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International Monetary Fund

. Responsibilities of the Central Bank in Applying the Core Principles A. The central bank should define clearly its payment system objectives and should disclose publicly its role and major policies with respect to systemically important payment systems. B. The central bank should ensure that the systems it operates comply with the Core Principles. C. The central bank should oversee compliance with the Core Principles by systems it does not operate and it should have the ability to carry out this oversight. D. The central bank, in promoting payment system safety and

KAI BARVELL

those that it owns and operates itself but to ensure that the combination of public and private sector provision meets the public policy objectives. For that reason, central banks should clearly separate the responsibilities of operating payment systems and overseeing payment systems. This separation of responsibilities should take place as high up in the central bank organization as practically feasible. Responsibility D: The central bank, in promoting payment system safety and efficiency through the Core Principles, should cooperate with other central banks and

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The Legal Department and the Institute of the IMF held their eighth biennial seminar for legal advisers of central banks of member countries on May 7-17,2000. The papers presented in this volume are based on presentations made by the seminar participants. The seminar covered a broad range of topics, including activities of the IMF and other international financial institutions, sovereign debt restructuring, the architecture of the international financial system, and money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, participants addressed the role of central banks, payment systems, securities, technology in the financial sector, and monetary arrangements.

Ms. Yan Liu

Abstract

This chapter examines the legal features of collective action clauses found in outstanding international sovereign bonds that enable a qualified majority of bondholders to restrain the ability of a minority of bondholders to undermine the restructuring process so as to provide a degree of order and predictability to the restructuring process. It will also discuss recent proposals to introduce new bond provisions that are designed to address intercreditor equity concerns and to help facilitate communications and negotiations between the sovereign debtor and its creditors.1

Mr. Kenneth Sullivan

Abstract

Central banks exist to achieve the policy objectives prescribed in their respective laws. These cover monetary policy and systemic stability targets in pursuit of broader macroeconomic objectives. Policy effectiveness, rather than efficiency of resource utilization or profitability, provides the basis for central bank accountability. While some laws may identify efficient resource utilization as a second-tier objective, none specifies profit maximization. In fact, some laws explicitly exclude measures of profit from central bank objectives. This absence of a profit objective is one of the features distinguishing central banks from commercial banks. Shareholders do not seek to maximize the return on capital invested in the bank. This lack of commercial incentives as well as the central bank’s policy focus requires alternative measures to determine dividend policy.

ARTHUR E. WILMARTH

Abstract

The structure of the U.S. financial services industry has been transformed during the past two decades. Between 1980 and 1999, the combined forces of new technologies, deregulation, and increased competition produced a steady erosion of the legal and market barriers that separated banks from securities firms and insurance companies. For example, sophisticated computer systems and new financial instruments (e.g., commercial paper, junk bonds, and asset-backed securities) made it feasible to securitize many types of business and consumer debt. As a result, many business firms and consumers that previously relied on bank loans gained access to credit from nonbank sources, including finance companies, mortgage companies, and the markets for publicly traded and privately placed debt. At the same time, securities brokers, credit card banks, and mutual fund companies offered low-cost cash management and investment management services to the general public. In response to these innovations, consumers shifted a rapidly growing share of their investment funds from traditional bank deposits and life insurance policies to mutual funds, variable annuities, and other investment vehicles linked to the capital markets.

FRANÇOIS GIANVITI

Abstract

In the legal framework of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, a number of provisions setting out the rights and obligations attached to membership imply that each member will have its own currency. However, in practice, countries have been able to accede to membership in the IMF, to exercise their rights, and to perform their obligations while using another member’s currency. Whether the issuer of that currency can object to the use of its currency by another country in its relations with the IMF or as legal tender raises questions of international law.

PHILIPPE DUPONT

Abstract

When assessing the solvency of participants in the financial market, such as banks, or the soundness of cross-border payment or securities settlement systems, regulators around the globe are faced with an increasingly complex and sophisticated structure for the holding and transferring of securities. Financial markets have moved closer together by putting in place electronic cross-border securities book-entry transfer systems and have thus created a global securities market, while legislation relating to securities has remained strictly national.

C. CHRISTOPHER PARLIN

Abstract

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) was the first international agreement to set rules for international trade in services. It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round and entered into force on January 1, 1995. The GATS provides a framework of obligations and a forum for future negotiations aimed at greater market access for and lessened discrimination against imported services.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Corruption was a taboo subject at the World Bank for a long time. It used to be referred to discreetly as the “c-word.” The Bank’s President, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, changed all that in his address to the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the 1996 annual meetings. He stated that countries could no longer afford to avoid dealing with “the cancer of corruption” and that greater transparency and accountability are indispensable to encourage private foreign investment and to raise funds for international development assistance.