Nigeria: Selected Issues

International Monetary Fund
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Nigeria: Selected Issues
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Publisher
International Monetary Fund
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Published on
Apr 5, 2017
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Pages
57
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ISBN
9781475592092
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / Economics
Business & Economics / Money & Monetary Policy
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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This content is DRM protected.
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In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon.

 

Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.

Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.

As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.

Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.

While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.




From the Hardcover edition.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Context. The emergence of large fiscal and external imbalances in recent years, which led to a slowdown in growth, is putting Ghana’s medium-term prospects at risk. The Government’s efforts to achieve fiscal consolidation since mid-2013 have been undermined by policy slippages, external shocks and rising interest cost. Until mid- 2014, the net international reserves position had further weakened and the exchange rate depreciated sharply, fueling inflationary pressures. The situation has stabilized on the back of the Eurobond issued in September and a short-term loan contracted by the Cocoa Board, but public debt continued to rise at an unsustainable pace. Extended Credit Facility Arrangement (ECF). The Ghanaian authorities have requested a three-year arrangement under the ECF in an amount of SDR 664.20 million (180 percent of quota) in support of their medium-term economic reform program. Program Framework. The authorities’ three year ECF-supported program, anchored on their second Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA II), aims at a sizeable and frontloaded fiscal adjustment to restore debt sustainability, rebuild external buffers, and eliminate fiscal dominance of monetary policy, while safeguarding financial sector stability. It focuses on: ? Substantially strengthening the fiscal position by mobilizing additional revenues, restraining the wage bill and other primary spending, while making space for priority spending. The government is also taking additional adjustment measures to help offset lower-than-budgeted oil revenue. A prudent borrowing policy will complement fiscal consolidation efforts to restore debt sustainability. ? Accelerating the reform agenda: strengthening public financial management and expenditure controls, in particular cleaning-up the payroll and enhancing wage bill control; improving revenue collection through tax policy and tax administration reforms; restoring the effectiveness of the inflation-targeting (IT) framework by eliminating fiscal dominance and enhancing monetary policy operations. Risks. Risks to the program include delayed or partial implementation of policies, including next year in the run-up to elections, a slower growth recovery if the electricity crisis is not addressed quickly, and additional negative commodity price shocks. Staff supports the authorities’ request for IMF support. Forceful and sustained implementation of the program will be essential to address macroeconomic imbalances.
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