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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

India’s economy continues to perform impressively. Growth has accelerated and, with the right types of reforms, India can effectively leverage its favorable demographic profile into continued strong performance, resulting in higher living standards and declining poverty. But the immediate challenge is dealing with overheating in the face of accelerating inflation, booming credit, and soaring asset prices.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Background Issues paper on Switzerland reviews a few monetary and exchange rate issues, including questions related to the monetary policy framework and the assessment of recent monetary conditions and exchange rate developments. The paper examines the Swiss savings and investment levels from a welfare point of view, employing for this purpose some “golden rule” criteria of capital accumulation put forward in the academic literature. It finds that, with its unusually high levels of saving, Switzerland may be one of the few advanced industrialized countries that strictly fulfills the “golden rule” criteria.
Zineddine Alla, Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, and Mr. Atish R. Ghosh
We develop an open economy New Keynesian Model with foreign exchange intervention in the presence of a financial accelerator mechanism. We obtain closed-form solutions for the optimal interest rate policy and FX intervention under discretionary policy, in the face of shocks to risk appetite in international capital markets. The solution shows that FX intervention can help reduce the volatility of the economy and mitigate the welfare losses associated with such shocks. We also show that, when the financial accelerator is strong, the risk of multiple equilibria (self-fulfilling currency and inflation movements) is high. We determine the conditions under which indeterminacy can occur and highlight how the use of FX intervention reinforces the central bank’s credibility and limits the risk of multiple equilibria.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines the dynamics of the foreign exchange market. The first half addresses a number of key questions regarding the forecasts of future exchange rates made by market participants, by means of updated estimates using survey data. Here we follow most of the theoretical and empirical literature in acting as if all market participants share the same expectation. The second half then addresses the possibility of heterogeneous expectations, particularly the distinction between “chartists” and “fundamentalists,” and the implications for trading in the foreign exchange market and for the formation of speculative bubbles.
Klaas Knot and Jan Marc Berk
This paper investigates international co-movement in bond yields by testing for uncovered interest parity (UIP). Existing work is supplemented by focusing on long instead of short-term interest rates and by employing exchange rate expectations derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) instead of actual outcomes. Among the major currencies during 1975-97, the paper does not find a further increase in co-movement beyond that associated with the wave of financial market liberalization in the early 1980s. Given the similarity between PPP-based UIP tests and those employing actual exchange rate outcomes, the value added of the former lies mainly with data availability.
Mr. Kevin Ross

Switzerland’s unique monetary policy framework, which targets an interest rate determined in another country, has helped to shield the nonfinancial sector of the Swiss economy from the recent turbulence in financial markets.

Mr. Michael W Klein

'Africa: Making Its Move' explores some of the obstacles facing sub-Saharan Africa as it attempts to capitalize on changes that offer fresh opportunities for growth and poverty reduction. The lead article describes the changes and suggests how Africa can build on them to progress further. Other articles focus on the aid situation, financial sector development, trade, the business environment, and political and policy reform on the continent. 'Country Focus' examines the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, and two guest contributors look at how the international community can help the most fragile states and how oil-producing countries can manage windfall revenues. 'People in Economics' profiles the European Central Bank's first chief economist, Otmar Issing; 'Picture This' examines the global housing slowdown; and 'Back to Basics,' explains current account deficits. Another article discusses the realities of health financing.

John H. Adler

This year the World Bank’s Economic Development Institute celebrated the tenth anniversary of its foundation as a teaching institution. Its Director has taken the occasion to reflect on some of the fundamental lessons that he believes economists have learned about development.