This paper discusses the status of Ukraine’s Eurobond held by the Russian Federation. The bond was acquired by Russia’s National Wealth Fund (NWF) pursuant to a decision by the Russian Government to provide assistance to Ukraine. In public statements at the time the bond was issued, Russia’s Finance Minister, Mr. Siluanov, explained that assistance was being provided via the NWF because the funds had not been appropriated in the federal budget, ruling out a direct intergovernmental credit. The IMF staff is of the view that the Eurobond is an official claim for the purposes of the IMF’s policy on arrears to official bilateral creditors.
This paper applies and extends a theoretical model built by Agénor and Montiel (2007) by exploring the effectiveness of government bonds and monetary policy in a small, open, credit-based economy with a fixed exchange rate. The model is applied to Benin, a member of a currency union, using a general equilibrium model with stochastic simulation. Model calibration replicates the historical pattern for 1996–2009. Policy experiments simulated an increase in government securities in Benin’s regional market and a cut in the reserve requirement. Simulations produced mixed results. It appears that, among other factors, excess bank liquidity lowers the effectiveness of monetary policy instruments through the credit channel and that government bonds can help mop up excess bank liquidity.
The staff report for the 2008 Article IV Consultation of Israel on economic developments and policies is examined. Fiscal and monetary credentials have been established in markets. Banks and their supervisory arrangements have been robust, and growth has been strong, sustained, and balanced. Although public debt is much reduced, to about 80 percent of GDP, it remains vulnerable. Although domestic securities prices tracked those abroad downward, prompting outflows from provident funds, flows in domestic credit markets remained largely undisturbed.
This paper focuses on the Stand-By Arrangement for Hungary under the Emergency Financing Mechanism. Economic indicators confirm that the downturn envisaged in the program is already under way. The new bank support law is important, as it provides Hungarian banks with access to capital enhancement and borrowing guarantee facilities. The gradual reductions in the policy interest rate have been appropriate. Looking ahead, continued implementation of policies in line with the program is essential to maintain investor confidence and minimize the depth of the economic downturn.
Indonesia’ 2008 Article IV Consultation reports that Indonesia’s growth performance remains strong despite the deteriorating global environment. The economy remains vulnerable to shifts in investor sentiment, and volatility in the government bond market has increased. The new policy of increased reselling of official foreign exchange receipts from oil exports should support the rupiah and help dampen inflation, but a more automatic mechanism for recycling official reserves would, in addition, enhance liquidity and foreign exchange market development.
This accompanying document to the Guidelines for Public Debt Management, which the IMF and the World Bank co-published in 2001, contains sample case studies that illustrate how a range of countries from around the world and at different stages of economic and financial development are developing their debt management capacity in a manner consistent with the guidelines. The experience of these countries is discussed in this publication, and should offer some useful and practical suggestions to other countries, as they strive to build their own capacity in public debt management.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
With the findings of a recent IMF staff study serving as a starting point, a panel of IMF staff and distinguished outside researchers on May 27 debated financial globalization’s benefits and risks. Panelists were Eswar Prasad (IMF Asia and Pacific Department), Shang-Jin Wei (IMF Research Department)—two of the study’s authors—and C. Fred Bergsten (Director, Institute for International Economics (IIE)), Jeffrey Frankel (Professor, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University), and Daniel Tarullo (Professor, Georgetown University Law Center). Kenneth Rogoff (IMF Economic Counsellor and Director ofthe Research Department), also an author of the study, moderated. Participants suggested ways to contain the downsides of globalization; two of their recommendations—developing domestic financial sectors and strengthening institutions prior to liberalization—drew wide support.
Nigeria’s 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that major macroeconomic imbalances had emerged as a result of sharp increases in government spending and expressed concern at the risks of a further acceleration of inflation and continuing instability in the exchange market. The overall fiscal balance deteriorated sharply in 2001, the external accounts worsened, and inflation accelerated. The overall stance of fiscal policy remains highly expansionary in 2002, notwithstanding efforts by the authorities to contain capital spending. Lax financial policies have led to a sharp fall in international reserves.
This paper addresses how public debt should be managed to reduce the cost of private sector bailouts. It uses a tax smoothing model to show that bailouts affect the timing of government deficits and surpluses as well as the composition of public debt. In general, public debt managers will have to monitor the private sector’s leverage and portfolio composition in order to design the tax smoothing policy. This contrasts with Ricardian models where households monitor the government’s debt. The moral hazard aspect of defaults is also shown to be important in determining an optimal government debt strategy.
This paper examines the macroeconomic and distributional consequences of a policy change, other things being equal, that would allow U.S. Social Security trust fund assets to be invested in private securities. Improving the expected return to trust fund assets, by shifting these from government bonds to private securities, tends to reduce (increase) the future claim on national output of the current (future) working population. The effects on aggregate saving and future output depend on whether current workers interpret this policy change as affecting their future Social Security benefits.