Phil was invited to research an article for a magazine published by the Digital Monetary Institute at the thinktank OMFIF that is looking at the future of capital markets in 2022. It focused on how digital finance offers hope of internationalising emerging markets.
It looked at how international financial institutions are examining the potential of the ongoing revolution in digital money to enable emerging markets and developing countries to participate more in both local currency and international capital markets.
Phil spoke with experts at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements.
The article looks at the ways in which digital finance has changed the ways that policymakers in emerging and developing are adapting to allow the creation of digital money channels in their economies and the benefits they bring in terms of financial access and inclusion. It also looks at how international financial institutions can work with EMDCs to make the step up from personal finance towards using digitalisation to improve the way they issue debt on the capital markets. It looks at both opportunities and threats in a wide-ranging discussion.
The long-form article can be found here.
Phil helped organise the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank that were held in October 2021. First the second time the annual meetings had to be held virtually because of the coronavirus. This means that the newsroom existed only on Microsoft Teams with editors and journalists reporting from various locations. We built on our experience of 2020 to interact with the organised events through virtual platforms. The newspaper was published as a PDF rather than printed and distributed manually.
He wrote two features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. The first look at the future that surrounded accusations that IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva had put pressure on staff to alter data on China when she was CEO at the World Bank. The feature was converted into a news story as the issue was resolved in Georgieva’s favour on the eve of the start of the meetings. The story is here.
The other looked at the agenda that experts believe that World Bank president David Malpass should pursue to ensure that the multilateral lender remains relevant in the post-Covid era. At its heart is the need for a massive replenishment of the finances of the International Development Association, its arm that gives grants and makes loans to the poorest countries. The story is here.
Phil was asked to reprise his role as economics and business comment writer for the Voices section of The Independent platform to cover an absence in the summer, starting on 14 June. The first piece looked at the long-term economic implications of the latest G7 summit held in Cornwall on the previous weekend.
The first piece looked at the economic elements in the communique – rather than the shorter-term political arguments over the North Ireland protocol that tarnished the mood between the UK, the US, and European leaders. It looked at the importance of their decisis on vaccines and taxation.
While the promises of a billion vaccines to be donated by the rich countries, this is well short of the 11 billion that the World Health organization has highlighted. The modest response ignores the economic reality that the International Monetary Fund has explained – that a $50 billion investment in vaccines now to ensure the world is vaccinated would deliver a dividend of $9 trillion by 2025.
On the idea of a minimum corporate tax rate regime, this time there was little detail where the devil is the detail. Issues such as which companies this would apply to and the tax base that would be covered were not discussed. But, on a positive note, at least the an economically literate US president attended the talks. The piece is here.
The second piece looked at the latest inflation figures and the reinvigorated debate over when interest rates will next rise. It points out that will be a sterile debate unless there is a focus on ensuring that the recovery if based on highly productive and well-paid jobs. Otherwise people emerging from furlough will only find low-page insure work that will provide little protection as process and borrowing costs rise. The piece is here
Phil helped organise the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank that were held in October 2020. First the first time the meetings had to be held virtually because of the coronavirus. This means that the newsroom existed only on Microsoft Teams with editors and journalists reporting from various locations. We had to learn how to interact with the organised events through virtual platforms. The newspaper was published as a PDF rather than printed and distributed manually
He wrote two features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. The first looked at the how two institutions have responded to Covid-19 and how their leaders, Kristalina Georgieva at the IMF and David Malpass at the Bank, have kep the multilateral flames alive (here); the second looked at how central banks have looked at changing their strategies in the face of unexpected consequences of their extraordinary and unconventional policy responses here.
He also wrote a number of news stories including: a call for the World Bank toi use a special purpose vehicle to deliver shareholders’ cash to help relieve poor countries of their debt obligations to the bank (here); and a warning from criticis of the IMF that fund is pushing countries to impose austerity measures as part of their bailout funds here.
Phil wrote a column for The Independent’s Voices section at the end of February urging the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to take up the leadership role that leaders such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson had failed to play. The piece urged them to repeat the role that the IMF played in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis where it pulled together the leaders of the G20 countries to take action. Fortunately IMF head Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank head David Malpass did exactly that in early March.
Phil was asked to look at how central banks have effectively taken over financial markets for the Review of 2019 supplement published by Global Capital magazine. He spoke with a number of economists both in the private sector at at multinational institutions and drew ondata from the IMF and BIS. The article is published here.
Phil helped organise the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank that were held in October 2019 in Washington D.C.. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.
He wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. The features looking at the outlook for the two institutions: the first examined the strategy of new World Bank President David Malpass and the impact he has made so far (here); the second looked at the other new leader – IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva – and what her tasks here.
He also wrote a number of news stories including: a pledge by new World Bank COO Axel van Trotsenburg to deliver results on the ground (here); a warning by World Bank chief economist Penny Goldberg on the threat deglobalisation poses to its poverty targets (here); and a story on the final stages of the negotiations to secure $80bn for the World Bank’s arm that operates in the poorest countries (here)
He was also heavily engaged in news planning, copy sub-editing and headline writing.
Phil had three articles published in the latest edition of EMEA Finance magazine in May 2019. They looked at three diverse issues – the rules governing investments by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the success of fintech in Bahrain and the strategy of Ghana’s finance minister
The article on the reform of the governance rules that apply to loans made by the EBRD was based on a conversation with Alistair Clark, Managing Director for Environment and Sustainability. It looked at the bank’s ambition for the reform and how the various consultations with stakeholders had gone. It also highlighted concerns raised by NGOs who believe that the EBRD is failing to be as transparent as other IFIs. The article is here.
A longer feature looked at how Bahrain had moved swiftly to establish itself as one of the world’s centres for financial technology (fintech). It looked at how the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched the first in a series of initiatives that aimed to make the kingdom the Middle East’s centre for international innovation and finance. Phil spoke with a number of major players in the kingdom. The article is here.
A profile of Ghana’s minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta looked at how the former Wall Street investment banker has taken firm action to steady the economy by resolving seven troubled banks and overseeing Ghana’s successful exit from a $185m four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund. The article is here.
Phil wrote two features for EMEA Finance magazine following the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Indonesia in October 2018. The first looked at how it was small open-economy states that were taking the brunt of the US/China trade and diplomatic disputes.Leading economists talked about how the impact on second tier supply chains and a contraction in demand could harm those economies most vulnerable to sudden shocks. The feature is here.
The second feature was a profile of Tarek Amer, Governor of the Central of Egypt who gave a keynote talk at the IMF meetings. Egypt has become the poster child of IMF interventions as the $12 billion bail-out offered by the Fund has helped turn the economy around, reducing inflation, boosting growth and reducing the country’s external and budget deficits. He talks about his experience of driving through tough policy reforms and of working with the IMF. The profile is here.
Phil helped drive the coverage by the magazine GlobalMarkets of the annual meetings of the IMF and World bank that were held in October 2018 in Bali Indonesia. GlobalMarkets is the new name for the magazine Emerging Markets that has covered the meetings of all the multilateral banks for a quarter of a century.
He wrote a number of features analysing key issues that came up at the meetings of the finance ministers and central bankers of the 187 member countries. Three of the features looking at the outlook for the two institutions: the first examined the new strategy of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim regarding fragile states (here); the second looked at the role that the IMF should play in revitalising multilateralism here. and the challenge of closing the iinfrastructure gap here.
He also wrote a number of news stories including: a warning by Professor Barry Eichengreen on the impact on the from a trade war; concern among leading experts that the IMF is losing relevance; an interview with World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva; criticism of the Bank’s Human Capital Index; and concerns over a rollback on regulation.
He was also heavily engaged in news planning, copy sub-editing and headline writing.