CIGI Commentaries

CIGI Commentaries consist of expert analysis of current international governance topics, written in the style of newspaper op-eds, aimed at advancing public understanding and influencing public debate.

The Battle of the Banks

November 18, 2014
There are many takeaways from the 2014 G20 summit meetings in Brisbane, Australia, but one that stands out is the battle for creating, funding and maintaining development banks that can undertake large infrastructure financing. One of the pillars of the Brisbane pact on growth and development is the G20 leaders’ nod to the importance of infrastructure and investment as the key means of attaining both the promised two percent additional GDP growth across the globe, and the goal of creating quality jobs for youth, women and the disadvantaged.

If Fully Implemented...

November 17, 2014
The ninth summit meeting of leaders of the G20 has now concluded in Brisbane, Australia. Many observers saw this meeting as a critical test of whether the G20 could continue to show leadership of the global economy. Following the G20’s recognized success at its first two meetings in halting the slide of the world economy into an even more serious crisis, many commentators have observed that more recently, the G20 appeared to have lost its way.

Keeping Up with the Challenges from Global Monetary Policy Spillovers

November 12, 2014
International spillovers of unconventional monetary policies have been an important discussion item in G20 meetings over the past few years. While the current Australian presidency has managed to ease some of the initial tension on this topic, it will remain a subject of conversation in forthcoming G20 meetings, given the expected US Fed tightening and the possibility of the European Central Bank’s own quantitative easing.

Time to Replace the Catatonic UNFCCC

September 30, 2014
Political realities provide a challenging context for climate change negotiations, including fundamental North-South differences on financial transfers and on legally binding targets. Funding is not forthcoming — the Green Climate Fund, to be disbursed to developing countries to undertake their climate actions, has yet to receive any funds. Developed countries refuse to consider making legally binding commitments to restrict emissions unless China, India and Brazil all make similar commitments. Domestic energy policy changes in the United States and the United Kingdom reveal that they are not serious about reducing emissions.

Greening Economic Growth: How Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?

September 18, 2014
Paul Lanoie
A major challenge facing society is discovering new ways to grow economies without growing environmental impacts, commonly referred to as “decoupling” economic growth from environmental degradation. It is, however, a widely held belief among both economists and regulators that the adoption of environmental regulation will, by nature, impair economic growth. In this view, policies or regulations designed to improve the environmental performance of economic actors (for example, firms) will, by default, reduce the potential for economic growth — which means decoupling is not viable as a policy objective. One need look no further than the current paralysis with the international negotiations to limit greenhouse gas emissions (and decarbonize economic growth) to see the implications of this perception.

African Perspectives on Sovereign Debt Restructuring

August 19, 2014
On August 7 and 8, CIGI’s Global Economy Program co-hosted a conference with Uganda Debt Network to discuss African perspectives on sovereign debt restructuring.

Chinese Perspectives on Sovereign Debt Restructuring

July 22, 2014
During the week of July 14, CIGI’s Global Economy Program co-hosted a workshop with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing to discuss Chinese perspectives on sovereign debt restructuring. This event, which was attended by select policy makers and scholars, followed the recent IMF executive board discussion on options for reform of its lending framework. At the margin of this workshop, a trio of CIGI senior fellows held additional meetings with policy makers, analysts, academics and market participants on sovereign debt issues in Beijing and Shanghai to take stock of Chinese views on next steps in the reform of sovereign debt management.

The IMF’s Lending Framework and Sovereign Debt Restructuring

July 3, 2014
The euro area crisis precipitated large IMF loans. The Greece program in May 2010 required a change in IMF's framework for exceptional access arrangements, which was put into place following the 2001 Argentine crisis. The framework was meant to safeguard the resources of the IMF by setting out clear criteria that should be met before the Fund agreed to provide exceptionally large loans relative to a member country’s IMF quota.

The Outlook for the Euro Zone: Adjusting with Low Inflation

May 6, 2014
Low inflation remains the key risk to recovery in some advanced economies. Despite subdued price expectations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that most major advanced economies, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and even Japan will return to their central banks’ targets of two percent inflation by 2019.

Global Mega Trade Deals and the Impact on China

May 1, 2014
As US President Barack Obama continues his trade-focused trip to Asia this week, it is worth reflecting on the new US strategy of mega deals and what this may mean for the global trading system.