Olivier Blanchard

IMF: The Blanchard Touch

PARIS | April 20, 2015 | By Francesco Saraceno |  Recently I commented on the intriguing box in which the IMF staff challenges one of the tenets of the Washington consensus, the link between labour market reform and economic performance. But the IMF is not new to these reassessments. In fact over the past three years research coming from the fund has increasingly challenged the orthodoxy that still shapes European policy making.


What structural reforms?

PARIS | April 15, 2015 | By Francesco SaracenoI am ready to bet that the latest IMF World Economic Outlook, that was presented [on Tuesday]  in Washington, will make a certain buzz for a box. It is box 3.5, at page 36 of chapter 3, which has been available on the website for a few days now. In that box, the IMF staff presents evidence on the relationship between structural reforms and total factor productivity, the proxy for long term growth and competitiveness. (Interestingly enough people at the IMF tend to put their most controversial findings in boxes, as if they wanted to bind them).

Consumer confidence points to brighter times in EMU

The Corner | March 30, 2015 | Consumer confidence in the EMU is set to hit its highest level in eight years, with economic sentiment improving across the currency block. In Spain, inflation figures are expected to remain in negative territory, but with the caveat that lower prices are having positive knock-on effects elsewhere in the economy.

No Picture

Greek agreement does not dispel mistrust and acrimony

MADRID, February 23,2015 | By JP Marín Arrese The agreement reached on Friday averted a full-fledged crisis but did not dispel mutual mistrust and acrimony. EU partners remain far from convinced the Hellenic government will honour its commitments. Irritation accumulated in the days following the deal, which Mr Schäuble underlined with his the grossly impolite and scathing remarks that “ Greeks certainly will have a difficult time to explain the deal to their voters”. This acrimonious climate points to further clashes flaring in future.  The last-minute truce will not entail a stable peace. 

germany in greece

Greece granted bailout extension

By Alexandre Mato in BRUSSELS & Sean Duffy in MADRID | A day of hard negotiations finally produced a positive outcome.Greece will work throughout the weekend to ready proposals for Monday´s meeting, but politicans were visibly relieved after an arduous week.

“Austerity, not lack of liquidity, is what is causing the Eurozone depression”

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | She believes that central banks should act coordinately, since competition between them can cause currency distortions. British economist and former banker Frances Coppola has been one of the main critics of the European Central Bank’s QE “because it supports asset prices, but that is all it does.” She spoke to The Corner about shadow banking and how financials should be accepting and managing risk on both sides of the Atlantic.

If Spain will lead the Eurozone in 2015 and 2016, what happened to the Spailout?

MADRID | The Corner | In spite of, or maybe, thanks to the so-called Spailout (2012), Spain is today one of Europe’s driving forces. The International Monetary Fund’s estimates on global economy point to the country as the outperformer of the Eurozone for the first time in six years. Its GDP would grow by 2% this year and 1.8% in 2016.

It was the IMF’s fault!

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes via HistorinhasIt’s in the nature of the” widely held” IMF to have an upward bias in its forecasts, just as it is very hard for the CEO of a widely held group to go to the shareholders meeting to present dire forecasts.

No Picture

Eurogroup to park economic stimulus talks

BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | EU finance ministers are meeting in Milan on Friday to focus on Ireland, Greece and Cyprus exit plan to leave their IMF-EU financial assistance programs. The much-needed debate about economic stimulus and growth is not on the agenda, nor will be Scotland, despite the thorny economic implications of an eventual yes vote in the upcoming referendum.