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Views from the Center

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Four charts showing lower but rising daily cases and deaths in EMDEs, along with higher lockdown stringency and lower mobility

As the Pandemic Surges in Poor Countries, Why Does the IMF Still Forecast a Milder Economic Crisis for Them?

Last week, the IMF revised the post-COVID growth forecasts it had made originally in the April World Economic Outlook (WEO). The April growth forecasts numbers projected a significantly more optimistic outlook for EMDEs compared with advanced economies. It turns out that the latest June forecast maintains this relative optimism for EMDEs.

Flailing IMF? Who Is Really to Blame?

Last week our CGD and Peterson Institute colleague Arvind Subramanian called on the IMF to speak truth to power, in an elegant cri de coeur in the Financial Times. The IMF, he notes: “has not provided independent intellectual leadership, most evidently on the eurozone crisis. And it is unprepared to provide stability for the next big global crisis.”

Lagarde and the Dragon: The IMF’s New Head Confronts a Rapidly Changing World

Judging from her first public speech since taking office last July, Christine Lagarde is all that her many supporters say she is: tough-minded, articulate, charming.  In a talk hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington’s Ronald Reagan International Trade Center, she deftly laid out key challenges facing the global economy: “an anemic and bumpy recovery with unacceptably high unemployment” in the high-income countries, the debt crisis in Europe, and mounting public debt in the United States.

A Conference Call with CFR: What Students Are Asking

Today with Francis Fukuyama, I participated in a Council on Foreign Relations “Academic Conference Call” (listen here) with undergraduate and graduate students from over 40 universities.  We answered questions about our March/April Foreign Affairs article, The Post-Washington Consensus: Development after the Crisis.  (The article is based on a book due out any day now from Johns Hopkins University Press:  New Ideas on Developm

A Development Perspective on China’s Currency—And a Fresh WTO Solution

My colleage Arvind Subramanian published an intriguing Op-Ed in the Financial Times this week. In “The Weak Renminbi is Not Just America’s Problem” Arvind notes that the undervalued Chinese currency is a global problem that requires a multilateral response. He then argues persuasively that neither the United States nor the IMF can be expected to persuade China to revalue its currency. Instead, he says, such action should come from the WTO.