International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The paper reports to the Executive Board on its decision of April 29, 2019, to prepare an IMF Central Bank Transparency Code (CBT), which is linked to the 2017 Review of the Standards and Codes Initiative (RSCI), for a revision and update of the 1999 Monetary and Financial Policies Transparency Code (MFPT). Directors asked that the CBT should remove the overlap on financial policies covered by other international standards, expand the transparency standards to broader set of activities undertaken by many central banks since the 2008 financial crisis, and reorient the transparency standards to facilitate risk-based assessments to support policy effectiveness and address macroeconomic risks.
This paper discusses the United Republic of Tanzania’s Request for Debt Relief Under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. IMF debt service relief will help free up resources for public sector health needs and other emergency spending, as well as mitigate the balance of payments shock resulting from the pandemic. Given the risks ahead, it would be important to ensure close cooperation with multilateral organizations and donors and ensure enough budget allocations on health and other priority spending. The authorities are committed to using the additional resources for their intended purposes and in a transparent manner, including through ex-post audits of corona virus-related spending. To deal with the remaining risks, it will be important to safeguard appropriate funding for health and other priority social spending in the FY2020/21 budget, as well as ensure close cooperation with the World Health Organization, multilateral agencies, and donors. The focus includes addressing arrears on value-added tax refunds and government expenditures, enhancing human capital and the business environment, and improving the affordability of bank credit.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
In response to the Global Financial Crisis, the IMF launched many initiatives to strengthen financial surveillance and better advise member countries of vulnerabilities and risks. While these initiatives have not yet been tested by a major crisis, the efforts have delivered a substantial upgrade of the Fund’s financial surveillance, including giving the IMF clearer responsibilities over financial sector stability and cross-country spillovers; making periodic financial stability assessments mandatory for jurisdictions with systemically important financial sectors; invigorating efforts to integrate financial and macroeconomic analysis in bilateral and multilateral surveillance; enhancing cooperation with the Financial Stability Board and standard setting bodies to promote reforms and monitor agreed standards; and taking steps to recruit and train greater financial expertise. While recognizing these achievements, this evaluation finds that the quality and impact of the IMF’s financial surveillance has been uneven. The expansion of products and activities has presented the Fund with difficult trade-offs between bilateral and multilateral surveillance; between countries with systemically important financial sectors and other member countries; and between financial surveillance and other activities. Moreover, resource constraints have slowed the needed build-up of financial and macrofinancial expertise. These are critical issues, given the IMF’s position as the only international financial institution with the mandate and ability to conduct financial and macrofinancial surveillance over the full range of countries as well as the global economy, and given that these issues are at the core of the IMF’s responsibilities. Thus, to further strengthen financial surveillance, the evaluation recommends devoting greater resources to financial surveillance overall; further strengthening financial and macrofinancial analysis in Article IV surveillance; refining resource allocation for FSAPs; enhancing rigor and transparency in multilateral surveillance; intensifying efforts to be a global center of excellence on financial and macrofinancial research; and extending efforts to develop financial expertise among IMF staff.
liquidity in the face of increased vulnerabilities calls for enhancing the liquidity support provided through the global financial safety net (GFSN). The global economy is experiencing a period of protracted uncertainty, marked by frequent episodes of volatility. Demand for liquidity has intensified, in particular from emerging markets, which are experiencing a build-up of vulnerabilities and the depletion of their fiscal buffers. The enhanced GFSN meets only partially this higher demand for liquidity. The IMFC and G20 have called on the Fund to further strengthen the safety net. The uneven use of the Fund’s toolkit for crisis prevention suggests the need to reconsider its design. Despite a major overhaul of the Fund’s lending instruments available for precautionary financing, only a modest number of countries have used them. In particular, the lack of access to a liquidity backstop for members with strong policies—similar to the standing bilateral swap arrangements (BSAs) among central banks—limits the availability of Fund support over the whole duration of the shock during protracted periods of global uncertainty. Moreover, the need to resort to Fund financing still carries a high political cost (stigma) for some members. To enhance further the Fund’s toolkit for crisis prevention, consideration could be given to revisiting the existing toolkit and introducing new instruments. The toolkit could thus be enhanced by: establishing a new facility for precautionary financing that would provide a "standing" liquidity backstop to members with strong fundamentals and policies for use when hit by liquidity shocks; and adjusting the existing toolkit to maintain cohesion. Any change to the Fund toolkit would need to take into account the tradeoffs between reducing stigma and containing moral hazard, while simultaneously safeguarding Fund resources. A Fund policy monitoring instrument could improve the cohesion of the global safety net. As the GFSN has expanded and become more multi-layered, there is a need to improve cooperation across the different layers to unlock financing and signal commitment to reforms. Creating a policy monitoring instrument that is available to all Fund members could help in this regard. Next steps . In light of Directors’ views on these points, staff could come back with subsequent papers that lay out specific and detailed proposals for reforming the lending toolkit. While these papers focus on the GRA lending toolkit, a separate forthcoming paper will assess some aspects of the concessional lending toolkit.
We use the Synthetic Control Method to study the effect of IMF advice on economic growth, inflation, and investment. The analysis exploits the existence of IMF programs that do not involve any financing (Policy Support Instruments, “PSIs”). This enables us to focus on the effects of IMF monitoring, advice, and approval (as opposed to direct financial assistance). In addition, countries with non-financial programs are typically not crisis-struck – thereby mitigating the reverse causality problem and facilitating the construction of counterfactuals. Results suggest that treated countries add about 1 percentage point in annual real GDP per capita growth, with inflation being lower by some 3 percentage points per year. While we do not find evidence for an impact on total investment and the resulting capital stock, PSI-treatment does seem to stimulate foreign direct investment.
PRGT-eligible members make considerable use of Fund concessional financing. Since 2010, 56 percent of Fund arrangements have involved a PRGT-facility. This paper examines a number of issues raised by Executive Directors and the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) since the issuance to the Board of the June 2015 staff paper on enhancing the financial safety net for developing countries (IMF, 2015a). This paper concludes that there is a need to clarify guidance in some areas pertaining to PRGT policies. This will be done through an early revision of the LIC Handbook, which is already underway. The paper does not propose changes to the Fund’s concessional facilities at this juncture. A comprehensive review of PRGT (Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust) resources and facilities is planned for 2018.
Access to Fund financial resources provides a financial safety net to help countries manage adverse shocks, acting as a potential supplement to foreign reserves when there is a balance of payments need. Such support is especially important to developing countries with limited capacity to borrow in domestic or foreign markets. This paper proposes a set of measures that would expand access to Fund resources for developing countries, as one of the initiatives the Fund is undertaking as part of the wider effort of the international community to support countries in pursuing the post- 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sustainable public debt has gained renewed attention as countries implement fiscal consolidation measures in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Sound public debt policies and debt management practices require robust legal underpinnings. Complex legal issues however arise in the design of the legal framework, and tradeoffs are required in many instances. This paper analyzes key features of modern public debt management legal frameworks, drawing from examples in advanced, emerging, and frontier markets. It aims to provide guidance for countries that seek to review and strengthen their public debt management legal frameworks.