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Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World

by Adam LeBor

Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world’s most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth...


Liberia: Ad Hoc Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request for Augmentation of Access and Modification of Performance Criteria-

by International Monetary Fund. Afri Dept.

KEY ISSUES Background. With the highest number of new and cumulative Ebola cases recorded to date, Liberia is the country most affected by the epidemic in West Africa. In addition to exacting a heavy human toll,...


Regional Economic Outlook, Middle East and Central Asia, October 2014

by International Monetary Fund. Midd Dept.

This issue discusses economic developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP), which continue to reflect the diversity of conditions prevailing across the region. Most high-income...


Guyana: 2013 Article IV Consultation - Staff Report; Press Release

by International Monetary Fund. West Dept.

The economy has experienced seven consecutive years of robust growth, buoyed by high commodity prices, foreign direct investment and expansion of private sector credit. As part of a strategy to sustain growth,...


How Much is A Lot? Historical Evidence on the Size of Fiscal Adjustments

by Julio Escolano & Laura Jaramillo

The sizeable fiscal consolidation required to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratios in several countries in the aftermath of the global crisis raises a crucial question on its feasibility. To answer this question,...


St. Kitts and Nevis : Ninth and Final Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement, Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, and Proposa

by International Monetary Fund. West Dept.

KEY ISSUES Stand-By Arrangement (SBA): The 36-month SBA for SDR 52.51 million (590 percent of quota) was approved on July 27, 2011. The seventh and eighth reviews were completed on March 19, 2014, together with...


Saudi Arabia: 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release

by International Monetary Fund. Midd Dept.

KEY ISSUES Context. Saudi Arabia's economy has grown very strongly in recent years, benefitting from high oil prices and output, strong private sector activity, and government spending. It has played a systemic...


Sri Lanka : 2014 Article IV Consultation and Second Post-Program Monitoring Discussion-Staff Report; Press Release

by International Monetary Fund. Asia Dept

KEY ISSUES Context. Macroeconomic performance has generally exceeded expectations. Real GDP grew 7.3 percent for 2013, up from 6.3 percent in 2012. Inflation declined to below 5 percent, and the external current...


Cabo Verde  : 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release; and Statement by the Executive Director for Cabo Verde

by International Monetary Fund. Afri Dept.

KEY ISSUES Context: Over the last two decades, good governance and sound macroeconomic management have delivered remarkable economic and social progress to Cabo Verde. More recently, however, growth has slowed...


The Great Cross-Border Bank Deleveraging: Supply Constraints and Intra-Group Frictions

by Eugenio Cerutti & Stijn Claessens

International banks greatly reduced their direct cross-border and local affiliates' lending as the global financial crisis strained balance sheets, lowered borrower demand, and changed government policies. Using...


Belize : 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release

by International Monetary Fund. West Dept.

KEY ISSUES Outlook and risks. The economy will remain vulnerable over the medium term, with sluggish real GDP growth, rising public debt and widening external current account deficits. International reserves...


Soaring of the Gulf Falcons: Diversification in the GCC Oil Exporters in Seven Propositions

by Reda Cherif & Fuad Hasanov

A key priority for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is to create a dynamic non-oil tradable sector to support sustainable growth. Since export diversification takes a long time, it has to start now....


Italy : 2014 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Press Release; and Statement by the Executive Director for Italy

by International Monetary Fund. Euro Dept.

KEY ISSUES Unleashing Italy’s Potential The economy is struggling to emerge from a prolonged balance-sheet recession… Tight credit conditions, weak corporate balance sheets, and deeply-rooted structural...


A Constrained Choice? Impact of Concessionality Requirements on Borrowing Behavior

by Calixte Ahokpossi & Laurence Allain

This paper uses the propensity matching score approach to assess the impact of the IMF's debt limits policy (DLP) on borrowing behavior in countries eligible to borrow from its concessional lending window. The...


Jamaica  : Fifth Review Under the Extended Fund Facility and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria-Staff Report; Press Release

by International Monetary Fund. West Dept.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Recent data show a gradual economic recovery, with growth projected to reach just over 1 percent in 2014/15. Inflation has trended down to about 8 percent. The program is on track. Jamaica?s...


Does the Clarity of Inflation Reports Affect Volatility in Financial Markets?

by Ales Bulir & Martin Cihák

We study whether clarity of central bank inflation reports affects return volatility in financial markets. We measure clarity of reports by the Czech National Bank, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England,...


Guinea : Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility and for Modification of Performance Criteria Under the Extended Credit Facility Arr

by International Monetary Fund. Afri Dept.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Guinea is suffering from an outbreak of Ebola, which has become a humanitarian crisis with a significant economic impact. Preliminary estimates suggest a negative impact on 2014 growth, which...


Reforming the Corporate Governance of Italian Banks

by Nadège Jassaud

Sound corporate governance is essential for a well-functioning banking system and the integrity of financial markets. The paper discusses the corporate governance of Italian banks, its regulatory framework,...


Sierra Leone : Ad Hoc Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request for Augmentation of Access and Modification of Performance Cri

by International Monetary Fund. Afri Dept.

KEY ISSUES Background. The Ebola outbreak that started in one district in late May has spread to the entire country, overwhelming already weak institutions and ill-equipped medical facilities. At end-August,...


Iceland: Technical Assistance Report-Modernizing the Icelandic VAT

by International Monetary Fund. Fisc Dept.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Iceland's government, elected in 2013, is conducting a general review of its tax policy with a view toward making it more efficient and less distortionary.1 To this end, it has targeted VAT...