Balance of Payments (BOP)

Policy Brief 47, June 2018

Renewed crises in emerging economies and the IMF ‒ Muddling through again?

As recognised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global financial safety net including international reserves, Fund resources, bilateral swap arrangements, regional financing arrangements is “fragmented with uneven coverage” and “too costly, unreliable and conducive to moral hazard”.  Given the aversion of emerging economies to the IMF and unilateral debt standstills and exchange controls, the next crisis is likely to be even messier than the previous ones.  Some countries may seek and succeed in getting bilateral support from China or some reserve-currency countries according to their political stance and affiliation.  In such cases, crisis intervention would become even more politicised than in the past and a lot less reliant on multilateral arrangements.  By failing to establish an orderly and equitable system of crisis resolution, the IMF may very well find its role significantly diminished in the management of the next bout of crises in emerging economies.  In other words, multilateralism, however imperfect, could face another blow in the sphere of finance after trade.

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Research Paper 76, May 2017

The Financial Crisis and the Global South: Impact and Prospects

The world economy has not still recovered from the effects of the financial crisis that began almost a decade ago first in the US and then in Europe.  Policy response to the crisis, the combination of fiscal restraint and ultra-easy monetary policy, has not only failed to bring about a robust recovery but has also aggravated systemic problems in the global economy, notably inequality and chronic demand gap, on the one hand, and financial fragility, on the other. (more…)

Statement, April 2017

South Centre Statement to the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 24

Below is the Statement by the South Centre’s Executive Director Mr. Martin Khor which was distributed during the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Twenty-four held in Washington DC on 20 April 2017.

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Research Paper 73, February 2017

Inequality, Financialization and Stagnation

The failure of exceptional monetary measures pursued in response to the financial crisis in advanced economies to achieve a strong recovery has created a widespread concern that these economies suffer from a chronic demand gap and face the prospect of stagnation.  This paper reviews and discusses the alternative views on the causes of the slowdown in accumulation and growth and the policies implemented and proposed to deal with it. (more…)

Policy Brief 35, January 2017

On the Existence of Systemic Issues and their Policy Implications

Systemic issues are issues that arise from the built-in features of the global system and the impact of the interaction of its parts; as implied in the chapter title in the Monterrey Consensus, it pertains to the coherence and consistency of the monetary, finance and trade systems.  Systemic issues point at the weak points in the whole global financial “architecture,” the international structures and mechanisms that are beyond the control of individual countries.  Systemic issues are a particular concern to developing countries, which have experienced their greatest development reversals during international payments crises. (more…)

Policy Brief 26, June 2016

Debt Dynamics in China – Serious problems but an imminent crisis is unlikely

Recently, there have been many articles in the international media predicting that China is facing an imminent financial/debt crisis worse than the 2008 US sub-prime crash. However, a closer look at the debt dynamics in China highlights some fundamental differences be-tween the debt situation of the source country of the 2008 global financial crisis and that of China. (more…)

Research Paper 63, October 2015

Foreign Direct Investment, Investment Agreements and Economic Development: Myths and Realities

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the most ambiguous and the least understood concepts in international economics. Common debate on FDI is confounded by several myths regarding its nature and impact on capital accumulation, technological progress, industrialization and growth. It is often portrayed as a long term, stable, cross-border flow of capital that adds to productive capacity, helps meet balance-of-payments shortfalls, transfers technology and management skills, and links domestic firms with wider global markets. However, none of these are intrinsic qualities of FDI. (more…)

Statement, 10 April 2014

Statement to the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 24, Washington DC

Weak and uncertain global economic conditions

Before the world economy has been able to fully recover from the crisis that began more than five years ago, there is a widespread fear that we may be poised for yet another crisis, this time in emerging economies. (more…)

Research Paper 50, February 2014

Crisis Mismanagement in the United States and Europe: Impact on Developing Countries and Longer-Term Consequences

There are two major failings in policy interventions in the crisis in the US and Europe: the reluctance to remove the debt overhang through timely, orderly and comprehensive restructuring and the shift to fiscal austerity after an initial reflation.  These have resulted in excessive reliance on monetary means with central banks entering uncharted policy waters, including zero-bound interest rates and the acquisition of long-term public and private bonds.  (more…)

Research Paper 48, June 2013

Waving Or Drowning: Developing Countries After The Financial Crisis

Not only has the “Great Recession” led to a “Great Slowdown” in developing countries, but also their longer-term growth prospects are clouded by global structural imbalances and fragilities that culminated in the current crisis. (more…)

Policy Brief 15, January 2013

Capital Account Regulations and Investor Protections in Asia.

Since at least the early 1990s, countries that sought to regulate the capital account risked self-inflicted stigma in the international investment arena, even in the face of uncontroverted analytical reasons for their appropriateness.Subsequent events, including the Asian financial crisis in 1997, have not eliminated the stigma risk from capital account controls but the analytical discussion has shifted to when, not if, such controls are warranted. (more…)

Policy Brief 14, December 2012

National Financial Policy in Developing Countries.

A fundamental question raised by recurrent financial crises in mature and emerging economies is how to ensure that the financial markets and institutions serve growth and development rather than being a constant source of instability and disruption in pursuit of self-interest. (more…)


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