ūüďö Weekend Read: 2020 Annual Meetings Briefing

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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to a special edition of IMF Weekend Read focused on the 2020 Annual Meetings. Today we'll recap this past week including Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's Curtain Raiser speech, the IMF Anti-Corruption Challenge and more. We'll also spotlight the Civil Society Townhall today and look ahead to key events taking place next week so you can mark your calendars and stay informed. On that note, let's get started.


Today's featured media partner is Foreign Policy. Get a comprehensive, data-driven view into the foreign-policy stories and cutting-edge research on today's critical topics with FP Insider, a subscription service for global affairs professionals.


TODAY'S AGENDA

8:00 AM EDT: CSO Townhall with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

Join IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva for a virtual Civil Society Townhall, as she listens to the views of Civil Society Organizations from around the world and answers questions on how the Fund is helping its members during the COVID-19 crisis; its role in building a greener, fairer, and smarter economy; and issues such as corruption, income and gender inequality, and climate change. You can watch the event live in English, French, Arabic and Spanish on IMFLive.

CSO

WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK?

THE LONG ASCENT

Earlier this week MD Georgieva delivered her Curtain Raiser address to set the stage for next week's Annual Meetings. "My key message is this: The global economy is coming back from the depths of the crisis. But this calamity is far from over. All countries are now facing what I would call 'The Long Ascent'‚ÄĒa difficult climb that will be long, uneven, and uncertain. And prone to setbacks,"¬† she said¬†at an event with the London School of Economics.¬†Read the full speech here¬†or watch the highlights.

MD Georgieva was also interviewed by CNBC's Sara Eisen this week, in which she explained the disconnect between markets and the real economy.

SAFEGUARDING OUR CLIMATE

We published two new analytical chapters of the World Economic Outlook. In the first, IMF staff make the case that economic policy tools can pave a road toward net zero emissions by 2050 even as the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. They show that these policies can be pursued in a manner that supports economic growth, employment and income equality. 

Economic policies can help address climate change through two main channels: by affecting the composition of energy (high- vs. low-emission sources), and by influencing total energy usage. The costs and benefits of different policies are determined by how they exploit these distinct channels. For example, a carbon tax makes dirty fuels more expensive, which incentivizes energy consumers to shift their consumption towards greener fuels. Total energy consumption falls too because, overall, energy is more expensive. Rising carbon prices, a green stimulus and compensation for vulnerable households form the three legs of an emissions reduction policy strategy. Read the full blog here for the highlights, or download the whole chapter (PDF) for a deeper dive.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE GREAT LOCKDOWN

In the second analytical chapter of the latest World Economic Outlook, IMF staff dissect the nature of the economic crisis in the first seven months of the pandemic. They find that the adoption of lockdowns was an important factor in the recession, but voluntary social distancing in response to rising infections also contributed very substantially to the economic contraction. Therefore, although easing lockdowns can lead to a partial recovery, economic activity is likely to remain subdued until health risks abate. Read the full blog here for the highlights, or review the full chapter (PDF) for more details.

Silvia Amaro of CNBC International interviewed the IMF's Damiano Sandri on these issues. Watch the 13-min discussion here.

FIGHTING CORRUPTION

We also want to congratulate the winners of the IMF Anti-Corruption Challenge. The four projects that won over the judges included harnessing big data for better fiscal governance and growth; cross-matching beneficial ownership and financial disclosures data to identify red flags; leveraging blockchain to enhance transparency in wage bill practices; and optimizing the detection of beneficial ownership of high-risk firms in Brazil. Click here to download a summary PDF of the challenge, winners, judges and more. You can also watch the pitch event here.

PUBLIC INVESTMENT FOR THE RECOVERY

Our new chapter in the Fiscal Monitor shows that increasing public investment in advanced and emerging market economies could help revive economic activity from the sharpest and deepest global economic collapse in contemporary history. It could also create millions of jobs directly in the short term and millions more indirectly over a longer period. Increasing public investment by 1 percent of GDP could strengthen confidence in the recovery and boost GDP by 2.7 percent, private investment by 10 percent, and employment by 1.2 percent if investments are of high quality and if existing public and private debt burdens do not weaken the response of the private sector to the stimulus. Read the full blog here.

Also, in a 15-minute discussion earlier this week, the IMF’s Paolo Mauro outlined to Joshua Zumbrun of the Wall Street Journal how governments can boost jobs and growth through public investment.

BRIDGING THE GENDER DATA GAP

Yesterday, Caroline Criado Perez, author of the best-selling book Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, sat down with the IMF's Sabina Bhatia for a live conversation to discuss damaging effects of gender data gaps in our work, our homes, and our policies, and how the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating gender inequality. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva gave opening remarks too. Watch the lively discussion here.


WHAT'S HAPPENING NEXT WEEK?

Next week we'll be launching our latest World Economic Outlook, Global Financial Stability Report, and Fiscal Monitor. 

Our flagship seminars include: 

IMF staff will also host one-on-one discussions with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, Uruguay Minister of Economy and Finance Azucena Arbeleche, Angola Minister of Finance Vera Daves, Governor of Bank Indonesia Perry Warjiyo, and Morocco Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun. 

Throughout the schedule you will also notice a number of 1-hour analytical corners that cover multiple topics‚ÄĒsnapshot presentations from IMF staff on a wide variety of topical issues including the economic impact of migration, automation and jobs in Europe, informality and labor markets in Latin America, lockdown lessons from Asia, Germany's short-time work program, mobile money and COVID-19, social spending in the Middle East and Central Asia, and greening Africa's recovery, among countless others.

Review the full live schedule here.


HAVE A QUESTION FOR IMF CHIEF ECONOMIST GITA GOPINATH?

Lockdowns have succeeded in lowering COVID-19 infections, but they have had disproportionate effects on women and young people, according to our latest World Economic Outlook. On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the IMF's Gita Gopinath will join Joakim Reiter, Vodafone’s Group External Affairs Director, to take a closer look at the impact lockdowns have had on mobility for these groups.

Join the conversation by emailing us your questions in advance. Please also include your name, location and affiliation.


FINAL THOUGHT

If you are not yet subscribed to this special Annual Meetings newsletter, click here, press send, and we'll add you to the list. The next briefing will be on Monday Oct 12.

This briefing is available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Arabic. If you would like to receive these updates in another language, click here, enter your email address to access your subscriptions and select the language you prefer.

If subscribed, your next briefing will be on Monday, October 12, so stay tuned! Otherwise, you'll receive another wrap-up in next Friday's Weekend Read.

Sincerely,

IMF 2020 Annual Meetings Team

2020 Annual Meetings Media Partners

Financial TimesAl ArabiyaAll AfricaAssabahThe BankerCNN en Espa√Īol
L'EconomistefDi MagazineForeign PolicyGlobal MarketsSinaYicai

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