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Mr. Paolo Mauro, Mr. Torbjorn I. Becker, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Romain Ranciere, and Mr. Olivier D Jeanne

Abstract

This paper focuses on what countries can do on their own—that is, on the role of domestic policies—with respect to country insurance. Member countries are routinely faced with a range of shocks that can contribute to higher volatility in aggregate output and, in extreme cases, to economic crises. The presence of such risks underlies a potential demand for mechanisms to soften the blow from adverse economic shocks. For all countries, the first line of defense against adverse shocks is the pursuit of sound policies. In light of the large costs experienced by emerging markets and developing countries as a result of past debt crises, fiscal policies should seek to improve sustainability, taking into account that sustainable debt levels seem to be lower in emerging and developing countries than in advanced countries. Although much can be accomplished by individual countries through sound policies, risk management, and self-insurance through reserves, collective insurance arrangements are likely to continue playing a key role in cushioning countries from the impact of shocks.

Mr. David S. Hoelscher, Mr. Michael W Taylor, and Mr. Ulrich H Klueh

Abstract

This paper describes recently established deposit insurance systems, identifying emerging trends. In line with previous IMF work on the subject, it argues against the development of "best practices" applicable to all systems. Rather, it stresses the importance of incorporating each country’s individual objectives in adopting a deposit insurance system, as well as that country’s characteristics, to ensure an effective system that minimizes disincentives and distortions to financial sector intermediation. The paper includes a summary of the academic literature.

Ms. G. G. Garcia

Abstract

This paper demonstrates a well-designed deposit guarantee system can strengthen incentives for owners, managers, depositors and other creditors, borrowers, regulators and supervisors, and politicians. Borrowers should be aware that they will have to repay their loans if their bank fails and will be encouraged to keep their loans current where offsetting is limited to past-due loans. The performance of insurers, regulators, and supervisors as agents will improve where they know that they can take justifiable actions without political interference and will be held accountable for their actions to their principals. Despite the improvements, and possibly partly because there are issues in deposit insurance design that remain to be resolved, financial crises have been prevalent during the 1990s. This situation has forced a number of countries to offer a blanket guarantee to restore confidence and to allow the continued functioning of the financial system while the authorities take time to design a plan for the resolution of the crisis.

Mr. Burkhard Drees and Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

Abstract

This study examines the banking crises in Finland, Norway and Sweden, which took place in the early 1990s, and draws some policy conclusions from their experiences. One key conclusion is that factors in addition to business cycle effects explain the Nordic countries financial problems. Although the timing of the deregulation in all three countries coincided with a strongly expansionary macroeconomic momentum, the main reasons for the banking crises were the delayed policy responses, the structural characteristics of the financial systems, and the banks inadequate internal risk-management controls.