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 introduces the Asset and Liability Management (ALM) compound option model. The model builds on the observation that the public sector net worth in a multi-period setting corresponds to the value of an option on an option on total government assets. Hence, the ALM compound option model is better suited for analyzing and evaluating the risk profile of public debt than existing one-period models, and is especially useful for analyzing the soundness of exit strategies from the large fiscal expansions undertaken by G-20 countries in the wake of the recent financial crisis. As an illustration, the model is used to analyze the risk profile and sustainability of Australia's public debt under different policies.