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Chief Economist of the IMF Maurice Obstfeld

Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund Speaks on Economic Policy

November 8, 2018

The AUC School of Business and The School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) co-hosted a Seminar on “World Economic Outlook and Risks” by Professor Maurice Obstfeld, Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund on November 7.

Obstfeld talked about the macroeconomic status of emerging markets and developing economies (EMDE) and compared them to the US. He highlighted different countries economic growth rates and how they are affecting the world as well as looking at risks that face EMDE. 

During his session, he also gave policy recommendations on how to enhance fiscal and financial stability by reducing vulnerabilities; how financial stability requires new macro-prudential tools for addressing vulnerabilities outside the banking sector and how to build buffers and tackle medium-term challenges in order to boost resilience and potential growth. He also discussed currencies crisis and what it means globally.

He specifically talked about the role of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) in helping emerging markets become more stable with a special focus on Egypt. He stated that “Egypt is certainly doing better since the IMF program was adopted… The growth of the public debt decreased noticeably between 2017 and 2018… This is very good news.” 

Students, faculty, and members from the Central Bank of Egypt attended this seminar. Its noteworthy to say, that during Obstfeld visit to Egypt, he had meetings with important officials from the Central Banks and major policy makers in the government. 

During his visit to the School Obstfeld talked to Business Forward, the AUC School of Business knowledge portal on how he doesn’t believe that there is a collective meltdown in the emerging markets (EMs), even though there are global market pressures that affect EMs more than other countries.

For the full interview click here

This seminar is the first under the new series of seminars titled “Economic Policy Speakers Series (EPSS).” This series is a joint collaboration between the AUC School of Business Department of Economics and GAPP. EPSS purpose is to invite top economic policymakers from the government and from international organizations working specifically on our region and with global knowledge; aiming to create a space for policymakers to share lessons with students and faculty. 

“The goal of these series of talks is to highlight the common vision of the School and GAPP which is to be the leading knowledge hub regionally and globally. Our mission is to prepare entrepreneurial and responsible global leaders and professionals. And for that purpose, we think its very important to set up some forums where we can connect the policy world to the academic and research world,” says Mona Said, associate professor of economics and chair of Department of Economics during the opening statement of the seminar. 

Obstfeld is the Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He served as a Member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and an honorary advisor to the Bank of Japan's Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies. He is the co-author of two leading textbooks, International Economics, with Paul Krugman and Marc Melitz and Foundations of International Macroeconomics; with Kenneth Rogoff. He also wrote over 100 research papers that are used as a reference for students and economics professionals.