Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are taking sweeping measures to halt the advance of Covid-19, imposing limits on public gatherings and the like. But for the region's most vulnerable, social distancing is not realistic. In this podcast, IMF African Department head Abebe Aemro Selassie, says anything that will help contain the spread of the virus, like closing borders to people, will help minimize added strain on already fragile health systems. Selassie says what began as a health crisis is now a major global economic crisis, and he fears African countries will be swept up in that.
Read Selassie's blog and others on the response to the coronavirus at Blogs.IMF.org
The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on lives and economies around the world. In this podcast, we hear IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's statement following her call with G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, where they discussed the extraordinary circumstances of the health crisis and the extraordinary measures it will take to mitigate its economic impact.
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The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on just about every aspect of life around the world. The limited human contact required to contain the spread of the virus is hindering economic activity and in turn, putting enormous pressure on the global economy. Martin Mühleisen heads the IMF's Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, which looks at IMF policies and advises management on strategic issues. In this podcast, Mühleisen says even if an individual country is fortunate enough to escape widespread viral contagion of the coronavirus, it's likely it will still feel the economic fallout.
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It took more than 50,000 years for the world population to reach 1 billion people, but since 1960, we have added successive billions every one to two decades. The United Nations projects there will be 9 billion people on the planet by 2037. Demography is the study of life, death and everything we do in between. And throughout human history, we've seen plenty of population booms and busts. In this podcast, Harvard economist and demographer David Bloom, says public policy both shapes and responds to demographic trends. David Bloom's article, Population 2020, is published in the March issue of Finance & Development magazine.
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While the immigration debate tends to focus on culture, identity and potential economic benefits, Giovanni Peri says demographics are the Achilles' heel of the global North. Peri is Director of the Global Migration Center at the University of California, Davis, and in this podcast, he says immigration policies that allow larger numbers of immigrants will help stabilize population growth in the aging advanced economies of the North. Peri's article Immigrant Swan Song is published in the March 2020 issue of Finance and Development magazine.
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Mitigating the effects of climate change takes a multifaceted approach with economic policy playing a pivotal role. In this podcast, we hear from two influential people at the very center of where economic and environmental policies meet. IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva and Lord Nicholas Stern, of the London School of Economics, discuss the significance of the Special Report on Climate Change published in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and how financial institutions can help countries live up to their Paris accord pledges to reduce carbon emissions. Nicholas Stern is Chairman of LSE's Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change published in 2006.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.