News from Around the World

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Graphs and charts. Photo by: Lukas / CC0

3 key development finance trends to watch

PARIS — Even before the Sustainable Development Goals passed, it was clear that the private sector and private finance would be critical to achieving the ambitious objectives. But the conversation has evolved significantly since then — raising questions and creating new challenges.

The circulation of a letter from the investor Seth A. Klarman is likely to add to the typical hand-wringing at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The letter says mounting debt since the financial crisis could lead to a panic.CreditCreditFabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Chilling Davos: A Bleak Warning on Global Division and Debt

DAVOS, Switzerland — As business and political leaders arrive in the Swiss Alps for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a surprisingly alarming letter from an influential investor who studiously eschews attention has already emerged as a talking point.

The letter, written by Seth A. Klarman, a billionaire investor known for his sober and meticulous analysis of the investing world, is a huge red flag about global social tensions, rising debt levels and receding American leadership.

Overload: in emerging markets public debt it is at levels not seen since the debt crises of the 1980s © AP

IMF urges creditors to agree sharing of bailout burdens

A growing risk of debt distress in low-income nations has made it crucial that countries agree how any bailout burden should be shared, a senior IMF official warned on Friday.

The comments, in a blog by Martin Muehleisen, director of the IMF’s strategy, policy and review department, reflect deepening concern over a build-up of opaque Chinese lending to developing countries.


Chinese corporate bonds set for another wave of defaults

Chinese private companies may face an even more difficult ride in the domestic bond market in 2019 as billions of renminbi in maturing issuance conspire with reduced risk appetite, threatening an even bigger wave of defaults. 

A closed sign at the U.S. Capitol. Photo by: brownpau / CC BY

How is the US government shutdown impacting development?

WASHINGTON — Catholic Relief Services received approval in early December from the U.S. Agency for International Development for an ongoing program in Malawi and submitted the necessary documents, but was then told by USAID it could not disburse the funds because of the partial U.S. government shutdown.

Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, in London on Tuesday. He made his case to Parliament, including to members of his own party.CreditAndy Rain/EPA, via Shutterstock

Brexit Vote: Parliament to Decide on E.U. Withdrawal Plan

For Britain, the big vote is finally here.

After two and a half years of negotiation, argument, predictions and posturing, Parliament will finally decide on Tuesday on a bill that dictates the terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union, one of the most closely watched votes the lawmakers are likely to cast in their careers.

Lukewarm figures from China and Europe have spooked investors. PHOTO: KOJI SASAHARA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

All Eyes on Corporate Guidance After Weak Economic Data

Tepid global economic data has triggered a razor-sharp focus among investors on corporate guidance.

Economic reports in emerging and developed markets have been broadly below expectations, causing Citigroup economic surprise indexes in the two groups to fall to near their lowest levels since June. That the Citi gauges are negative suggests data in aggregate are missing economic expectations.

A rally Thursday outside the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington to end the government shutdown. During the first week of the shutdown, 4,760 federal employees filed for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said. PHOTO: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Government Shutdown Could End 99-Month Job Growth Streak

The partial government shutdown could cause the longest stretch of continuous job growth recorded in the U.S. to come to an end this month.

A woman uses a mobile phone in India. Photo by: Adam Cohn / CC BY-NC-ND

India has a growing impact investing industry, but can it scale?

NEW DELHI — The growth in India’s mobile phone market has helped an unexpected sector — impact investing.

Trade negotiators, including Ted McKinney, the undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, right, in Beijing on Tuesday.CreditCreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S.-China Trade Talks End. Now High-Level Talks Can Begin.

BEIJING — Three days of trade negotiations between midlevel American and Chinese officials ended in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon with progress in identifying and narrowing the two sides’ differences but little sense of when they might reach a deal.

The trade talks could help clear the way for higher-level talks later this month, when President Trump attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Vice Premier Liu He, China’s economic czar, is expected to come to Washington sometime after that.