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Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
A universal testing and isolation policy is the most viable way to vanquish a pandemic. Its implementation requires: (i) an epidemiological rather than clinical approach to testing, sacrificing accuracy for scalability, convenience and speed; and (ii) state intervention to ramp up production, similar to True Industrial Policy (TIP), on a global level to achieve a scale and speed the market alone would fail to provide. We sketch a strategy to tackle market failures and implement smart testing, especially in densely populated areas. The estimated cost of testing is dwarfed by its return, mitigating the economic fallout of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The events of the past six months have demonstrated the fragility of the global financial system and raised fundamental questions about the effectiveness of the response by private and public sector institutions. The report assesses the vulnerabilities that the system is facing and offers tentative conclusions and policy lessons. The report reflects information available up to March 21, 2008.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The Global Financial Stability Report (GSFR), published twice a year by the IMF, provides timely analysis of developments in mature and emerging market countries and seeks to identify potential fault lines in the global financial system that could lead to crisis. The GFSR aims to deepen its readers’ understanding of global capital flows, which play a critical role as an engine of world economic growth. Along with the IMF’s semiannual World Economic Outlook, the GFSR is a key vehicle for the IMF’s multilateral surveillance. The Global Financial Stability Report was created to provide a more frequent assessment of global financial markets and to address emerging market financing in a global context. The report focuses on current conditions in global financial markets, highlighting issues of financial imbalances, and of a structural nature, that could pose risks to financial market stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The GFSR focuses on relevant contemporary issues, not attempting to be a comprehensive survey of all potential risks. It also draws out the financial ramifications of economic imbalances highlighted by the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. It regularly contains, as a special feature, articles on structural or systemic issues relevant to international financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

This semi-annual publication from the IMF provides comprehensive coverage of mature and emerging financial markets and seeks to identify potential fault lines in the global financial system that could lead to crises. It is designed to deepen understanding of global capital flows, which play a critical role as an engine of world economic growth.

Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, Mr. Andrew Berg, Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, and Mr. Eduardo Borensztein

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the frequency of currency and balance of payments crises in developing countries. More important, the crises have become more virulent, have caused widespread disruption to other developing countries, and have even had repercussions on advanced economies. To predict crises, their causes must be clearly understood. Two competing strands of theories are reviewed in this paper. The first focuses on the consequences of such policies as excessive credit growth in provoking depletion of foreign exchange reserves and making a devaluation enevitable. The second emphasizes the trade-offs between internal and external balance that the policymaker faces in defending a peg.

Mr. Anthony J. Richards
This paper models the idiosyncratic or asset-specific return of an asset as the return on a portfolio that is long in that asset and short in other assets in the same class, thereby removing the common components of returns. This is the type of “hedged” position that is held by relative-value investors. Weekly returns data for seven different asset classes suggest that idiosyncratic risk is: higher at times of large return outcomes for the asset class as a whole; positively autocorrelated; and correlated across different asset classes. The implications for risk management are discussed.
Mr. Qaizar Hussain and Clas Wihlborg
This paper explores insolvency and debt recovery procedures, and political, legal, and institutional factors influencing financial decisions of corporations and banks during pre-crisis years in six Asian economies. It also examines whether these factors may have contributed to the depth and duration of the 1997 crisis. There are two key findings: First, bank behavior and other institutional factors, and not the nature of stakeholder orientation, seem to explain variations in capital structures and the depth of recessions across economies. Second, aspects of insolvency procedures favoring rehabilitation of “financially distressed” firms seem to explain well the expected duration of the crisis.