Books and Analytical Papers > Per Jacobsson lecture

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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Since the grave disruption of the subprime market at the start of the global financial crisis triggered major turbulences in the functioning of money markets in all large advanced economies, central bankers have experienced extraordinarily demanding and difficult times, characterized by a succession of shocks unseen, in the advanced economies, since World War II. Given the structurally very different economies that central banks were dealing with, one could have expected that the shock of the crisis would have accentuated their differences and given rise to an even more diverse setof central bank policies, conceptual references, and measures in a selfish, inward-looking mode. Instead, however, a phenomenon of “practical and conceptual rapprochement” took place between central banks, amidst the economic and financial turmoil, with the closest central bank cooperation ever, as symbolically illustrated by the coordinated decrease of interest rates in October 2008. The crisis also started or accelerated a multidimensional process of convergence of key elements of monetary policy thinking and policymaking—“conceptual convergence”—that is far from being achieved, but calls for great attention from both academia and policymakers. This Per Jacobsson Lecture concentrates on this convergence process, reflecting as well on some theoretical and practical issues that are associated with unconventional monetary policy liquidity and quantitative measures and the forward guidance generalization, themselves part of the conceptual convergence phenomenon.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The October 2009 Per Jacobsson Lecture, delivered in Istanbul in conjunction with the 2009 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, examined the issue of longer-run growth prospects for the global economy following the recent global economic crisis. Will the world be able, in the five to ten years after the crisis abates, to return to the very rapid kind of economic growth sustained in the five years leading up to it? Noting that recent debate on the topic has focused on demand-side factors, neglecting the key area of supply-side sources of growth, Kemal Dervis, the 2009 Per Jacobsson lecturer, argues that contrary to the majority view that limited, below-trend growth is likely to prevail for some time, there is probably potential for very rapid growth in the world economy over the coming decade, thanks to strong supply-side factors. Whether such growth can be realized depends, however, on demand-side management both at the national level and through improved global macroeconomic policy coordination.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

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.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper discusses how international financial institutions (IFIs) can deal with new global challenges. The paper highlights that surveillance is the primary responsibility of the IMF. To make it more effective, more attention should be paid to long-term, structural developments that, if left unaddressed, can over time create intractable rigidities and obstacles to growth. These include labor market rigidities, the consequences of demographic trends such as aging, and even the accumulation of international reserves. The interrelations between countries and the systemic impact of policies should also be a key focus of surveillance.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

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.