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Aly Abdou, Olivier Basdevant, Elizabeth David-Barrett, and Mihaly Fazekas
Public procurement can be highly vulnerable to corruption. This paper outlines a methodology and results in assessing corruption risks in public procurement and their impact on relative prices, using large databases on government contracts and tenders. Our primary contribution is to analyze how price differential in public procurement contracts can be explained by corruption risk factor (aggregated in a synthetic corruption risk index). While there are intrinsic limitations to our study (price differentials can come from structural reasons, such as a limited number of potential suppliers) it still provides a guiding tool to assess where corruption risks would have the biggest budgetary impact. Such analysis helps inform mitigating policies owing to the granular data used.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Germany managed the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic relatively well thanks to an early and vigorous public health response. Nonetheless, unprecedented disruptions to economic and social activity caused a deep recession in the first half of 2020. The gradual easing of containment measures since late-April has led to a partial revival of growth, but in late-October a “lockdown light” was announced to counter a new wave of infections, and restrictions were further tightened in mid-December. Significant risks remain about the pace and extent of the recovery as the uncertain course of the epidemic continues to impact economic activity.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This note presents a targeted review of selected aspects concerning the regulation and supervision of banks in Italy and their governance framework. The review was carried out as part of the 2019 Italy Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and was based on the regulatory framework in place and the supervisory practices employed as of March 2019. Since the regulation and supervision of significant banking institutions (SIs), including Italian SIs, was extensively covered as part of the 2018 Euro Area FSAP, this note focuses on the prudential regulation and supervision of less significant institutions (LSIs). In addition, the note reviewed regulatory and supervisory areas not covered by the wider EU regulatory framework, such as the supervision of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and related party transactions, which apply to both SIs and LSIs in Italy.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

This report discusses fiscal policies to prepare for the next downturn and foster long-term inclusive growth by adapting to changing demographics, advancing technology, and deepening global integration. It also covers recent fiscal developments and the fiscal outlook in advanced economies, emerging markets, and low-income developing countries; recent trends in government debt and analysis of changes in fiscal balances, revenue, and spending; and potential fiscal risks. The report takes on in-depth look at how corruption impacts government policies and operations, the fiscal costs, and how fiscal institutions can help fight corruption.

Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo and Mr. Krishna Srinivasan

Abstract

Brazil is at crossroads, emerging slowly from a historic recession that was preceded by a huge economic boom. Reasons for the historic bust following a boom are manifold. Policy mistakes were an important contributory factor, and included the pursuit of countercyclical policies, introduced to deal with the effects of the global financial crisis, beyond the point where they were helpful. More fundamentally, it reflects longstanding structural weaknesses plaguing the economy, that also help explain Brazil’s uninspiring growth performance over the past four decades.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Austria’s economic recovery is strong and broad-based. Following several years of slow growth, Austria’s output picked up markedly in 2017, and through early-2018. Output expanded by 3 percent in 2017, boosted by income tax cuts passed in 2016, higher public spending on refugees and a recovery in private investment in 2017, laying the foundation for a sustained robust expansion. Consumer and business confidence indicators have surpassed levels observed before the Global Financial Crisis and credit growth has recovered. The near-term outlook is for strong growth in 2018, at 3 percent, and a gradual return to a potential growth of about 1.75 percent over the medium-term.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note evaluates the progress achieved by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) in strengthening banking supervision in Bulgaria. Progress in responding to the recommendation of the 2015 Basel Core Principles Assessment is under way. As part of the reforms initiated in October 2015, the BNB has put in place a new governance model to enhance the effectiveness of supervision. The activities of the Banking Supervision Department (BSD) will now be governed by new formal policies adopted by the Governing Council (GC). Through a new quarterly report, the GC is now better informed on banking risks and progress in addressing them. The BSD is also subject to annual internal audit.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper assesses key issues related to the economy of the Republic of San Marino. It remains in transition following the implosion of its offshore banking model in the aftermath of the global crisis, resulting in the loss of a third of output. The impact of the global financial crisis, which led to a massive outflow of nonresident deposits and a sharp downsizing of its large financial sector, caused an extraordinary loss of a third of San Marino’s output—the largest in Europe. A number of important steps need to be taken for sustainable growth strengthening the banking system, realigning fiscal policy, and improving flexibility to enable the diversification.