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What are the economic, political, and technological risks to future global growth and stability? This complex question was the topic of a recent CGD event, which featured a conversation between IMF's managing director Christine Lagarde and CGD’s president Masood Ahmed. This week's podcast is an edited version of their conversation.
The event took place just as the IMF revealed its latest World Economic Outlook. Its forecast for annual global growth in the coming years is relatively unchanged at around 3.5 percent—but what has changed, Lagarde said, is the “source and balancing of growth” around the world, with an upgrading of forecasts for Asia, Continental Europe and Canada, but lower projections for the US and UK. The picture for Sub-Saharan Africa is also cause for concern, as Lagarde and Ahmed discussed during the event.
They also talked about ways to address the concerns of people who have been “left behind” by development progress. For the Lagarde, that means “number one, telling the truth about what the likely consequences are of certain policies. … You have to start with that, and then allocate the resources and decide the policies that will actually help.”
Check out the podcast at the top of this page, and watch the full event on our website.
When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month. they would do well to focus on another looming debt crisis that could hit some of the poorest countries in the world, many of whom are also struggling with problems of conflict and fragility and none of which has the institutional capacity to cope with a major debt crisis without lasting damage to their already-challenged development prospects.
Even for countries that are far away from graduating from foreign aid, the importance of domestic resource mobilization for maintaining macroeconomic stability and sustained economic growth is well documented. A look at the experience of countries that have received HIPC debt relief validates this point and underlines the need for attaching a high priority to tax policies and practices in international assistance programs for low income countries.
To say that John Bolton, President Trump’s latest pick for National Security advisor is a well-known UN critic would be an understatement. But it’s well worth noting that he has opinions about the IMF and the multilateral development banks too.