Debate the Issues: Investment

image of Debate the Issues: Investment

Why do financial markets see so little risk, while companies that invest in the real economy appear to be much more prudent? How will we fund future pensions when interest on the products that finance them are so low? Where will the trillions of dollars needed to improve and extend infrastructures come from? How should international capital flows be regulated? These and other challenges are discussed in this collection of expert opinions on the social, economic and policy perspectives facing international investors, governments, businesses, and citizens worldwide.

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Making the most of international capital flows

International capital flows have increased dramatically in the past decades. Gross cross-border capital flows rose from about 5% of world GDP in the mid-1990s to historical highs of about 20% in 2007. This growth was around three times stronger than growth in world trade flows. The contraction caused by the crisis affected mainly international banking flows among advanced economies and subsequently spread to other countries and assets. Capital flows have rebounded since the spring of 2009, driven by portfolio investment from advanced to emerging-market economies and increasingly among emerging-market economies themselves.

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