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International Monetary Fund
Reserves have a central place in the policy tool kit of most economies, providing insurance against shocks. In conjunction with sound policies, they can help reduce the likelihood of balance of payment crises and preserve economic and financial stability. Reserves, however, can result from both precautionary and non-precautionary policy objectives and institutional settings. While they can bring several important benefits, reserve holdings can sometimes be costly. This paper brings together recent Fund work on reserve adequacy issues aiming to strengthen their discussion in bilateral surveillance. Despite the ongoing debate on reserve issues, there is little consensus about how to assess reserve holdings in different economies, even though this is an important aspect of a member’s external stability assessment. The work stream of which this paper is part aims to fill this gap by outlining a framework for discussing reserve adequacy issues in different economies. In this regard, the paper also forms part of the Fund’s response to the 2012 IEO evaluation of the Fund’s advice related to international reserves, which recommended, inter alia, that assessments of international reserves in bilateral surveillance reports should be more detailed and reflect country circumstances. To this end, the paper proposes that, where warranted, individual country Article IV reports include a fuller discussion of the authorities’ stated objectives (precautionary and non-precautionary) for holding reserves, an assessment of the reserve needs for precautionary purposes, and a discussion of the cost of reserves. The aim would be to ensure evenhandedness so that countries with similar circumstances are assessed in similar ways, while allowing the depth and emphasis of this discussion to vary depending on country conditions and needs
Mr. Carlo Cottarelli and Curzio Giannini

Abstract

During the last 25 years, monetary practice in most countries has increasingly been characterized by the attempt to achieve credibility of purpose while expanding the freedom of monetary authorities in controlling policy instruments. Thus, the world has moved toward monetary frameworks in which, through appropriate institutional devices, a better trade-off between credibility of goals and flexibility of instruments could be achieved. This attempt, surveyed in this paper, has taken many forms, depending on the countries economic, institutional, and cultural specificities.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper presents Selected Decisions and Selected Documents’ Eigth Issue of the IMF. This volume is the Eighth Issue of Selected Decisions of the IMF and Selected Documents. It contains the decisions, interpretations, and resolutions of the Executive Directors and the Board of Governors of the IMF to which frequent reference is made in the current activities of the IMF. In addition, the volume contains certain documents relating to the IMF and the United Nations. This issue contains most of the decisions that were published in earlier issues, however not decisions that have ceased to be effective or that are referred to less frequently than in the past. With few exceptions, the decisions in this volume are general in application and relate to obligations, policies, or procedures under the Articles of Agreement. Subject to these few exceptions, decisions that affect individual members are not included. Decisions of the IMF that are included in the By-Laws and the Rules and Regulations are general in application but are not reproduced in this volume.