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International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper undertakes a comprehensive review of the Fund’s sovereign arrears policies. Staff assesses that the Fund’s Lending into Arrears to Private Creditors (LIA) policy (established in 1989 and last reviewed in 2002) remains broadly appropriate, while recommending some improvements given the experience gained over the last 20 years. Staff also sees merit in codifying the existing practice guiding the Fund in preemptive debt restructurings into a Fund policy, together with an amendment focusing on debt transparency. Given limited experience with the application of the LIOA policy (established in 2015), staff does not propose any amendments but only one restatement confirming current practice. Given recent developments in the international creditor community, staff proposes refining the Fund’s arrears policies with respect to multilateral creditors. Finally, recent developments raise questions about the perimeter between official bilateral and private claims, with significant implications for the Fund’s arrears policies.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
To help support members faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund temporarily increased certain access limits to its emergency financing (EF) instruments, i.e., Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). While this expanded support has been critical to help countries manage the pandemic, the increase in access limits was not applied to the Large Natural Disasters (LND) windows within the EF toolkit, reducing the flexibility to respond to such LNDs. This paper proposes to temporarily increase by 50 percent of quota the annual access limit (AAL) and cumulative access limit (CAL) under the LND windows of the RCF and RFI. The changes to the “LND windows” would be in effect through end-December 2021, in line with the other temporary changes of access limits under EF instruments. The case for further extensions to all the temporarily increased EF AALs and CALs will be examined after the 2021 Annual Meetings.
Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Sophia Gollwitzer
This paper analyzes the institutional conditions affecting the establishment and effectiveness of independent central banks and of budgetary institutions. It draws on the recent theory developed by North, Wallis and Weingast on the transition from a closed and fragile state to an open economic and political environment. The paper presents a composite indicator allowing for the identification of a country’s position along this transition path. The findings suggest that (i) while the establishment of autonomous central banks seems to be relatively independent from the broader institutional framework, sound budgetary institutions tend to be established in countries with higher levels of rule of law for the elites, and (ii) while central bank independence is effective in reducing inflation irrespective of a country’s position along the transition path, budget institutions seem to be most effective as a disciplining device in weak institutional environments.