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infrastructure finance in 40 charts

image: design from the IMF’s April Global Financial Stability Report.


April 20, 2023

The infrastructure finance landscape is complex, but it’s thanks to the chartmaking savants at Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the IMF, among other places, that it’s even possible to get a quick and, in my view, fairly accurate sense of the relevant trends.

Below, I’ve put together a series of their charts―and some tables!―that I’ve collected over the past six months that I believe summarize the state of the infrastructure finance landscape today.

I have arranged these charts to argue that the policymakers who agitate to “mobilize private capital” for green infrastructure investments around the globe face four challenges: (1) private infrastructure investment is stagnating and, worse, is skewing away from poorer countries; (2) investors lack knowledge of infrastructure as an asset class; (3) global financial market turmoil is severely constraining emerging market government policy space for really any investment; and (4) institutional investors themselves face risks that policymakers don’t have sufficient insight into. I am pasting my sources below the embedded presentation.

For skeptics like me who ask if it’s even possible or desirable to mobilize private capital for infrastructure, or to fight climate change, this presentation doesn’t provide an alternative strategy. But it does suggest that there really is no substitute for making major changes to the global financial system that constrains Global South policy space.

In the absence of better ideas, I hope the charts presented here can usefully frame the challenges development policymakers are up against―especially as they embrace what they consider to be a “big push” approach to investing in our shared future.

I would love to keep updating this deck and refining the story it tells―with your help! Do you see a different story in these charts? Should I be reading the tea leaves differently? Are there charts I’m missing that I should add to the deck? Please send your thoughts my way!

disclaimer: the views expressed in this blog are the author’s personal opinions alone and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Treasury or the United States Government.


Infrastructure Monitor 2022 – Global Infrastructure Hub (2022)

History RePPPeated II – Eurodad (2022)

Financing for climate action – Songwe/Stern Report (2022)

Credit rating agencies and developing economies – UN DESA (2021)

Global Financial Stability Report, October 2022 – IMF (2022)

Global Financial Stability Report, April 2023 – IMF (2023)

We must tackle the looming global debt crisis before it’s too late – Financial Times (2023)

Strong dollar fuels wave of emerging market currency devaluations – Financial Times (2023)

Global economy fends off geopolitical and banking threats – Financial Times (2023)

The threat of a lost decade in development – Financial Times (2023)

What Africa Needs to Fight Climate Change Is Money – Bloomberg (2023)

Climate Change Is Forcing the Most Risk-Aware Industry to Reinvent Itself – Bloomberg (2023)

From Solar Panel to LNG: Four Key Questions About Climate Investment in 2023 – Bloomberg (2023)

Solar Industry Facing Whiplash From Volatile Material Prices – Bloomberg (2023)

What If Everything Goes Wrong At the Same Time? – Bloomberg (2022)

Sustainable Debt, ESG Markets Turn Frosty in 2022 – Bloomberg (2022)

Why High Hurdle Rates Are Not in the Interest of Investors in Infrastructure Funds – Bloomberg, EDHECinfra (2022)


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