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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

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 Develop

G-20 Member Argentina Is Failing Basic Data Transparency Test on Inflation—And Where’s the IMF on It?

Bad news from Argentina:  The government has been tampering with inflation statistics for several years (publishing official rate as 8 percent compared to independent estimates greater than 20 percent).  Now it is imposing big fines ($100,000) on private consulting firms and individuals producing private estimates.  And where is the IMF on this issue?  In deference to its member Argentina it publishes the official estimate with a footnote suggesting private estimates are much greater.  More background (in Spanish) can be found

On Sudan Debt: Devil Is in the Details

This is a joint post with Wren Elhai.

What everyone was expecting is now official. On July 9th, South Sudan will become the world’s newest country. But while the date is certain, there are still plenty of details to be worked out. There is no deal as of yet on sharing Sudan’s oil wealth, or on its nearly $40 billion in external debt. Successful resolution of the debt issue acceptable to both north and south and the international community is crucial to the success of the new nation and to avoiding a resumption of the long and bloody civil war.

IMF Reform: How the Poor Man (That’s the USA) Had a Good Idea

IMF governance reforms were agreed the week before the G20 Summit.  One decision – to increase IMF resources but not by much – may matter for the IMF’s role in a still-unsettled Eurozone – if Ireland’s problem becomes Portugal’s and so on.

For a full and nicely balanced assessment of the reforms from Ted Truman, including on resources, go here.  Among other things, unpacks a couple of little-known and little-understood facts that are (though he doesn’t say so directly) about the role of the USA – the poor man with good ideas.

A Green Fund: From the IMF, George Soros, and the Government of Mexico

On January 30 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the IMF, announced a possible new initiative – a multi-billion dollar Green Fund (that name is popular – see below) that would help developing countries finance the measures needed to tackle climate change – possibly with partial funding through issuance by the IMF of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

Selling Some IMF Gold: A Good Idea Finally Happening

In 2002, John Williamson and I proposed that the gold at the IMF be used to deal with global public good (bad) of unsustainable debt of poor countries – and in particular to allow the IMF to finance suspension of debt service to the IMF and the multilateral development banks following an external shock.

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