High-Stakes Choices In Next Stage of Crisis


By Caroline Atkinson

After averting a second Great Depression, what should policy makers do to foster recovery?

Economic policymakers are rarely popular. Central bank governors are notorious for removing the punch bowl at the party. Ministers of finance are traditionally the ones who say no to their colleagues’ pet spending projects.

In the upside-down world of recent months, finance ministers and central bank governors around the world seemed to have switched sides.  They became cheerleaders for expansionary policies. The IMF has argued strongly for this, as long as countries had room to take on more debt. Despite some hiccups, it seems clearer with every economic release that the extraordinary actions governments have taken have paid off, at least in halting the slide. Economic prospects may not be quite as bright as recent market moves would suggest. But the risk of spreading financial collapse has lessened markedly

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Amid Signs of Crisis Abating, IMF Invites Debate on Next Steps


By Caroline Atkinson

Welcome to iMFdirect, the International Monetary Fund’s new blog.

The global economy has pulled back from the brink.  Financial systems are beginning to function more normally. The panic that threatened to spread among depositors and savers earlier this year has receded. But enormous economic challenges remain, challenges that are often global in scope and may require a global response.

It is against that background that economists and policymakers at the International Monetary Fund are now preparing for the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in early October.  And as we do that, we wanted to open up our work to a broader audience. In coming weeks, senior staff and IMF management would like to discuss with you, through this blog, some of the key issues.

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