The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the causes of the large buildup of enterprise arrears in Russia during 1992, and evaluates policy options to deal with them. Noting the experience of. Eastern European countries, the paper emphasizes that the settlement of arrears through wholesale extension of credit would only achieve a temporary reduction of arrears while inviting moral hazard problems and creating expectations of future bailouts. Instead, emphasis should be placed on measures that instill financial discipline and promote necessary structural changes. These measures should be supported by adequate legislation, effective supervision, and credible sanctions against defaulting enterprises and their managers.