Attack Poverty, Inequality, de Rato Urges
High growth and low inflation are essential to economic development, but there is a “powerful case” for attacking poverty directly, said Rodrigo de Rato in a speech in Peru on September 20. On his final visit to Latin America as IMF Managing Director, he said the biggest contributions can be made in fiscal policy, financial sector reform, and institutional reform.
Dominican Republic Gets $118 million
The IMF’s Executive Board approved a disbursement to the Dominican Republic of $118 million as part of its $672 million Stand-By Arrangement, agreed on in 2005. IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal said the country’s macroeconomic performance had been commendable. “The challenge ahead is to persevere with fiscal consolidation during the upcoming electoral period, which will require firm control of public spending,” he said in a press statement.
Brazil Sees Surplus
Despite a significant appreciation of the real and a sustained increase in imports, Brazil’s external current account is expected to register another moderate surplus in 2007, reflecting the continued strength of exports, according to data presented to the IMF Executive Board, published on September 18.
Is Japan’s Yen Set to Rise?
A study by IMF economists finds that the yen is undervalued relative to long-term fundamentals. However, barring a sudden change in investor sentiment, nontrade factors are likely to delay the yen’s adjustment.
Can Risk Models Amplify Volatility?
Financial institutions may reinforce instability in the financial system by moving together to adjust risky portfolios, according to a new IMF study, released as part of the Global Financial Stability Report.
The report also looked at capital flows to emerging market countries. A study found that these countries will be better equipped to maximize the benefits of capital inflows while cushioning against the potentially destabilizing effects of flow volatility if they focus on developing market liquidity and diversity and on improving institutional quality.
New IMF Booklet Explains Macroeconomic Statistics
The IMF’s Statistics Department has released “The System of Macroeconomic Accounts Statistics,” which describes the four main sets—national accounts, balance of payments and international investment position, monetary and financial statistics, and government financial statistics—and shows the linkages among them..
Indonesia Better Set to Ride Out Storms
The 1997–98 Asian financial crisis triggered reforms aimed at Indonesia’s deep-rooted institutional problems. Together with sound policies and a more benign external environment, these reforms have helped cut Indonesia’s financial and macroeconomic vulnerability.
Australia at Forefront
Executive Directors, reviewing Australia’s economic performance at the end of August, commended the Australian authorities for their “exemplary macroeconomic management,” which is widely recognized as being at the “forefront of international best practice,” according to an IMF Public Information Notice published in September.
Information Curbs Financial Risk
In a world of money laundering and electronic transfers, it is easy to see that the need for rapid transmission and exchange of information between law enforcement agencies is critical.
A new book, Working Together: Improving Regulatory Cooperation and Information Exchange, examines the issues.
Get IMF Survey Faster Online
The IMF Survey is now publishing an online edition, updated several times a week. See www.imf.org/imfsurvey to access our online edition and full versions of the items on this page.
From the mailbag
Getting Plugged In
A U.S. participant in the IMF Institute’s Distance Learning program shares her impressions of the Financial Programming and Policies course that provides 10 weeks of online training for mid-level officials who cannot be away from their jobs for an extended period.
For full text, see “What Readers Say” at the online IMF Survey.
Send us your views
The IMF Survey welcomes comments, suggestions, and brief letters from readers, a selection of which are posted online under “What Readers Say.” Letters may be edited. Please address Internet correspondence to imfsurvey@ imf.org.