Hollywood actor Sean Penn caused a little excitement at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Lima last week. An amateur paparazzi crowded outside the room where the Oscar winner and humanitarian joined World Bank President Jim Kim and some others to discuss the potential of entrepreneurship to help young people find work in poorer countries. When he emerged, it was as if he was walking the red carpet.
Otherwise, there were few sparks. The gathering opened with a downgrade of the IMF’s economic outlook that talked about the possibility of economic stagnation. It ended with little direction from policy makers on how that outcome might be avoided. The economist Nouriel Roubini presented a list of 10 -- not three, not five; 10! -- things that are wrong with the global economy. “This is a pretty unforgiving environment,” Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said during a debate on the global economy. “It’s not a strong global economy. It’s not the type of economy in which one can make mistakes.”
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