Global Monitoring Report, 2010: The MDGs after the Crisis

International Monetary Fund
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What is the human cost of the global economic crisis? This year’s Global Monitoring Report, The MDGs after the Crisis, examines the impact of the worst recession since the Great Depression on poverty and human development outcomes in developing countries. Although the recovery is under way, the impact of the crisis will be lasting and immeasurable. The impressive precrisis progress in poverty reduction will slow, particularly in low-income countries in Africa. No household in developing countries is immune. Gaps will persist to 2020. In 2015, 20 million more people in Sub-Saharan Africa will be in extreme poverty and 53 million more people globally. Even households above the $1.25-a-day poverty line in higher-income developing countries are coping by buying cheaper food, delaying other purchases, reducing visits to doctors, working longer hours, or taking multiple jobs. The crisis will also have serious costs on human development indicators: • 1.2 million more children under age five and 265,000 more infants will die between 2009 and 2015. • 350,000 more students will not complete primary education in 2015. • 100 million fewer people will have access to safe drinking water in 2015 because of the crisis. History tells us that if we let the recovery slide and allow the crisis to lead to widespread domestic policy failures and institutional breakdowns in poor countries, the negative impact on human development outcomes, especially on children and women, will be disastrous. The international financial institutions and international community responded strongly and quickly to the crisis, but more is needed to sustain the recovery and regain the momentum in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Developing countries will also need to implement significant policy reforms and strengthen institutions to improve the efficiency of service delivery in the face of fiscal constraints. Unlike previous crises, however, this one was not caused by domestic policy failure in developing countries. So better development outcomes will also hinge on a rapid global economic recovery that improves export conditions, terms-oftrade, and affordable capital flows—as well as meeting aid commitments to low-income countries. Global Monitoring Report 2010, seventh in this annual series, is prepared jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It provides a development perspective on the global economic crisis and assesses the impact on developing countries—their growth, poverty reduction, and other MDGs. Finally, it sets out priorities for policy responses, both by developing countries and by the international community.
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Additional Information

Publisher
International Monetary Fund
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Published on
Apr 22, 2010
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781455213481
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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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Content Protection
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.
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