International Monetary Fund (Imf)
Algeria’s ‘system’ hangs tough
Algeria seems headed down a road already taken by other resource-rich authoritarian countries like Venezuela. Low oil and gas prices have made it harder for a crony oligarchy to buy off the public with subsidies and benefits. Their latest expedient to stave off reforms is to use the central bank to fund a government stimulus program, but that only delays the day of reckoning.
Argentina: Macri yet to score on economic reform
The government of Argentina can chalk up its first modest successes in improving a badly distorted economy. But the peso’s recent bad run against the dollar has signaled there are limitations to President Macri’s play it by ear, gradualist approach to reforms.
Ukraine in limbo
Well into the fourth year after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of hostilities in Donbas, Ukraine finds itself in a curious state of limbo. There is good news – the economy has bottomed out, the war in the east has frozen at low intensity, and the danger of yet another revolt in Kiev has receded. There is also bad news – rampant corruption is still strangling business, the Minsk peace process is going nowhere, and hopes for reintegrating the separatist-held areas have vanished into thin air.
Will El-Sisi bring Egypt back?
At the heart of the Middle East is a surprising absence. Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, with the largest army and a proud 6,000-year history, is no longer a leader. It exerts virtually no influence in the region, a situation that is unlikely to change unless President Abdel-Fattah Eli-Sisi turns his country around.
Japan is trying another fiscal stimulus to make Abenomics work. The central bank appears to have given up, admitting in its latest quarterly report that monetary measures will not suffice to get inflation back to the 2 percent target. But the real culprit may be institutional inertia, which has kept the government from following through on promises of structural reform.
Ukraine goes from serious to critical
The past few weeks have brought extremely bad news from Ukraine. The country now finds itself at a crossroads, where fundamental and disturbing questions must be asked about its governability. Domestic elites persist in placing their own personal interests above those of the nation, and Western governments are realizing that their ambition to steer Ukraine by remote control has reached the end of the road.
China’s AIIB attracts 47 global members to challenge for opportunities
China is leading a new initiative to compete against the IMF and the World Bank which seem to have outgrown their original creation 71 years ago. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - a minnow in finance compared with the World Bank - has had 47 countries applying to join, including major global economies, and will target financial help for infrastructure. ...
Japan’s ‘safe haven’ status is shifting it towards the West
In spite of its many economic problems, Japan appears to have retained its ‘safe haven’ status because it has its own currency, it has low exposure to international debt and it does not have to rely on a foreign central bank. At a time when the country is at odds with its largest export market, China, over disputed islands, it appears to be turning away from its gi...