Seven months after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, more than 1 million people have died of the disease and trillions of dollars have been spent in an effort to contain its devastating impact on economies across the globe. The latest Fiscal Monitor looks at what governments can do in the different phases of the pandemic to reduce the impact of the recession. Vitor Gaspar heads the semiannual publication. In this podcast, he says the massive fiscal support provided since the start of the crisis has been effective at saving lives and livelihoods and needs to continue.
Vitor Gaspar is the Director of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department.
Read the blog at blogs.imf.org
While economies across the globe continue to feel the pressures from the pandemic, the latest Global Financial Stability Report shows the extraordinary fiscal and monetary policy measures taken by governments, Central Banks and International Financial Institutions have helped pull the global economy back from the brink. Fabio Natalucci leads the team of IMF economists who produce the report. In this podcast, he says policymakers should continue to carefully sequence their response based on the progression of the disease to maintain the stability of the global economy.
Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department.
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people and economies across the globe, the IMF and World Bank prepare for their second round of virtual meetings since the start of the crisis. In her customary curtain raiser speech, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva says while next week's outlook will show a small upward revision to the 2020 global forecast, countries are facing what she calls "The long ascent"—a difficult climb that will be uneven, uncertain and prone to setbacks.
The pandemic is adding pressure on society's most vulnerable and could lead to a significant rise in income inequality. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, talks with Max Lawson and Nadia Daar on the Equals podcast. The podcast was created by Oxfam International and focuses on inequality. Georgieva shares her views on the direction of inequality, the IMF's role in stabilizing economies amid the pandemic, and offers a glimpse into her own life experiences growing up in the Eastern Bloc.
While the African elephant is the largest and the most famous land animal in the world, very few people know anything about the African forest elephant. Forest elephants are smaller and live in densely wooded rainforests. Their numbers are declining thanks to deforestation and poachers and likely face extinction if nothing is done to protect them. Other than local conservationists and the biologists who study them, forest elephants have few advocates. But what if people knew that African forest elephants provide carbon-capture services valued at over $150 billion? And what if those countries that host them could tap into that equity and benefit from their conservation efforts? In this podcast, economist Ralph Chami and ecologist Fabio Berzaghi say placing a monetary value on the services provided by forest elephants could help prevent their demise. Their article, The Secret Work of Elephants, is published in the online edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
While our work environments changed literally overnight, the impact of lockdowns on the nature of work is likely to last well beyond the pandemic. In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, scholars from Harvard and Stern Business Schools look at the ongoing challenges for organizations and workers struggling to adapt and perform amid the global pandemic. Jeffrey Polzer is a Professor in the Organizational Behavior Department at Harvard Business School and a co-author of the study. In this podcast, Polzer says the pandemic, for many, has virtually obliterated the line between work and home life.
After a century-long decline, mortality rates in the U.S. have flattened- even increased for non-Hispanic whites in middle age. In this podcast, Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton describes how people are dying at an alarming rate from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases, and how the largest increases in mortality are happening among those without a bachelor's degree.
In their latest book titled Deaths of Despair, Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case look at how approaches to healthcare and inequality relate to the rising mortality rates. Professor Deaton was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to present their research to IMF economists. He joined me afterward to talk about the B.A./non-B.A. divide in the United States.
Read the REVIEW of Deaths of Despair by Kenneth Rogoff.
Angus Deaton is Professor Emeritus at Princeton and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 for his work on consumption, poverty, and welfare.
There are many facets of the IMF's work that people don't often hear about, one is capacity development; helping governments strengthen their ability to make good policy decisions and to implement them. Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to share his insight into where the economy stands now in the context of the global pandemic; his thoughts on what an economic recovery might look like and what policies may help it along. Professor Krugman joined me after his IMF presentation to talk about the current crisis and how zombie ideas–the topic of his latest book, might hinder the economic recovery.
Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of Arguing With Zombies
The IMF's latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa is considerably worse than its April outlook and is subject to massive uncertainty. Economic activity this year is now projected to contract by some 3.2 percent, reflecting a weaker global economy and measures to contain the spread of the virus. In this podcast, Financial Times Africa Editor, David Pilling, and Kristalina Georgieva discuss the profound economic consequences of the pandemic for the continent and how the Fund is supporting countries through the crisis. The interview was produced by the Financial Times and can be found at FT.com/David-Pilling
The 2008 global financial crisis and the current pandemic have put enormous pressure on societies and exposed cracks in the systems we all depend on to survive. These types of global crises are forcing a reckoning about the world’s ability to manage systemic hazards. In this podcast, Ann Florini and Sunil Sharma say with increasing fragility in political, social, economic, and environmental systems, the 21st century is set to experience massive disruptions that pose serious, possibly existential threats to society. Their article Systemic Hazards is published in the June 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
Ann Florini is a clinical professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
Sunil Sharma is a distinguished visiting scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
“The storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and stability,” said Ho Chi Minh, the Father of the Vietnamese Nation. And it turns out Vietnam has shown its strength in weathering the COVID-19 storm. Era Dabla-Norris and Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf are both economists in the IMF's Asia Pacific Department, and in this podcast, they say Vietnam's approach should allow for a quicker rebound.
You can read the Country Focus story at IMF
While connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other regions, digitalization is advancing fast and being embraced by those who do have access. Some countries are now global leaders in mobile money transactions—with a share of GDP average close to 25 percent, compared to just 5 percent in the rest of the world. In a region where infrastructure is often lacking, digital technologies offer ways to break down or leap over barriers. IMF economists Preya Sharma and Martha Tesfaye Woldemichael are co-authors of the latest analytical chapter for the Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, which studies the impact of digitalization. In this podcast, Sharma and Woldemichael say expanding internet access in sub-Saharan Africa by an extra 10 percent of the population could increase real per capita GDP growth by 1 to 4 percentage points.
L'Afrique subsaharienne est en première ligne du changement climatique, avec des conditions météorologiques extrêmes qui font des ravages sur les infrastructures et la production agricole. Mais la crise sanitaire introduit un autre niveau de risque pour la chaîne alimentaire. Dans ce podcast, les économistes du FMI Genet Zinabou et Eric Pondi Endengle disent que l'augmentation de la fréquence et de l'intensité des catastrophes naturelles pèse sur la région, qui dépend fortement de l'agriculture pluviale. Les dernières Perspectives économiques examinent comment la région peut mieux gérer les types de chocs qui menacent son approvisionnement alimentaire.
Migration has been the focus of heated political debate in recent years, surfacing misconceptions of its real economic impact. But a new study in The World Economic Outlook shows migration improves economic growth and productivity in host countries. In this podcast, IMF economist and co-author of the study, Margaux MacDonald, says supporting migrants now and ensuring migration trends continue beyond the pandemic will help the global economy recover. TRANSCRIPT
Look for the BLOG at Blogs.IMF.org
Margaux MacDonald is an economist in the IMF's Research Department.
Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front lines of climate change with extreme weather wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agricultural production. COVID-19 introduces yet another level of risk to the food chain. In this podcast, IMF economists Pritha Mitra and Seung Mo Choi say the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters is weighing down on the region, which relies heavily on rainfed agriculture. The latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how the region can better manage the types of shocks that threaten its food supply.
The pandemic is crippling economies across the globe but for many countries, the economic shock will be magnified by the loss of remittances—money sent home by migrant and guest workers employed in foreign countries. Ralph Chami is an Assistant Director for the Institute for Capacity Development at the IMF. In this podcast, he says remittances are a lifeline for low-income and fragile states and when migrants lose their jobs those remittance flows stop. Chami says it's in everyone's interest for host countries to help support migrant workers through the pandemic.
While rich and poor are equally vulnerable to the debilitating physical effects of the coronavirus, economist Jonathan Ostry says the economic and social impact of the pandemic is much less equal. Ostry is Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF and in this podcast, he says the poor and the working class bear the brunt of pandemics and that policies need to pay specific attention to prevent long-term damage to the livelihoods of society's most vulnerable. Ostry's latest study on Inequality and pandemics is published by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) where he is a Research Fellow.
You can read Jonathan Ostry’s blog on how pandemics impact the poor at Blogs.imf.org
L'Afrique subsaharienne fait face à une crise sanitaire et économique sans précédent qui menace d'inverser une grande partie des progrès de développement qu'elle a réalisés ces dernières années. Les dernières perspectives économiques régionales montrent une contraction de 1,6% cette année, le pire résultat jamais enregistré. Papa N'Diaye est chef de la recherche au Département Afrique du FMI qui publie les perspectives. Dans ce podcast, N'Diaye dit que d'ici la fin de 2020, la région fera face à des pertes de revenus d'environ 200 milliards de dollars par rapport à ce qu'elle attendait il y a 6 mois.
Sub-Saharan Africa is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis that threatens to reverse much of the development progress it's made in recent years. The latest Regional Economic Outlook shows the economy will contract by 1.6 percent this year; the worst reading on record. Papa N'Diaye is Head of Research in the IMF’s African Department that publishes the outlook. In this podcast, N'Diaye says by the end of 2020, the region will face income losses of about $200 billion relative to what they were expecting 6 months ago.
لم تسلم أي منطقة من الآثار الاقتصادية الناجمة عن جائحة فيروس كورونا. ويقول جهاد أزعور إن جائحة كوفيد-19 كان لها تأثير بالغ على منطقة الشرق الأوسط وآسيا الوسطى، نظرا لارتفاع مستوى الاعتماد على النفط والانتشار الواسع للعمل في القطاع غير الرسمي في كثير من بلدان المنطقة. ويرأس السيد أزعور "إدارة الشرق الأوسط وآسيا الوسطى" بصندوق النقد الدولي، وهي الإدارة التي أصدرت مؤخرًا تقرير آفاق الاقتصاد الإقليمي والذي يوضح التحديات الهائلة التي يفرضها التصدي لهذه الجائحة.
يمكنكم قراءة مدونات أخرى لجهاد أزعور حول التأثير العالمي لجائحة كوفيد-19.
No region has been spared the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. And with the high level of oil-dependency and informality of many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, Jihad Azour says the economic impact of COVID-19 has been dramatic. Azour heads the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, which has just published the region's economic outlook that shows formidable challenges in the face of the pandemic.
You can read Azour's’s blog and others about the global impact of the pandemic at Blogs.imf.org
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on economies across the globe, economists are trying to figure out what the best path forward is for countries at different stages of the pandemic. Neil Ferguson and Azra Ghani are both professors of infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College, London, and renowned for their mathematical modelling of the spread of infectious diseases. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva says macroeconomists and epidemiologists need to work together to make the right decisions in this environment. Professors Ghani and Ferguson joined Georgieva in a virtual seminar during the IMF World-Bank Spring meetings.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around the world, emergency government spending on things like health care and employment, as well as tax policy, are preserving lives and livelihoods. In this podcast, Vitor Gaspar, Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, says governments should do whatever it takes, but to keep the receipts. Gaspar oversees the Fiscal Monitor, and the latest issue analyses the fiscal implications of the global pandemic. Countries have spent about $8 trillion so far and debt and deficits are on the rise. Gaspar says this is money well spent, but governments will need to be transparent and accountable for how they used taxpayer dollars to contain the pandemic and limit the economic damage. You can read Gaspar’s blog and others about the global impact of the pandemic at Blogs.imf.org
Early in the year, financial markets were buoyed by a widespread sense of optimism on the back of supportive monetary policies, reduced trade tensions, and tentative signs of stabilization in the global economy. But COVID-19 changed all of that. Fabio Natalucci heads the team that produces the IMF's Global Financial Stability Report, the latest one published amid a historic drop in equity markets and volatility levels last seen during the 2008 global financial crisis. In this podcast, Natalucci says the virus pandemic requires a forceful policy response to address health concerns, preserve the stability of the financial system and protect the productive capacity of the economy.
Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director in the IMF's Monetary and Capital Markets Department.
In this podcast, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva gives a preview of the World Economic Outlook to be released next week during the IMF's first-ever "virtual" Spring Meetings. In normal times, the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings are preceded by a curtain-raiser speech delivered by the Managing Director at a crowded public venue full of economists, academics and journalists. But these are not normal times. Kristalina Georgieva's speech for next week's Spring Meetings was to camera and solemn in tone. The outlook anticipates the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression. TRANSCRIPT