Ousmene Mandeng conference images

Economics Commentary offers analyses and opinions on international monetary affairs and emerging markets capital markets developments. The content is primarily concerned with changes in the international monetary system and its impact on economic policies and international capital markets and draws extensively on participations in key international economic policy fora. Economics Commentary aims to support the public debate and markets' understanding of major international monetary and emerging capital markets developments.


Globalisation under threat

8 July 2017

The G20 summit in Hamburg on 7-8 July is to celebrate globalisation. Yet there is mounting concern that globalisation has peaked. Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee and Hamburg Institute of International Economics organised a conference ahead of the G20 with academics, private sector participants and G20 and other officials to reflect on the threat from de-globalisation. Herein is a summary of the views expressed during the conference [...]

European Monetary Fund (update): Beware of Germany

5 June 2017

The E.U. Commission announced on 31 May rather ambitious ideas about possible ways for deepening Europe's Economic and Monetary Union. Those reaffirm discussions about a European Monetary Fund (EMF) to help fighting Euro Area crises. Germany in particular seems eager most likely by transforming the existing European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The recent impasse on Greece's economic programme illustrates the dysfunctionality of the Euro Area's economic crisis management and urgency for institutional reforms. It would critically complement the financial architecture of the Euro Area and strengthen the euro. However, key lessons need to be learnt for the design of an EMF; above all from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). To be effective, an EMF will have to be insulated from undue German influences. [...]

International portfolio investment holdings update

26 April 2017

International portfolio investments continue to show signs of globalisation fatigue. The latest IMF Coordinated International Portfolio Survey (CPIS) of non-official cross-border portfolio investment holdings with data through June 2016 reveal that total international portfolio investments have continued to decline in percent of world GDP. Investments in the Euro Area have suffered the most. Emerging markets have been zigzagging and remain below their peak. [...]

Central bank reserves update

3 April 2017

Central bank foreign exchange reserves have continued to shrink but become more diversified. The latest IMF report on the composition of central bank foreign exchange reserves (COFER) through December 2016 shows that reserve holdings have maintained their downward trend. The composition by currency indicates broadly stable allocations but with a new high in the allocation to non-traditional reserve currencies. The allocation to renminbis is identified for the first time and shows a share of 1.1 percent in central banks’ foreign exchange reserves. [...]

Case for free trade

18 February 2017

The charge against international trade by President Donald Trump but also persistent opposition in the European Union to the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA) call for reiterating vigorously the case for free trade. Free trade remains the best option to foster economic growth and development all things considered. The alternative is often associated with more government intervention and market failures. The stock market rally on the basis of Trump's promises of increasing protectionism is inconsistent with past economic developments and likely to be only short-lived. [...]

Special Drawing Right (SDR)

Collection of comments on the SDR