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Despite its 70 year history IMF still has a lot of growing to do

Tuesday, 8 April 2014
"In some ways, the International Monetary Fund prefers to see itself as a preventative tool and not a financing tool," writes CIGI Senior Fellow Bessma Momani in her summary of CIGI's co-sponsored event The IMF: What Is It Good For?

Trends and challenges in philanthropy and development

Tuesday, 12 November 2013
I had the opportunity to attend the Emirates Foundation Annual Philanthropy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where panellists discussed a number of trends and challenges in the field of philanthropy and development. One issue that was not discussed, but stands out to me, is how the number of actors in the field of development is increasingly dispersed and diffused.

What's up (not down) with commodities?

Thursday, 31 October 2013
There are two trends that in the commodities sector, particularly on energy, worth noting include the rapid consumption of a middle class in emerging market economies like China and the exploration of oil and gas rising in the global marketplace.

The Kettle Calling the Pot Black: Regulators and Supervisors from North to South

Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Bessma Momani and David Kempthorne
On the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings, the Toronto Centre- that is mandated with training regulators and supervisors from over 170 countries- had hosted an enlightening conversation on whether regulatory and supervisory best practices can be taught.

Coordinating Global Economic Governance

Thursday, 10 October 2013
Listening to Daniel Tarullo, Governor of the Federal Reserve system of the United States at the Bretton Woods Committee discuss the state of global financial reforms was a fascinating insight into the careful work before policymakers. What are the reflections of individuals in the rooms and corridors of vital regulatory organizations?

Obama is losing the hearts and minds of the Arab world

Monday, 9 September 2013
Bessma Momani and Claire Schachter
The world has little patience for the regime of Bashar al-Assad at this point. With hundreds of thousands of dead, two million refugees – half of which are children – and four million internally displaced throughout the Syrian territory, there are no shortage of victims and witnesses to Mr. Assad’s brutality. His attempt to counter Mr. Obama’s media offensive with a live interview will not redeem his image.

Is Syria a Terminal Case?

Friday, 30 August 2013
The world has watched Syria being destroyed from within for more than two years. The death toll has mounted steadily, month after month, and refugees continue to pour into neighbouring countries. The country’s infrastructure is being obliterated. With 100,000 dead and likely more to come, millions internally and externally displaced, and thousands imprisoned, injured, maimed, and psychologically scarred, it is getting worse everyday.

Do country officials trust the IMF?

Thursday, 29 August 2013
Earlier this year, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) released a valuable report on the 'The IMF's Role as a Trusted Advisor.' Known for its candour and independent assessment of the IMF, the IEO held little back in assessing how the IMF has fared in carrying out this important role.

The Arab Spring Can Bring a Demographic Dividend

Tuesday, 6 August 2013
With so many terrible realities dominating the headlines in the Middle East, it is easy to be pessimistic about the region. In my new study in Global Policy, I make the case that the Middle East is actually a region to watch as an up and coming economic market that will be ripe for business opportunities, investment and economic growth.

From Coup to Chaos

Thursday, 25 July 2013
Egypt’s military leadership is playing with fire. During a televised cadet graduation ceremony on Wednesday, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for Egyptians to return to the streets to show that they back the military and its mandate to confront “violence and potential terrorism.”

Where do good development ideas come from?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Where do good development ideas come from? This is an important question for the health of the global economy. As a former student of international development studies, my colleagues and I spent a great deal of time trying to understand how to formulate good development policies, the pitfalls to avoid and the unintended consequences of not knowing the local conditions and circumstances that lead to policy failure.

Idling While Syria Implodes

Tuesday, 7 May 2013
There will be no intervention in Syria until the crisis explodes. Sadly, the country is already imploding under the unbearable pressure of a civil war that has already cost 80,000 lives, driven millions from their homes, and destroyed countless dollars worth of infrastructure. But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will continue to deploy everything from airstrikes to “small-scale” chemical weapons against his own people with impunity until his atrocities spark a full-blow regional explosion.

Our Job Deficiency: A Challenge to the IMF-World Bank

Monday, 29 April 2013
At the IMF-World Bank meetings this past week, there were plenty of assessments of the state of the global economy that described the post-2008 recovery as anemic. Only a few went so far as to claim that the global economy is comatose. Yet, despite general agreement on the diagnosis, there was little consensus on how to solve the problem.

What is keeping financial policy-makers up at night?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013
At the IMF World Bank Spring meetings, there are plenty of concerned faces in the rooms of policymakers, analysts and global economic experts. It is usually hard to find a happy smiling bunch of economists and financial analysts, so this may be a selection bias. Nevertheless, what are the issues on the table at the IMF meetings? Well, it is still hot money.

Something is not adding up... Where's the money?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013
If you have been reading The Economist, Financial Times and other financial papers, you'll notice an odd conundrum that to me, as a political economist, does not add up. On the one hand, we are told in Western media that capital is increasingly held in the private sector's coffers. Private companies and firms are sitting on capital and not spending it. Worried that a rainy day is before them, so we are told, those in the private sector have not expanded their operations.

Is Russian Peter being used to pay the Cypriot's Paul?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Cyprus, a small island of one million people, has very large banks. In fact, the banks have the wealth of eight times the entire Cypriot economy. Obviously, this doesn’t add up and that’s because Cyprus has become an offshore financial centre, offering a haven for money transfers, money laundering, and Internet banks. Foreigners from Russia, worth nearly €20 billion, have been attracted to these lax rules in setting up bank accounts that accompany low corporate tax rates.

Will we come to know a Kurdish Spring?

Thursday, 31 January 2013
For the last two years, the Arab Spring has ignited the aspirations of 250 million people. The Arab population of the Middle East are determined to shape their own history and realize their desire for free, accountable and equitable societies by breaking down the autocratic walls of fear. In many ways, the stateless Kurdish people, who are the largest ethnic minority in the entire Middle East at approximately 30 million, have desired the same thing.

How many more Syrians must die?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012
As the Friends of Syria meet in Morocco to offer more words of support to the Syrian revolution to overthrow the Assad government, the reality is we are no closer to a change in rhetoric than we were many months ago. The U.S. government recognition of the new Syrian National Coalition will do little to change realities on the ground.

Why Mark Carney’s move to the Bank of England is a loss for Canada

Monday, 26 November 2012
Mark Carney has accepted a position as the Governor of the Bank of England effective next July. The move had been rumoured in Financial Times in April this year, and many commentators had thought it was perhaps far- fetched, considering the fact that Mr. Carney is not a citizen of the UK or any other European country. Nevertheless, this is a boon for the Bank of England. Mark Carney is an unusual breed of central bankers.

Who won after eight days of Israel-Gaza conflict? Syria’s Bashar Assad

Thursday, 22 November 2012
Analysts and pundits will be all over themselves trying to find a ‘winner’ in this conflict between Gaza and Israel. Admitting that those who have been killed and maimed from this conflict find this discussion wholly insensitive, I have to say that it is neither Hamas, Netanyahu, nor Morsi who are the clear winners.