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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The IMF announced on January 31 that it has published the Results of the 1997 Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey. The survey, which was conducted by the IMF, is the first major internationally coordinated statistical initiative designed to gauge portfolio claims on individual countries by the world’s principal investing nations.

Mr. Robert P Flood

The paper discusses a model in which growth is a negative function of fiscal burden. Moreover, growth discontinuously switches from high to low as the fiscal burden reaches a critical level. The paper provides an overview of key elements of corporate bankruptcy codes and practice around the world that are relevant to the debate on sovereign debt restructuring. It also describes the broad trends in international financial integration for a sample of industrial countries and explains the cross-country and time-series variation in the size of international balance sheets.

Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz

Crisis Stalls Globalization: Reshaping the World Economy" examines the multiple facets of the recession-from the impact on individual economies to the effect on the global payments imbalances that were partially at the root of the crisis-and offers a variety of suggestions for supporting a recovery and averting future crises. Several IMF studies shed light on the depth of the crisis-including a survey of the sharp drop in trade finance, along with quantitative findings about the direct and indirect costs of the financial turbulence-and debate what is to be done from several angles, including the redesign of the regulatory framework and ways to plug large data gaps to prevent future crises and aid in the creation of early warning systems. Opinion pieces discuss the shifting boundaries between the state and markets, the agenda for financial sector reform, and the governance of global financial markets. The issue also includes a historical perspective to see when restructuring the global financial architecture actually succeeds. "People in Economics" profiles Nouriel Roubini; "Back to Basics" looks at what makes a recession; and "Data Spotlight" examines Latin America's debt.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Data Module for Pakistan. Based on the review of Pakistan’s statistical practices, recommendations are made that are aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s adherence to the internationally accepted practices, as well as at enhancing the usefulness of its monetary statistics. For the central bank’s survey, it is recommended to revalue the State Bank of Pakistan’s Fund positions and gold assets on a monthly basis at end-month market exchange rates and market gold prices.

International Monetary Fund

This report focuses on the Monetary Statistics Component of the Regional Data Module Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). The report reveals that with respect to the prerequisites of quality and assurances of integrity, the legislation broadly supports mandatory data reporting and the confidentiality of the reported data. However, the ECCB’s responsibility for compiling and disseminating monetary statistics to the public is not clearly specified in the law. Regarding resources, the number of staff allocated to the compilation of monetary statistics is inadequate.

Adelheid Burgi-Schmelz

'Restoring Hope: Reinvigorating the Millennium Development Goals' assesses how the world is doing in meeting the MDGs--international development targets that all UN member countries and many international organizations have set for 2015. Our lead article, 'Regaining Momentum,' says that while several of the MDGs are within reach, the global economic crisis has set back progress toward a number of the targets, especially those related to health. Developing countries will need the support of advanced economies in to get back on track. Economist Jagdish Bhagwati calls into question the premise of the MDGs and argues that they should be rethought. Philanthropist Melinda Gates gives us the good news that maternal health has been improving, though we are not yet on track to meet the MDG target on maternal mortality. Picture This takes a look at child mortality rates and finds a more sobering picture. In related stories, economists Arvind Panagariya and Rodney Ramcharan have different views on how important it is to fight inequality. This issue also examines the deterioration of fiscal positions in advanced economies--as a result of both the global financial crisis and the long-run health and pension costs of an aging population. 'How Grim a Fiscal Crisis?' argues that consolidation in advanced economies should focus on spending cuts, given the already high tax burdens in many countries. In 'A Hidden Fiscal Crisis,' economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff examines the serious budget issues in the United States. We also look at the expensive needs of a rapidly aging population in France, and steps China is taking to improve pensions and health care. People in Economics profiles Maria Ramos, the academic-turned-Treasury mandarin who had a central role in stabilizing the budget in South Africa. And the 'Back to Basics' feature discusses unemployment.