International Monetary Fund


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The Financial Market Crisis

Point of View

Point of View

Also in This Issue


Letter from the Editor

In Brief

Melting mountains; Counting the cash; Greater voice; Smaller is better; More women working; Events calendar

People in Economics

A Legacy of Model Elegance

James L. Rowe
Jacques Polak joined the IMF in its infancy in 1947 and, through his path-breaking research, helped shape how the IMF goes about its business. He is best known for developing an economic model in 1957 that explained a country's balance of payments in monetary terms.

Back to Basics

Over-the-Counter Markets: What Are They?

Randall Dodd
Over-the-counter (OTC) markets are one of two basic ways that financial markets are organized—the other is exchanges. OTC markets are less formal but often well-organized networks of trading relationships centered on one or more dealers.

Picture This

Bridging the Technology Divide

Andrew Burns
Although technological progress has helped reduce the share of people living in absolute poverty, developing countries must radically improve their capacity to absorb technology if they are to catch up with high-income countries.

Book Reviews

The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries, Richard M. Bird and Pierre-Pascal

Gendron The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World,
Tim Harford

Country Focus


This north African country has managed its hydrocarbon wealth soundly and achieved strong growth and macroeconomic stability. Its top priorities now include boosting productivity and diversifying the economy away from hydrocarbons.

Straight Talk

Automatic "Destabilizers"

Simon Johnson
Normally, says the IMF's Economic Counsellor, when growth slows in a major economy, the demand for and prices of commodities decline. In the current turmoil, however, the prices of food and fuel have remained high and are having a destabilizing effect on the world economy.

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