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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 14, 2020

Bonds have been helping corporations and governments finance infrastructure and large-scale projects for hundreds of years. But the last decade has seen the emergence of green bonds, driven by increasing environmental awareness within the business community. In this podcast, founder and CEO of Rock Creek, Afsaneh Beschloss, says global asset management firms like hers are seeing a growing demand for climate-related investments. In the first half of 2019 alone, new certified green bond issues topped $100 billion globally. Prior to Rock Creek, Beschloss was treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank. Her article A Greener Future for Finance, co-authored with Mina Mashayekhi, is published in the December 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Jan 30, 2020

South Africa is an important economy in sub-Saharan Africa and when growth is high the entire region benefits. But the latest review of South Africa's economy shows real GDP growth is estimated at about 0.4 percent in 2019 and projected to moderately rise to 1½ percent in the medium term: a level insufficient to raise per-capita income and reduce unemployment. In this podcast, economist Ana Lucia Coronel says South Africa's growth slowdown in recent years stems in part from slow reform implementation to tackle structural impediments to growth. Coronel heads the South Africa team and oversees the writing of the IMF's annual assessment of South Africa's economy.

Inefficiencies in South Africa's state-owned enterprises have triggered costly government bailouts of electricity provider Eskom and others. (iStock by Getty Images/brazzo)

Jan 28, 2020

Inequality and climate change are two of the most pressing issues of our time, with repercussions likely to last long into the future. In this podcast, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath sits down with two young leaders to talk about how best to tackle these issues. Lyndsay Walsh (Trinity College, Dublin) and Tarik Gooptu (University of Oxford) are both students and both of a generation that is highly motivated to bridge income gaps and stop global warming. Walsh and Gooptu are the winners of an essay competition launched by Finance and Development Magazine. Their essays are published in the December 2019 issue.

Jan 20, 2020

Without major efforts to reduce the accumulation of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, future generations will inherit a much warmer planet with risks of dangerous climate events, higher sea levels, and destruction of the natural world. In this podcast, economist Ian Parry makes the case for carbon taxation as the most effective way to nudge people towards cleaner fuels and to encourage them to adopt more efficient appliances or lower emission vehicles. But while convincing people to buy electric cars and more efficient appliances is important, the largest CO2 emitting countries need to work together to make a real dent in global greenhouse gas emissions. That, Parry says, is proving to be difficult. Parry's latest article Putting a Price on Pollution is published in the December 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Jan 10, 2020

Over two-thirds of global financial institutions have seen an increase in cyberattacks in recent years. In the UK alone, the number of security breaches has increased by over 480%. Cybersecurity is no longer just about firewalls, data encryption, and strong passwords. While those are still necessary, they are not enough to fight a threat that knows no borders.  One recent law enforcement operation that started in Spain busted a cyber gang operating in 15 countries and required coordinated efforts with the FBI, Europol and other private companies. In this podcast, three leading specialists in cybersecurity discuss how to create a safer digital world for financial institutions. Carnegie Endowment's Tim Maurer, IMF's Chris Wilson, and Central Bank of Spain's Silvia Senabre participated in a recent workshop on cybersecurity hosted by the IMF.

Tim Maurer is co-director of the Cyber Policy Initiative at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power.

Silvia Senabre is a mathematician and computer engineer who works on cybersecurity risk evaluation for the Central Bank of Spain.

Chris Wilson is a Senior Financial Sector Expert in the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets Department and co-author of Cybersecurity Risk Supervision.

Dec 27, 2019

Populist leaders and movements are on the rise across the world, but why now? Populism has been around since Ancient Rome. In this podcast, economist Guido Tabellini says the 2008 global financial crisis and technology are driving the recent resurgence. Tabellini says with growing inequality people disappointed by the policies of the past that have excluded them from the benefits of the global economy are voting more along cultural identity lines. It’s the nationalists versus the cosmopolitans. Guido Tabellini is Professor of Political Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, and delivered the IMF’s Annual Richard Goode Lecture on his research.

Dec 10, 2019

While efforts to mitigate climate change have focused primarily on burning fewer fossil fuels, recent research by the UN’s Panel on Climate Change shows that what we eat and how we produce it can have an even greater impact on the global environment and public health. The report says reforms in crop and livestock activities could potentially mitigate up to a third of all greenhouse-gas emissions. IMF economist, Nicoletta Batini studies the environmental impact of the agri-food sector. Her latest article titled Reaping What We Sow is published in the December 2019 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.

 

Photo: Consuming fewer animal products can help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. (Istock by Getty Images/ FrankvandenBergh)

Dec 1, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa has made significant inroads in reducing poverty and increasing access to education and health services, but the infrastructure deficit still looms large throughout the region. For many countries, the ability to finance their development needs has become more constrained as public debt has increased rapidly in recent years. In this podcast, Abebe Aemro Selassie says when governments invest in the right types of infrastructure, people are more willing to pay the taxes the government needs to service its debt. Selassie is Director of the IMF's African Department, which has helped organize a special conference in Dakar, Senegal, this week to discuss how countries can continue to address the infrastructure gap while maintaining manageable debt levels.

Sustainable Development and Debt conference page

Nov 23, 2019

Following the great economic crises of the 20th century, there were periods of intellectual and political upheaval that ultimately changed economic policy. Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, argues the 2008 financial crisis should have prompted the same reaction but didn’t. King delivered this year's Per Jacobsson Lecture during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings and warned the failure to dramatically change our approach to economic policy risks another financial crisis.

Lord Mervyn King is Professor of Economics at New York University and the London School of Economics. He is also author of The End of Alchemy and has a forthcoming book entitled Radical Uncertainty.

Nov 15, 2019

Investing in social programs can soften the blow of inequalities and foster more stable societies. In this podcast, we speak with Deborah Greenfield, Deputy Director General for Policy at the International Labour Organization, which was formed one hundred years ago out of the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War 1. And while the work environment has changed dramatically in the past one hundred years, gaining access to basic social programs remains a struggle for far too many workers around the world today. A recent ILO study says more than half the global population lacks healthcare and social security. Greenfield says social protection floors provide important support to workers as they transition into the changing job market.

Read the paper about IMF Engagement on Social Spending,

Nov 8, 2019

Somalia is one of the world's most conflict-affected states. Many countries around the world suffer from weak governing institutions, but Somalia was without a functional central government for 20 years. In this podcast, Somalia's Finance Minister, Abdirahman Duale Beileh, says while elections in 2012 have since helped reestablish some of the institutions that bind the country's disparate communities, the road to recovery remains a steep climb. Duale Beileh is also a distinguished artist and songwriter, and we hear his latest song about students struggling to get an education amid violence and social destruction. Abdirahman Duale Beileh was in Washington for the 2019 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.  

You'll find the webcast of Dr. Beileh's presentation about Effective Engagement in Fragile States at IMF.org.

Link to his song Heestii Dalkani Gurmad Buu Raba

Nov 2, 2019

In her first IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings as IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva talks with Foreign Policy Magazine's Ravi Agrawal about breaking down barriers to women's career growth. Georgieva is the first person from an emerging market economy, and only the second woman to lead the IMF since its inception in 1944. In this podcast, Georgieva and Agrawal discuss the economic benefits of gender equality and the societal transformation that is required to correct the injustices of the past.

Read the IMFBlog on The Economic Cost of Devaluing “Women’s Work”

Nov 1, 2019

The dramatic drop in commodity prices in 2014 has had lingering effects in sub-Saharan Africa. One such effect is a growing backlog of payments by governments to service providers, known as arrears. But despite the prevalence of arrears in the region, their causes and consequences are not well understood. The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at the economic and social impact of increasing arrears in recent years. In this podcast, IMF economists Samuel Delepierre and David Stenzel say domestic arrears can undermine private sector activity and citizens’ trust in the government.

Oct 18, 2019

Competition is considered to be an essential driving force of market economies. It’s said to ensure a more efficient allocation of resources and can boost innovation and productivity. But what happens when there isn’t enough competition? The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how the lack of competition in the region is hurting the poor and undermining economic growth. In this podcast, IMF economists Reda Cherif and Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia say more competition could lower prices and increase welfare.

Photo: Competition makes the economy work for people. (iStock by Getty images/ Stefan_Ganev)

Oct 16, 2019

The Global Financial Stability Report exposes weak spots in the global economy that could amplify the impact of a shock, such as an intensification of trade tensions or rising corporate debt. Fabio Natalucci heads the team of economists who write the GFSR. In this podcast, Natalucci says if current trends continue, debt owed by firms unable to cover interest expenses with earnings, or debt-at-risk, could rise to $19 trillion.

Fabio Natalucci, is Deputy Director in the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

Read the IMF BLOG

Oct 11, 2019

While elections are one of the most important pillars of democracy, in many African countries they are characterized by uncertainties due to the high risk of electoral violence. Studies often look at ethnic tensions and political cleavages as drivers of electoral violence, but how might gender play into this? IMF economist Rasmane Ouedraogo investigates the impact of gender equality on electoral violence in Africa and finds yet another good reason to increase female labor force participation.

Rasmane Ouedraogo and Idrissa Ouedraogo are coauthors of Gender Equality and Electoral Violence in Africa: Unlocking the Peacemaking Potential of Women

 

Oct 7, 2019

As the average annual global temperature is expected to rise by 4 degrees Celsius or more by 2100, economic output in countries with hot climates continues to fall. And given that most low-income countries are located in hot regions, low-income countries are bearing the brunt of the negative economic costs of climate change even though they contribute very little to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it. In this podcast, IMF economists Sebastian Acevedo and Natalija Novta say the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters is having a negative impact on growth.

Acevedo and Novta are coauthors of Weather Shocks and Output in Low-Income Countries:Adaptation and the Role of Policies

Sep 27, 2019

Migration is on the front burner these days. We hear a lot about people moving from one country to the next, fleeing conflict or seeking a better life. But what about the movement of people within a country? Economist Tamim Bayoumi says a well-functioning economy has people moving around to maximize their own welfare and in turn maximize the system; a basic tenant of market economics. Bayoumi is coauthor of Stranded! How Rising Inequality Suppressed US Migration and Hurt Those “Left Behind. In this podcast, Bayoumi says increasing house price and income inequality has reduced long distance migration, the type most linked to jobs.

Tamim Bayoumi is Deputy Director in the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department.

 

Sep 15, 2019

July was the hottest month on record according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientific research now indicates more clearly than ever that our growing carbon footprint is warming the planet at an alarming rate and threatening our ecosystems. In this podcast, economist Ralph Chami, and whale conservationist Michael Fishbach, explain the carbon capture potential of whales and how supporting international efforts to restore whale populations around the world is one of the simplest ways to fight climate change.

Ralph Chami’s article Whales Fight Climate Change in the online edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Aug 30, 2019

Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a shock to the system, and treatment and recovery can mean major disruptions in a person’s life. But illness also takes millions of people out of the labor force every year and the quality of the care they receive can determine the extent to which this is a shock to the economy. IMF economist Nicola Pierri, with coauthors Anne-Line Koch Helsø and Adelina Yanyue Wang have published a research paper on The Economic Impact of Healthcare Quality. In this podcast, Pierri says low quality hospitals can wind up being very costly to both people and the economy at large.

Aug 16, 2019

In his latest book, Raghuram Rajan takes a close look at the relationship between the state, markets and communities, and argues localism is the answer to globalization. Rajan is a distinguished professor of finance at the University of Chicago, former head of India’s central bank and former Chief Economist at the IMF, where he was invited to talk about The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

Aug 9, 2019

The use of digital technologies is transforming how tax administrations operate, helping to improve efficiency and service delivery. A striking example has been Peru's adoption of electronic invoicing, which allows the automatic transfer of billing information between firms and the tax authority. Drawn by its potential to strengthen tax compliance and reduce costs, Peru is among more than 50 countries around the world to have implemented e-invoicing and many others are preparing to follow suit. IMF economists Salma Khalid and Matthieu Bellon have been studying the impact of Peru's mandatory e-invoicing reform that started back in 2014. Their research paper will be published this fall.

Salma Khalid is an economist in the Western Hemisphere Department and Matthieu Bellon is an economist in the Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF.

Jul 24, 2019

Technological innovation like automation using robots to produce goods and provide services creates tremendous opportunities for businesses. But as the cost of producing robots goes down, is this technology widening the income gap? Economist Arnaud Costinot has been studying technological change and its impact on inequality, and in this podcast, he discusses how a robot tax might help better distribute the benefits of artificial intelligence, or AI technologies. Arnaud Costinot is a Professor of Economics at MIT, and coauthor of Robots, Trade, and Luddism: A Sufficient Statistic Approach to Optimal Technology Regulation. Costinot was invited to present his research at the IMF.

Jul 9, 2019

International corporate tax avoidance is a growing concern for both advanced economies and low-income countries. The changing nature of the global economy–notably increasing digitalization, in some cases, is making it easier for firms to shift profits to low-tax countries. Michael Keen is a Deputy Director in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, and in this podcast he says the international tax system is under unprecedented stress. Keen was a lead author of a recent IMF policy paper that sets out the current state of the international corporate tax system and explores ways to address some of its shortcomings.

Jun 28, 2019

When it comes to environmental policies, Ian Parry argues none are more effective than carbon taxes. Parry, an expert on fiscal policy and climate change at the IMF, says carbon taxes promote a full range of responses for reducing emissions–like switching from coal to clean generation fuels, reducing the demand for electricity, transportation fuels, and so on and can be administratively straightforward to implement. Parry is author of several research papers on carbon taxation and his recent article What Is Carbon Taxation? is published in the June 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Ian Parry is the principal environmental fiscal policy expert in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

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