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.
With the recent collapse of the asset price “bubble,” Japanese banks encountered significant pressure from both a sharp decline in the value of equity holdings and a marked increase in bad loans. In August 1992, the Government initiated measures that stabilized equity prices and assisted banks in managing their nonperforming loans. While the major banks disclosed that 4.6 percent of their total loans were nonperforming at the end of FY 1992, a mechanical estimate of all banks’ nonperforming and restructured loans is 6-7 percent of their total loans--a serious yet manageable problem. The main policy implications are to ensure the reasonably prompt resolution of the bad loan problem and to enhance market discipline to prevent its recurrence.