Delegates, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure, on behalf of the Per Jacobsson Foundation, to welcome you to this Per Jacobsson Foundation Lecture. Over the past 40 years or so, this lecture has become a fixture of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and we have been privileged to have a very distinguished range of speakers. Per Jacobsson, as many of you know, was the third Managing Director of the IMF and, prior to that, the Chief Economist of the BIS. He was a very distinguished member of a long line of distinguished Managing Directors.
Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller
Average growth in the small states in the Asia and Pacific region remained weak (1 percent) in 2013 and underperformed that in other small states—2 percent. However, activity within the Asia-Pacific small states was uneven, with commodity exporters growing at the rate of 3 percent which, while robust, was lower than past rates (Figure 1). Economic performance in the microstates (i.e., countries with a population below 200,000—Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu) lagged behind with growth estimated at less than 1 percent. Inflation has remained broadly in check. These countries remain highly vulnerable to natural disasters as shown by the recent cyclones in Tonga and Vanuatu, and severe floods in Solomon Islands.
This chapter provides a comparative perspective of competition policy and monetary policy. Monetary policy and competition policy are two key components of public policies needed for a market economy to function well, and indeed to exist, just as money and the market are two defining elements of such an economy. According to Mario Monti, monetary policy and competition policy compared is that they both serve in different ways the same objective, or at least they have one objective in common, even though their practitioners may not always realize it, and that is price stability. Monetary policies in most countries have been largely successful in recent periods in achieving their objectives, and in some parts of the world, maybe in Europe specifically, this has been facilitated by a number of positive supply shocks, including the setting in motion of conditions in the real economy of greater flexibility and also the creation of the single market, the tearing down of barriers, and the creation and maintenance of competitive conditions.
Ladies and gentlemen, Governors, I should first say, I am deeply grateful to the Per Jacobsson Foundation and to the BIS for providing me with this opportunity. I am honored to have been invited to deliver this Per Jacobsson Foundation Lecture, and by the presence of so many distinguished guests.
This paper presents the views of Lawrence H. Summers on the U.S. current account deficit and the global economy. Summers highlights that the U.S. current account deficit is currently running well in excess of US$600 billion at an annual rate, in the range of 5.5 percent of GDP. It represents more than 1 percent of global GDP and absorbs close to two-thirds of the cumulative current account surpluses of all the world’s surplus countries. Summers thinks that such a unique imbalance deserves careful scrutiny.
It is a great honor and a great pleasure for the Per Jacobsson Foundation today to have the participation of Larry Summers. He doesn’t need any introduction because you all know him, and therefore what I’m going to say is going to seem banal and superfluous.
ANDREW CROCKETT: Well, good morning, everybody, and welcome to this year’s Per Jacobsson Lecture. My name is Andrew Crockett, and I am Chairman of the Per Jacobsson Foundation. On my right is Caroline Atkinson, who many of you will know is the Director of External Relations at the IMF but is also, and more importantly for this morning’s function, President of the Per Jacobsson Foundation.