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Views from the Center

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History Says Financial Crisis Will Suppress Aid

Though today's financial crisis began in the world's richest nation, there is good reason to worry about how it will affect the world's poor. A recent series of posts explores the implications. The contagions of freeze-up and slowdown will spread through many channels: trade, investment, migration, and more.

Whither the IMF in the Current Crisis? Invite the Big Emerging Economies to the Table

IMF and Participants at the upcoming meetings of the IMF and World Bank in early October are bound to promise with considerable conviction an increase and an improvement in international coordination of domestic financial regulators -- just as U.S. Treasury and Fed officials are now promising, with considerable conviction, to revisit and reform the rules and the coordination of a currently fragmented regulatory set-up within the U.S.

Crisis a Set Back for Accountability and Good Governance in Developing World (Development Impacts of Financial Crisis)

I think the behavior of both public officials and private sector managers over the past decade is at direct odds with our message to the developing world regarding transparency and accountability. For example, my research shows that influence peddling is a serious impediment to growth in Africa, and that the development community needs to devise solutions that recognize and overcome such problems.

Microfinance Likely to Weather the Storm (Development Impacts of Financial Crisis)

If the worst happens, all bets are off; otherwise I expect the "macrofinance" convulsions will have minimal repercussions for microfinance. In Indonesia during its crisis in 1997, while large companies and rich people defaulted left and right, the 2.6 million microcredit borrowers of the Bank Rakyat Indonesia hardly skipped a beat. And few at this point are predicting that the U.S. seize-up will trigger a recurrence of such severe economic trauma for developing countries.

Crisis? Not If We Take a Long View (Development Impacts of Financial Crisis)

When you’re done reading today’s news stories about the crisis, take a deep breath. Media coverage is focused on the very short term, as usual. Speculation abounds that we live in a different world now. I’m reminded of portentous claims after the Asian Financial Crisis that “the miracle was over”, claims which look very overwrought in hindsight. In historical perspective, many of the most worrisome recent crises are small bumps on a very long road.

Middle Income and Emerging Markets May Be Most at Risk (Development Impacts of Financial Crisis)

As with all financial disasters -- whether it's your neighbor’s lost job or a macroeconomic shock -- the first thing people want to know is "will it hit me?" This question must be on the minds of ordinary people and macroeconomic policymakers across the world, including those in developing countries. The policymaker's answer will depend on two things: (1) how closely is her country integrated in the international financial markets; and (2) how vigilant have her country's regulators been in regulating and supervising its capital markets?

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