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Andrew Sheng

Asia Rising -- explores Asia's role in the world economy, the challenges faced from globalization, the quest for greater regional financial integration, the problem of lagging investment, and why East Asia performed so much better than Latin America. It also looks at the recovery of Japan and the rise of India and China. The economies of the ASEAN-4 come under the microscope in Country Focus. Other articles examine financial sector reform in Africa and the remaining hurdles to financial integration in the European Union. People in Economics profiles Paul Krugman, Back to Basics focuses on hedge funds, and the Straight Talk column looks at the problem of underdevelopment.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following is a summary of the September 28 opening address of the Annual Meetings Chairman, Mahesh Acharya, Governor of the Bank and the IMF for Nepal.

Sabina Bhatia and Mr. Peter Stella

For emerging market economies, in particular, banking crises can impose huge costs in terms of both the direct fiscal expense of recapitalizing banks and the real output losses. Early detection is the key to keeping financial sector weaknesses from mushrooming into full-blown crises. On March 11–12, the IMF Institute organized a seminar on assessing banking fragility for 30 country officials, as well as IMF and World Bank staff. Drawing heavily on recent experiences in emerging markets and industrial countries, the speakers and other participants shared ideas and suggestions on how countries could identify problems early and move decisively to head off or quickly resolve banking crises.

Sir William Ryrie

This paper anlayzes the role of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) in promoting economic development in developing countries with the private sector. IFC promotes growth of new companies, indigenous companies, and helps to introduce more capital from private sources into developing countries. Many countries need to develop capital market institutions such as stock exchanges, securities companies, leasing companies, and financial intermediaries of one kind or another. IFC has a special department, partly financed by the World Bank, that has provided expertise in these areas to a number of countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Leaders of the world’s major economies have drawn up an action plan to combat the burgeoning financial crisis and pull the global economy back from one of the worst downturns in decades.

Luis Catao, Ms. Hali J Edison, Ms. Silvia Sgherri, and Mr. Marco Terrones

The links between financial markets and the real economy hold intriguing questions for both researchers and policymakers. Chapter II of the World Economic Outlook examines three of the hotter issues in this area: why sovereign debt crises have been more frequent in Latin America, how a huge run-up in wealth has been affecting consumer spending in industrial countries, and what challenges low inflation poses for monetary policy.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

One way to deal with problem banks is to close them. Yet, to avoid disruption, country authorities often take extraordinary measures, such as injecting public funds, to prop up nonviable banks. In a recent IMF Working Paper, “What Happens After Supervisory Intervention? Considering Bank Closure Options,” Michael Andrews and Mats Josefsson argue that well-planned and implemented bank closures (which can include sale of all or part of the bank) can preserve essential functions performed by failing banks, mitigating disruption.