As the U.S. continues to experience historically high inflation rates and increasing risks to its economy, it also faces a number of global geoeconomic challenges. These include the end of the era of globalization, rising financial instability and pressures to increase the production of certain strategically important goods for domestic use or export to friendly neighbors. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other countries are also contending with the economic implications of social, political and technological developments, such as population aging, greater competition from abroad, growing inequality, innovation and its impact on the labor market, and the global transition to cleaner energy sources.
On May 22 at Baker Hall, World Bank Group President David Malpass joined John W. Diamond, Director of the Center for Public Finance at the Baker Institute, to discuss the geoeconomic challenges — and opportunities — facing the United States and the world, and how to navigate them.
A quick scan of the headlines tells you everything that those of us working in international development already know: today’s world is not business as usual. In just a few short years, the global landscape has transformed in a way that very few of us could ever have anticipated.
As the debt crisis has unfolded in many of the world’s poorest countries, much attention has focused on seeking individual debt restructurings through the G20 Common Framework. This remains a priority, but the implementation remains slow and lacks the predictability needed to provide debtors and creditors with confidence. The Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable and the April 26 World Bank debt conference, Breaking the Impasse in Global Debt Restructuring, discussed effective debt restructurings and debt sustainability. The conference also addressed how to avoid excessive debt build-up; and pressing questions regarding the debt sustainability implications of a decline of net international reserves into negative territory as countries draw on debt-like instruments such as swap lines. Following this week’s G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Japan, we will publish the initial findings from a recent debt reconciliation initiative, which points to many technical challenges in agreeing on the amounts of debt to be treated in a restructuring.