This paper compiles and reviews the evolution of Japan’s Public Sector Balance Sheet (PSBS). In the past, large crossholdings of assets and liabilities within the public sector played a role in sustaining a high level of public debt and low interest rates. The Fiscal Investment and Loan Fund (FILF) channeled all postal deposits and pension savings to financing of public sector borrowing. After the FILF refrom in 2000, however, the Post Bank and pension funds shifted their assets to the portfolio investments and are seeking to maximize risk-adjusted returns. This has changed the implications of crossholdings for public debt management. In the future, population aging is expected to add more pressures on the PSBS, which already saw a considerable decrease of net worth over the last three decades.
Huixin Bi, Ms. Wenyi Shen, and Susan Yang Shu-Chun
This paper studies the main channels through which interest rate normalization has fiscal implications in the United States. While unexpected inflation reduces the real value of government liabilities, a rising policy rate increases government financing needs because of higher interest payments and lower real bond prices. After an initial decline, the real government debt burden rises even with higher tax revenues in an expansion. Given the current net debt-to-GDP ratio at around 80 percent, interest rate normalization leads to a negligible increase in the sovereign default risk of the U.S. federal government, despite a much higher federal debt-to-GDP ratio than the post-war historical average.
Using a database of up to 62 variables for 196 countries over 57 years, a hyperinflation cycle has been characterized to propose a broader setting of stylized facts. Beyond the usual facts, the findings in this paper contribute to the literature of modern hyperinflations in that these cycles occur in contexts where there are (i) depressed economic freedoms, (ii) deteriorated socioeconomic conditions and rule of law, as well as (iii) high levels of domestic conflictivity and government instability. Despite social infraestructure factors improve during stabilization, they keep being substantially lower than the respresentative non-hyperinflation country, suggesting an important role for them in the occurrence of modern hypeinflations. Finally, the role of international financial assistance in stabilization was studied, noting that (i) a clear majority of hyperinflation countries used it, further improving their (ii) economic freedoms, and allowing themselves (iii) greater fiscal flexibility and (iv) more exchange rate stability.
Ioana Moldovan, Mrs. Marina V Rousset, and Chris Walker
A low-income country such as Haiti that confronts an environment of diminishing aid inflows must assess tradeoffs among the available policy options: spending cuts, monetization, sales of debt, or use of foreign reserves. To provide the analytical tools for this task, the paper draws from a set of DSGE models recently developed to evaluate policy choices in low-income countries for which external aid flows represent an important revenue source. Two simplified stylized variations of the main model are used to gain intuition and initially assess the trdeaoffs. Subsequenctly a full-scale small open economy DSGE model, calibrated to match conditions in Haiti and in similar low-income countries, is employed. Several key results are common to all model versions. While sales of foreign exchange reserves can compensate for the loss of aid inflows, this strategy is not sustainable. The remaining policy choices entail larger welfare costs, involving lower consumption levels and real depreciation. The results suggest that a mixture of spending cuts and depreciation is the best strategy, when use of foreign reserves is constrained.
The macroeconomic policy response in India after the North Atlantic financial crisis (NAFC) was rapid. The overshooting of the stimulus and its gradual withdrawal sowed seeds for inflationary and BoP pressures and growth slowdown, then exacerbated by domestic policy bottlenecks and volatility in international financial markets during mid-2013. Appropriate domestic oil prices and fiscal consolidation will contribute to the recovery of private sector investment. Fiscal consolidation would also facilitate a reduction in inflation, which would moderate gold imports and favorably impact real exchange rate and current account deficit.