Oil-Rich Venezuela Tips Toward Hyperinflation
Venezuela, once the wealthiest nation in Latin America, is suffering a dramatic reversal of fortunes and the worst economic crisis in its history. Though the nation has crude oil reserves of close to 300 billion barrels?the world?s largest such holdings?many Venezuelans go without the most basic goods in an economy plagued by chronic shortages.
Cheaper by the Box Load: Containerized Shipping a Boon for World Trade
It?s hard to believe that a vessel 20 stories tall, a quarter-mile long and made from eight Eiffel Towers? worth of steel can float, much less be the future of cargo transportation between continents.
Global and National Shocks Explain A Large Share of State Job Growth
Global and U.S. national shocks on average appear to equally explain more than half of the fluctuations in state employment growth, an important measure of assessing real economic activity. The overall assessment, however, conceals a wide variation among states.
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe
One hundred trillion dollars?that?s100,000,000,000,000?is the largest denomination of currency ever issued.1 The Zimbabwean government issued the Z$100 trillion bill in early 2009, among the last in a series of ever higher denominations distributed as inflation eroded purchasing power. When Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, Z$2, Z$5, Z$10 and Z$20 denominations circulated, replaced three decades later by bills in the thousands and ultimately in the millions and trillions as the government sought to prop up a weakening economy amid spiraling inflation.
Africa—Missing Globalization's Rewards?
Globalization increases integration of world economies through trade, financial ties, information exchange, technology and the movement of people. The rising importance of world trade and capital flows reflects enhanced economic and financial linkages. Nations with superior access to world markets can more fully exploit their competitive advantages, opening their economies to international competition. With greater capital flows and freedom of capital movement, resources more effectively move to their most productive locations, contributing to rising living standards.
Foreign direct investment: financial benefits could surpass gains in technology
Many emerging markets offer financial incentives to attract foreign direct investment, believing that such investment provides advanced technology or management skills. However, it appears developing economies such as China could benefit more from multinational corporations? financial resources.
China's slowdown may be worse than official data suggest
To get a more accurate picture of China?s economy, economists examine other measures of activity that closely track growth but are less prone to political interference than output data. Industrial electricity consumption, a major production input, serves as such a proxy.
Diversification and specialization of U.S. states
This paper documents the evolution of the international relationships of individual U.S. states along three dimensions: trade, migration, and finance. We examine how specialized or diversified state economies differ in terms of the products they export and with whom they trade, the origins of the immigrants who live in the state, and the origins of the foreign banks operating in the state. We show that states that are diversified along one of these dimensions are often quite specialized along others. New York is?perhaps, not surprisingly?the most diversified state in terms of global linkages.
One-size-fits-all monetary policy: Europe and the U.S.
The ongoing euro-area crisis is seen by many as vindication of skeptics who said that a monetary union encompassing a disparate group of countries is doomed to fail because the countries do not constitute what economists call an optimum currency area. Thus, they argued, a one-size-fits-all monetary policy that goes with participation in an alliance such as the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) creates strains that ultimately prove insurmountable.
Bringing banking to the masses, one phone at a time
More than half of the world?s adult population lacks access to formal financial services. The proportion is greater in developing countries, where 64 percent on average do not have bank accounts, compared with 17 percent in developed nations. Mobile communications technology is fast becoming a conduit of change. Cell phone subscriptions have mushroomed to cover 75 percent of the global population, enabling mobile banking networks to sprout and reach the unbanked, disproportionately in developing nations.