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International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

Address at the Bank of England Twentieth Anniversary Conference London, U.K. September 29, 2017 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered this address at the Bank of England conference, “Independence—20 Years On” in London, U.K., on September 29, 2017.

Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Aliona Cebotari, Kevin Greenidge, and Geoffrey N. Keim
The paper investigates whether the macroeconomic effects of external devaluations have systematically different effects in small states, which are typically more open and less diversified than larger peers. Through several analytical approaches -- DSGE model, event study, and regression analysis -- it finds that the effects of devaluation on growth and external balances are not significantly different between small and large states, with both groups equally likely to experience expansionary or contractionary outcomes. However, the transmission channels are different: devaluations in small states are more likely to affect demand through expenditure compression, rather than expenditure-switching channels. In particular, consumption tends to fall more sharply in small states due to adverse income effects, thereby reducing import demand. Policy conclusions point to the importance of social safety nets, complementary wage and antiinflation policies, investment-boosting reforms, and attention to potential adverse balance sheet effects to ensure positive outcomes.
Ms. Anastasia Guscina, Mr. Guilherme Pedras, and Gabriel Presciuttini
International bond issuance by debut issuers has risen in recent years. The uptick was a result of both demand and supply factors. The search for yield and demand for portfolio diversification have resulted in demand-driven easy financing conditions. At the same time, rising financing needs for many debut issuers, coupled with reduced access to concessional financing, relatively undeveloped domestic markets, and a favorable interest rate environment have made international bonds an attractive financing alternative for many countries. As bonds issued in the international markets are typically denominated in hard currencies, have large volumes and a bullet structure, exposure to exchange rate and refinancing risk has increased. Therefore, risk-mitigating policy actions are needed to prepare for redemption, support debt sustainability, and secure adequate debt management capacity.