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Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Mr. Takahiro Tsuda
Recent events have shown that sovereigns, just like banks, can be subject to runs, highlighting the importance of the investor base for their liabilities. This paper proposes a methodology for compiling internationally comparable estimates of investor holdings of sovereign debt. Based on this methodology, it introduces a dataset for 24 major advanced economies that can be used to track US$42 trillion of sovereign debt holdings on a quarterly basis over 2004-11. While recent outflows from euro periphery countries have received wide attention, most sovereign borrowers have continued to increase reliance on foreign investors. This may have helped reduce borrowing costs, but it can imply higher refinancing risks going forward. Meanwhile, advanced economy banks’ exposure to their own government debt has begun to increase across the board after the global financial crisis, strengthening sovereign-bank linkages. In light of these risks, the paper proposes a framework—sovereign funding shock scenarios (FSS)—to conduct forward-looking analysis to assess sovereigns’ vulnerability to sudden investor outflows, which can be used along with standard debt sustainability analyses (DSA).  It also introduces two risk indices—investor base risk index (IRI) and foreign investor position index (FIPI)—to assess sovereigns’ vulnerability to shifts in investor behavior.
Miss Inese Buzeneca and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
Since the early 1990s, the IMF has been advising countries to shift to the use of indirect instruments for executing monetary policy. This paper provides information about a monetary policy instruments database, maintained by the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the IMF. We offer an overview of the information contained in the database in the form of comparative summary tables and graphs to illustrate the use of monetary policy instruments by groups of countries (developing, emerging market and developed countries). The main trend that can be identified from the database information is the increasing reliance on money market operations for monetary policy implementation. We emphasize the relevance and usefulness of the data collected through periodic surveys of central banks, for general descriptive and analytical purposes.
Mr. Marco Arnone and Mr. Piero Ugolini

Abstract

In the past 10 years a growing number of countries have established or began establishing a primary dealer system. This paper discusses the role of primary dealers, as well as theoretical, operational, and technical issues related to the establishment of a primary dealer system, in the overall management of public debt for countries that may be considering taking this step. Drawing on a 2001 survey of country practices, the paper discusses the rationale, costs and benefits, and key prerequisites, as well as selection criteria, obligations, and privileges of a primary dealer system. It also attempts to determine the conditions under which a primary dealer system would make a positive contribution to the functioning and development of the government securities market.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

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.

Mr. George Iden and Mr. Marco Arnone
In many countries, authorities have designated a group of financial firms as the principal intermediaries in the government securities market-referred to as "primary dealers" or a "primary dealer system." This paper discusses policy issues related to the establishment of a primary dealer system for countries that may be considering taking this step. In this regard, a key issue is whether a primary dealer system fits into the overall strategy for financial market development in the country. Under a primary dealer system, the debt manager and the group of primary dealers pursue a common strategy in support of the effective functioning and development of primary and secondary markets for government securities. This paper presents results of a survey of country practices conducted in early 2001. Among the countries surveyed, there was broad agreement among authorities that a primary dealer system is to be highly recommended.
Mr. Mark Zelmer
The limited supply of government securities in some industrial countries has important ramifications for the operating techniques used by central banks to implement monetary policy, provide credit to the financial sector, and also for the assets they hold on their balance sheets. The paper reviews the salient facts regarding industrial central bank balance sheets and operating techniques, and outlines different options for dealing with a limited supply of government securities. The main conclusion is that central banks may wish to consider extending credit using a broad range of assets as collateral, and engage in outright transactions of securities guaranteed by financial institutions.
Ms. Anne Marie Gulde
As a monetary, selective credit, and government debt-management instrument, a liquid asset ratio is generally inefficient and may introduce serious distortions. However, it may play a limited role as a prudential instrument, particularly in less sophisticated banking systems or in the context of currency board arrangements. Recent trends in the use of this instrument have been to either abolish it altogether or to design it so as to minimize distortions. When necessary, these changes have been part of a broader effort to make financial intermediation more efficient by relying more on markets and less on regulations.

Abstract

Many countries have reformed their monetary instruments over the last few years. Edited by Tomas J.T. Balino and Lorena M. Zamalloa, this volume deals with the design, implementation, and coordination of major monetary policy instruments, highlighting relevant country experiences. In particular, it discusses how to adapt those instruments to the financial environment as well as how to help this environment to develop.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Edited by V. Sundararajan, Peter Dattels, and Hans Blommestein, this volume outlines strategies for managing public debt, developing government securities markets, and coordinating those activities with monetary management through legal, administrative, and operational arrangements. Both transition and market economies are surveyed. The analysis draws partly on the literature on the microstructure of markets and auction systems and on selected country experiences.