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  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The Icelandic economy has expanded rapidly over the past five years, bringing output to well above its potential. Clear signs of overheating have emerged, with unemployment below 2 per cent, inflation picking up and a large current external deficit. These developments are projected to continue, raising the risks of a wage-price spiral and financial instability. To guard against such risks, a significant tightening of monetary policy is required, with less priority attached to the exchange rate as a target for policy. This should be complemented by a medium-term fiscal discipline aiming at achieving a structural budget surplus. Such a course would help cope with long-term care spending that will rise with ageing. On the other hand, except for government employees, pensions should not constitute a burden for public finances, as, for the main, they will be provided by the private sector. To enhance future growth prospects, it will be important to maintain and extend the fishing quota regime in the face of legal threats and to increase competitive forces, especially in the telecommunications industry.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iceland
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the subsequent disintegration of the Soviet Union brought the region's serious environmental problems to the attention of the international community. Although the countries in this vast area of the world are remarkably diverse, central economic planning had created a common pattern of environmental problems. Notable among these problems were levels of industrial pollution that, in many places, threatened human health; widespread land and water degradation (particularly in the former Soviet Union); and the persistent neglect of nuclear safety and nuclear waste management.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Never before have so many countries at such different levels of development been involved in so much activity aimed at progressively rolling back obstacles to freer trade and investment. Yet, paradoxically, at no time during the post-war period has the prospect of further liberalisation generated so much public anxiety, not least within those countries that built much of their prosperity on a liberal trade and investment order.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The goal of a large number of criminal acts is to generate a profit for the individual or group that carries out the act. Money laundering is the processing of these criminal proceeds to disguise their illegal origin. This process is of critical importance, as it enables the criminal to enjoy these profits without jeopardising their source.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Twice a year, in June and December, the OECD publishes its Economic Outlook (EO), which contains projections for a number of key economic variables over a two to two and a half-year horizon.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: The debate over trade and labor standards is one of the most divisive in relations between industrial and developing countries. Concern about the impact of trade on workers is undermining support for trade liberalization worldwide.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Kevin M. Morrison
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Kevin M. Morrison September 1999 Overseas Development Council The debate over debt relief has reached a critical phase. The pressing need to reduce the crushing debt of the highly indebted poorest countries (HIPCs) is no longer in doubt, due to the efforts of advocates in developing and developed countries. At the Cologne G7 Summit in June, the leaders of the richest countries decided to speed up and enlarge their previous debt relief initiative. Now the issue is: How are donors going to pay the bill? The G7 is exploring various means to finance the expanded initiative, and they hope to announce the plan this month during the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).But there is concern that, when all is said and done, financing the initiative will cut down other resources for developing countries. Key development assistance programs might be reduced, as might developing countries' earnings from gold exports if the IMF sells some of its gold reserves to finance the relief and the price of gold drops. The point of debt relief is, as the leaders said in Cologne, "to provide a greater focus on poverty reduction by releasing resources for investment in health, education, and social needs." Thus, to provide debt relief and then reduce other resources for development makes little sense.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Let me begin by thanking John Sewell and ODC for sponsoring this forum. ODC has contributed so much to development thinking over the years. I could not think of a more appropriate venue for my last message to the development community as AID Administrator. One year ago, I decided it was time to bring my tenure to a close. About that time Sandy Berger asked me if I would agree to serve as Ambassador to Brazil. That decision was obviously a mistake. I lost control over my own timetable. I would probably still be waiting for a hearing if I had not withdrawn my nomination. Timetables are important when you are trying to bring closure to both a government career and a term of office. When I leave government on July 9, I will complete six years, two months and four days as AID Administrator. That is not a record, by the way, it just feels that way ! While it is natural to want to achieve a neat closure to this experience, I have concluded that there will always be unfinished business. That is what I want to talk to you about today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Catherine Gwin
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: Catherine Gwin June 1999 Overseas Development Council Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, a new development cooperation paradigm is emerging. Spurred by global economic and political change, development cooperation is undergoing a fundamental redesign on three levels: 1) rationale and purpose, 2) strategy, and 3) provision of assistance.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: David Weiner
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Overseas Development Council
  • Abstract: U.S. trade leadership has suffered from a contentious policy debate that has left President Clinton without new fast-track trade negotiating authority since 1994. Disagreement over the impact of commerce with developing countries on jobs and the environment is at the heart of the trade quarrel, but that quarrel misreads what is happening in developing economies and what is achievable in negotiations with them.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States