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International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
This paper reviews experience with the safeguards assessment policy since the last review in 2015. The policy is subject to periodic reviews by the Executive Board. The policy’s main objective is to mitigate risks of misuse of Fund resources and misreporting of monetary data under Fund arrangements. Consistent with past reviews, an external panel of experts provided an independent perspective on the implementation of the policy.
International Monetary Fund

1. Restructuring domestic law sovereign debt—domestic debt for short—poses a different set of benefits and challenges compared to a restructuring of external sovereign debt.1 Unlike external debt, the sovereign can restructure its domestic debt through changes in domestic law.2 Furthermore, restructuring only domestic law debt may offer a way of limiting the external reputational consequences of debt restructuring and perhaps avoiding loss of access to external debt markets. At the same time, a DDR must confront the fact that sovereign exposures of domestic banks and pension funds disproportionally take the form of domestic rather than external debt. This provides a channel for sovereign stress to spread to other parts of the economy, with potentially serious adverse effects on economic activity as the costs of such distress reverberate across creditors and the financial system.3 The burden of adjustment for domestic residents increases further with fiscal consolidation to restore debt sustainability.

International Monetary Fund
As emerging and developing economies accumulate more domestic sovereign debt, it is likely to play a larger role in the resolution of future sovereign debt crises. This paper analyzes when and how to restructure sovereign domestic debt in unsustainable debt cases while minimizing economic and financial disruptions. Key to determining whether or not domestic debt should be part of a sovereign restructuring is weighing the benefits of the lower debt burden against the fiscal and broader economic costs of achieving that debt relief. The fiscal costs may have to be incurred in the context of restructuring because of the need to maintain financial stability, to ensure the functioning of the central bank, or to replenish pension savings. A sovereign domestic debt restructuring should be designed to anticipate, minimize, and manage its impact on the domestic economy and financial system. Casting the net wide across claims can help boost participation in the restructuring by lowering the relief sought from each creditor group. A strategy that engages creditors constructively, and as transparently as possible, that relies on market-based incentives, and that presents the exchange as part of a consistent macroeconomic plan typically works best.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department

2018 Review of Program Design and Conditionality

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights St. Lucia’s GDP growth, estimated to have reached 0.8 percent in 2016, down from 1.8 percent in 2015. Strong employment growth in agriculture and construction put a dent in unemployment, which declined to 20 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Youth unemployment also fell, but remains very high at 41 percent. GDP is projected to grow at 0.5 percent in 2017, driven mostly by continued strong performance in construction and agriculture. Higher import prices, including for oil, will cause inflation to rise temporarily and, together with weak tourism expenditures, will contribute to wider external imbalances.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This paper aims to discuss the economic reform program in Jamaica that focuses on reducing macroeconomic vulnerabilities, fostering growth, creating conditions for financial deepening and inclusion, reallocating public resources to maximize economic returns, and improving competitiveness. After three years of difficult economic reforms, inflation is at historical lows, current account deficit has more than halved, net international reserves have doubled, and access to domestic and international financial markets has been restored, supported by upgrades in credit ratings and historically high business confidence indicators. Comprehensive reforms in tax policy and administration have been and continue to be undertaken, while strict adherence to fiscal discipline have helped place debt on a downward trajectory.

Ms. Lisa Drakes, Ms. Chrystol Thomas, Roland Craigwell, and Kevin Greenidge
This paper addresses the issue of threshold effects between public debt and economic growth in the Caribbean. The main finding is that there exists a threshold debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 55–56 percent. Moreover, the debt dynamics begin changing well before this threshold is reached. Specifically, at debt levels lower than 30 percent of GDP, increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio are associated with faster economic growth. However, as debt rises beyond 30 percent, the effects on economic growth diminishes rapidly and at debt levels reaching 55-56 percent of GDP, the growth impacts switch from positive to negative. Thus, beyond this threshold, debt becomes a drag on growth.