This paper discusses appropriate methods for disclosing fiscal risks from exogenous shocks and the realization of explicit or implicit contingent obligations of the government. Expanding on previous guidance prepared prior to the crisis, the note focuses on fiscal risks emerging from recent public interventions in the financial sector. Information on fiscal risks and its public reporting leads to a better understanding of the true state of the public finances. Thus, it helps policymakers design and gets public support for, appropriate responses to the realization of various contingencies. More specifically, in the context of the unfolding global financial crisis, a wide range of public sector interventions have been in support of the financial system. Although these interventions have been necessary, they have generated further fiscal risks. Comprehensive reporting would help governments to define a management strategy of the assets and liabilities that they have taken on their balance sheet and to prepare exit strategies for reducing their presence in the financial sector and eventually withdrawing support.
Mr. Christopher W. Crowe, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Jun I Kim, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, and Mr. Atish R. Ghosh
This chapter outlines policies to help solve the debt overhang and bring about recovery in both groups of countries. The current financial turmoil is confronting emerging market economies with two shocks: a ‘sudden stop’ of capital inflows resulting from the global deleveraging process, and a collapse in export demand associated with the global slump. A key ingredient appears to be greater official financing to expand the ‘policy space’ available to emerging market economies (EME) to pursue supportive macroeconomic policies—including, in countries with large debt overhangs, by helping to meet the fiscal outlays associated with the resolution of that overhang. An important first step is to ensure an adequate framework to facilitate rapid debt workouts. Debt restructuring mechanisms can provide greater scope for monetary easing by reducing the negative repercussions of exchange rate depreciation on unhedged balance sheets. Depending on the available fiscal space, expansionary fiscal policy should also be deployed to support economic activity.
Mr. Christian B. Mulder, Phil De Imus, Ms. L. Effie Psalida, Jeanne Gobat, Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mr. Mangal Goswami, and Mr. Francisco F. Vazquez
This paper outlines some of the key information gaps in the information used in the assessment of financial institution and financial system stability and the priorities for filling them. Key areas for attention include the granularity of disclosures on exposures by large and complex financial institutions; disclosures and assessments of complex structured products; revamping of indicators used in financial stability analysis to focus on indicators with greater early warning content; and improving transparency in over-the-counter derivatives markets. Recommendations have been made by several institutions and forums to address gaps in information that contributed to the crisis. One of the key recommendations is to adopt good practices for disclosures by banks on activities affected by the financial turmoil, including meaningful information on exposures and impacts, with appropriate levels of granularity. It is imperative to strengthen public disclosure practices of systemically important financial institutions by making reporting information more granular and consist.