestic consumer and investment demand were supported by growing real incomes and tax revenues and pent-up demand carried over from previous years.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the United State’s (U.S.) household savings role in supporting the U.S. recovery; and focuses on the market for single-family housing, and the importance for household balance sheets. It discusses the underfunding of corporate pension plans, macroeconomic, and policy implications; the U.S. fiscal position, and reviews the causes of the fiscal crisis. It examines the impact of energy shocks, energy policy, and the taxation role. It analyzes the growth in linkages between the United States and other G-7 countries, and the regional and bilateral trade links issues.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

20 Long-Run Fiscal Sustainability in Germany, symposium organized by the IMF; Bertelsman Foundation, and the Institute for Economic Research, Berlin, Germany