Economic Indicators That Matter to Investors (FT Press Delivers Elements)

Indicators of Economic Progress: The Power of Measurement and Human Welfare
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Switzerland also pledged to provide the IMF with an exceptional, set-period contribution to the stocking up in the amount of CHF On the other hand, the consultative commission adjourned the decision-making until it could examine the report announced by the Federal Council regarding the increase of official development assistance ODA to 0.

IMF aid granted to the 15 countries which applied for credit in the past few months was successful IMF c. The conditionalities have been simplified and limited IMF d. Some three international networks reproach the IMF for changing its policy only insignificantly. Rather, fiscally restrictive IMF conditions in three countries examined 38 would impair the essential social protection Solidar, Global Network, and Eurodad Chowla also sees a restricted development potential in IMF resources. It is a fact that the IMF is now bound to implement quota reform and with it the revision of voting rights by January The blocking minority of the US should also be done away with.

At all events, in the IMF did undertake an extensive dialogue with civil society that led to the publication of a civil society report New Rules and to a joint event in Istanbul before the annual meeting. However, whenever there was a potential conflict of interests between the cautious financial gestures of the IMF and increased transfer of resources to the developing countries, Merz always upheld the former, e.

It was soon patent that the poorest countries, already depleted by the food and energy crisis, had few possibilities of providing the necessary responses from their own resources. One-third of this went to infrastructure projects in the hope of rapidly increasing employment and generally stimulating the economy. The World Bank expects a further rise in the coming years. Financing can no longer be covered by the present World Bank capital basis.

On one hand, it raised the interest on loans; on the other, it took up significantly more funds on the international capital markets. IDA accelerated its processes for the poorest countries to receive their funds more rapidly. They granted loans, participated in enterprises and put up guarantees. The latter is significant because local enterprises in developing countries had encountered increasing difficulties in obtaining trade credits or bank guarantees from the major international banks.

At the time this would have raised some USD 15 billion. However, the World Bank estimated the financing shortfall of the developing countries much higher. According to this scenario, the World Bank considered the financial needs for to be between USD and billion Development Committee a. Zoellick repeated the appeal in a call to the leaders of the G summit in Pittsburgh World Bank b.

The World Bank also published numerous studies and reviews. However, effective payments tended to lag behind the approvals. Further, there are doubts whether the massive investments in infrastructure would really help protect the socially weakest. They further demanded that the aid measures should not be coupled with economic policy provisos. The services should be rendered as concessionally as possible or even in the form of gifts. The slow and not far-reaching progress in the democratisation of the World Bank was deemed completely insufficient. In the development committee, the industrialised countries bridled at an immediate raise in capital, which the World Bank considered necessary, supported by the developing countries.

The World Bank is to make further clarifications before the next spring meeting. The ascendance of the G at the cost of the G-8 is irreversible. The larger threshold countries are demanding more influence. A renewed conflict is imminent. This also explains the adamant attitude of the larger threshold countries.

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Obviously they also see the IMF rather than the UN as the decisive power centre and forum for disputes on global economic issues. And they take advantage of their access to the newly significant G They want to exercise their influence there for a new global financial order. Smaller and weaker States are rather committed to the UN, though without far-reaching success. The agenda of the global discussions still bears the stamp of the interests of the rich countries. This can be demonstrated by three examples: the debate on debt, the issue of global taxes and the question of international tax evasion and capital flight.

How to cope with this issue is a primary element of public economy and political debate. In , according to the IMF, the total burden of debt of all the developing countries mounted by a further USD billion to USD 4, billion 47 and will, according to predictions, continue to rise in the coming years. But they simultaneously warned that in a number of countries the debt vulnerability has risen sharply, namely in high-risk countries like Afghanistan, but also in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone.

All HIPCs would be exposed to at least a moderate risk of being involved in any future debt crisis. Half of the countries are still so severely burdened by old debts that their risk is very high or high. This menacing time bomb is allowed only an insignificant place in the ongoing discussion. In August the President of the British Financial Services Authority, Adair Turner, therefore proposed the introduction of a financial transaction tax, 49 and French and German government circles supported the idea.

Before the Pittsburgh summit, non-governmental organisations wrote to the G that a tax of this kind should be introduced and the income used for development purposes. The motion was not discussed seriously either in Pittsburgh or in Istanbul. However, the measures introduced to date largely bypass the needs of the developing countries. Any country which did not have at least 12 double taxation agreements DTAs or tax information exchange agreements TIEAs with other countries was blacklisted. These agreements must, at least, meet the OECD minimum standards for mutual exchange of tax information on request.

The lists were updated continually OECD a. OECD presents a review of its efforts in the struggle against tax evasion in an informative brochure published in October In the meantime, according to OECD, the offshore centres monitored have signed 90 new agreements for improved exchange of information since April and over 60 are currently being negotiated. New ones are being added continually. OECD argued that the developing countries would also benefit from them.

Many of them have not yet been brought into operation. Developing countries have also contracted far fewer bilateral DTAs than the industrialised countries. The OECD standard for the exchange of information is not enforceable under international law. The Tax Justice Network has set out in detail why the exchange of information on request is not sufficient, why an automatic exchange of information is necessary and why multilateral rules are essential, precisely for developing countries. Various studies in recent years have shown how the offshore centres foster corruption, capital and tax flight.

According to the latest estimates, between USD and 1, billion of illicit flows are leaving the developing countries Global Financial Integrity Contrary to expectations, criminal dealings or bribery and corruption payments do not account for the greater part of these illicit flows. Two-thirds derive from commercial transactions. Particularly targeted is internal transfer pricing by multinational group concerns.

By under-invoicing or over-invoicing, book profits and losses can be shunted around virtually at will. This is linked with tax evasion on a grand scale. Four specialised non-governmental organisations demanded six immediate and trenchant measures by letter to the G Global Witness et al. The G should prepare for the transition to the automatic exchange of information. The rules on the identification of bank clients must be tightened up. Tax evasion should be declared a preliminary to money laundering.

The G should show ways of combating abusive transfer pricing. The ownership structure, control and invoicing of offshore enterprises, trusts and foundations should be disclosed. In particular, the multinational enterprises should be bound to detailed, public, country-by-country reporting on their subsidiaries and the associated turnovers, investments, profits, taxes paid as soon. It set up a special commission whose report on capital flight from the poor countries was published in June Commission on Capital Flight from Developing Countries The study proposes a more demanding development policy that will assure the developing countries sufficient tax income and root out corrupt practices that lead to flight of capital and taxes.

Each of these havens was examined according to 12 indicators, selected to provide information on the degree of transparency and the spheres of secrecy. In the wake of the financial crisis, the Swiss financial centre has come under heavy pressure from two sides and has had to make significant concessions. It announced that it would rapidly initiate negotiations for the revision of DTAs with States that wished this. Three more have been negotiated but have not yet been signed.

These agreements must now be ratified by parliament before they can come into force. It is striking that, with the exception of Mexico itself a member of OECD and Qatar, there are no developing countries on this list. Switzerland has contracted DTAs with only 42 developing countries. Another group of the agreements assures administrative aid only in the event of tax fraud.

There are no treaties at all for over developing countries. In these cases there are no contractual commitments with respect to tax evasion and tax fraud Alliance Sud Switzerland had already negotiated agreements with Bangladesh, Chile and Ghana before it switched to the OECD standard for exchange of information.

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The federal councillors ratified these old-model agreements. Those with France and Turkey, also originally negotiated on the old model without exchange of information even for tax evasion, were, in contrast, referred back for reworking. An economic commission motion has been submitted instructing the Federal Council to draw up a concept for the equal treatment of OECD and developing countries. At a media conference in the run-up to a conference of OECD ministers of finance in Berlin in June Alliance Sud a , together with partner organisations from Austria and Luxembourg, presented proposals for a new tax foreign policy that would benefit not only industrialised States but also developing countries.

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But the aims of s are not our present aims, since we now realize that unfettered growth would lead us to ecological disaster. Sweden performs better on inequality and education, USA on employment and energy. Of course it is always possible for this relationship between present and future to become distorted. Such accounting identities are surprisingly informative about the available responses to fiscal constraint and the potential for green investment. Peter A. It is noteworthy that of the countries studied, the five which recorded the highest growth rates in CEI were all OECD countries that had already attained high absolute levels of enrollment, signifying the scope for further progress on CEI even at the top of the scale. Failing to do so may overheat the economy anyway.

The three countries should contribute vigorously to drying out the tax havens. The OECD standard should also apply for developing countries. And finally, taxation of interest should be expanded, analogous to the agreement with the EU, to cover the developing countries.

The latter demand was not new; the aid and development policy organisations had already called for it in vain in previous years. The Federal Council had rejected such motions out of hand several times. The idea was left on the shelf and was not followed up. In contrast, various bank representatives launched the idea of a capital gains tax on foreign assets Swiss Banking Switzerland should levy a tax for interested countries on income from foreign assets held in Swiss banks.

This would equate to a further expansion of EU interest taxation as dividends and fund income would also be taxed. This is aimed primarily at OECD member countries, not at developing countries. There were also initial defensive reactions from the capitals of individual European countries and in international press commentaries. Apparently the idea seems to be rated as an all too transparent manoeuvre by the Swiss banks in an attempt to save what can still be saved.

Foreign States would profit from increased tax income from Switzerland but would not have any information on the names of the holders of the assets. Such a capital gains tax contradicts the tendency to improved exchange of information. The EU wants data, not money. Alliance Sud. Discussion Paper. Media Conference. Joint Media Statement. Phuket, Thailand. Awad, I. The global economic crisis and migrant workers: Impact and responses.

Statement basics: Statement of financial position

ILO: Geneva. Burki, O. Mordasini Die Volkswirtschaft No. Cassen, B.

Economic Indicators That Matter to Investors by Bernard Baumohl

Le Sucre contre le FMI. Le Monde diplomatique, December. Chowla, P. G Policy Brief No. Christian Aid. Death and taxes: The true toll of tax dodging. Commission on Capital Flight from Developing Countries. Tax Havens and Development. Status, analyses and measures. Press Release. Development Committee. DC 29 September. Eurodad From London to Pittsburgh: assessing G action for developing countries. Media Report. Report on the short-term stocking up of IMF funds. Media Release. IMF annual meeting. Switzerland wants to adopt the OECD standard in administrative aid in tax matters.

Federal Council Commission. Progress report on the actions of the London and Washington G summits. Progress report on the actions to promote financial regulatory reform issues by the US chair of the Pittsburgh G summit. The global plan for recovery and reform. Global Financial Integrity. Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries, The links between tax evasion and corruption: How the G should tackle illicit financial flows.

Hamdani, K. Can developing countries be a new engine of growth? Voices from the South. The impact of the global financial crisis on developing countries. Capital Flows to Emerging Market Economies. Global Financial Stability Report. Various editions. World Economic Outlook. New York 24 June. Review of Recent Crisis Programs. IMF and World Bank. Jubilee USA Network. Kaiser, J. Knoke, and H. Towards a Renewed Debt Crisis? Friedrich Ebert Stiftung und Erlassjahr. Occasional Papers No. Morais de Sa e Silva, M. One-pager No. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.

New Rules. Report on the civil society fourth pillar consultations with the International Monetary Fund on reform of governance. Official development assistance: rising or falling? A progress report on the jurisdiction surveyed by the OECD Global Forum in implementing the internationally agreed tax standards. A Background Information Brief. Official Bulletin. Council of States. Ortiz, I. Fiscal stimulus plans: The need for a global new deal.

What Happened at the G? Initial Analysis of the London Summit. Oxfam Briefing Note. Social Watch. Making Finances Work: People First. Solidar, Global Network, and Eurodad. Doing a decent job? IMF policies and decent work in times of crisis. South Centre. South Bulletin No. Strauss-Kahn, D. Swiss Banking. Country-by-Country Reporting. Holding multinational corporations to account wherever they are.

Tax Justice Network. Tax Justice Briefing. Tax Information Exchange Arrangements. Tax Justice Brief, May. Secrecy Jurisdictions: Mapping the Faultlines. Online Database. Te Velde, D. The global financial crisis and developing countries. ODI Background Note. Third World Network. Heightened uncertainty over credit crunch, US slowdown in Asia-Pacific. Toporowski, J. Development Viewpoint No. Ugarteche, O. Bank of the South: Progress and Challenges. In South: Intellectual Network for the South. Geneva and New York. Power Point by Kevin Watkins. Recommendations by the Commission of Experts of the President of the General Assembly on reforms of the international monetary and financial system.

Wahl, P. Woods, N. Briefing Paper.

Economic Indicators - Top 10 Leading Economic Indicators

World Bank GDF. Global Development Finance. As in the United States, economic conditions overseas are constantly evolving, and political situations abroad can change quickly, particularly in emerging or frontier markets. Situations that once seemed promising may no longer be so. And countries that once seemed too risky might now be viable investment candidates. Overseas investing involves a careful analysis of the economic, political and business risks that might result in unexpected investment losses. This country risk analysis is a fundamental step in building and monitoring an international portfolio.

Investors that use the many excellent information sources available to evaluate country risk will be better prepared when constructing their international portfolios. Fixed Income Essentials. Emerging Markets. Investopedia uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using Investopedia, you accept our. Your Money. Personal Finance. Your Practice. Popular Courses.

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Login Newsletters. Investing Investing Essentials. Economic risk: This risk refers to a country's ability to pay back its debts.

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A country with stable finances and a stronger economy should provide more reliable investments than a country with weaker finances or an unsound economy. Political risk: This risk refers to the political decisions made within a country that might result in an unanticipated loss to investors. While economic risk is often referred to as a country's ability to pay back its debts, political risk is sometimes referred to as the willingness of a country to pay debts or maintain a hospitable climate for outside investment.

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Even if a country's economy is strong, if the political climate is unfriendly or becomes unfriendly to outside investors, the country may not be a good candidate for investment. There are three types of markets for international investments:. Developed markets consist of the largest, most industrialized economies. Their economic systems are well developed. They are politically stable and the rule of law is well entrenched. Developed markets are usually considered the safest investment destinations, but their economic growth rates often trail those of countries in an earlier development stage.

Investment analysis of developed markets usually concentrates on the current economic and market cycles. Political considerations are often less important. Emerging markets experience rapid industrialization and often demonstrate extremely high levels of economic growth. This strong economic growth can sometimes translate into investment returns that are superior to those available in developed markets. However, investing in emerging markets is also riskier than developed markets.

In addition to carefully evaluating an emerging market's economic and financial fundamentals , investors should pay close attention to the country's political climate and the potential for unexpected political developments. Many of the fastest-growing economies in the world, including China, India, and Brazil, are considered emerging markets. Frontier markets represent "the next wave" of investment destinations.

These markets are generally either smaller than traditional emerging markets or are found in countries that place restrictions on the ability of foreigners to invest. Although frontier markets can be exceptionally risky and often suffer from low liquidity , they also offer the potential for above-average returns over time. Frontier markets are also not well correlated with other more traditional investment destinations, which means that they provide additional diversification benefits when held in a well-rounded investment portfolio. As with emerging markets, investors in frontier markets must pay careful attention to the political environment, as well as to economic and financial developments.

Examples of frontier markets include Nigeria, Botswana, and Kuwait. Compare Investment Accounts. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Related Articles.