Assessing financial systems' stability has required the IMF to dig deeper into financial sector issues and to include financial integrity elements in its assessments. Integrity elements are increasingly being addressed by international standards. More progress is needed, however, to prepare a comprehensive framework to prevent the abuse of the financial systems by both outsiders and insiders.
This paper highlights the macro and microeconomic challenges associated with success of the effort to mobilize 0.7 percent of GNP for official development assistance (ODA). To promote achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, enhanced ODA must be as productive as possible. In weighing the distribution of enhanced ODA among countries, the paper emphasizes the need to limit potentially adverse “real transfer effects.” It recommends a multi-pronged approach to ODA that includes, inter alia, in addition to direct bilateral transfers, enhanced use of trust funds and the financing of global public goods.
Using electronic delivery channels for banking services and products has become increasingly popular in recent years. Electronic banking makes it possible to offer banking services around the world 24 hours a day. The dependence on technology for providing the services with the necessary security, and the cross-border nature of transactions, involve additional risks for banks and new challenges for banking regulators and supervisors. This paper provides an overview of some of the issues resulting from the development of electronic banking and how they are currently being addressed by regulatory and supervisory authorities.
This paper discusses issues of financial sector regulation and supervision--including those concerning nonbank financial intermediaries--in small resource-constrained Pacific island countries. It advocates stronger cooperation in these areas and calls for increased financial and technical assistance. The paper also reviews recent international initiatives directed toward offshore financial centers and the fight against money laundering and other financial crime and explores their significance for the Pacific island countries.
This paper reviews some early interim and full PRSPs for countries with which the authors worked during 1999-2000 (Uganda, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mali and The Gambia). The purpose of the review is to compare and contrast how the PRSP process was established there. It finds that rapid progress was made in implementing the initiative in all the countries, increasing commitment to poverty reduction amongst government and donors and encouraging broader participation in the policy dialogue. However, there was considerable variation between the cases, reflecting different local contexts and capacities.
This paper documents the scale of capital flight from Russia, compares it with that observed in other countries, and reviews policy options. The evidence from other countries suggests that capital flight can be reversed once reforms take hold. The paper argues that capital flight from Russia can only be curbed through a medium-term reform strategy aimed at improving governance and macroeconomic performance, and strengthening the banking system. Capital controls result in costly distortions and should gradually be phased out as part of that medium-term strategy.
For more than three decades, Honduras’s average annual growth in real per capita GDP has been almost zero and highly uneven, even though its total investment-to-GDP ratio has been relatively large. This paper argues that policy and efficiency variables seem to have had less of an influence on growth in Honduras than they had on other countries. Instead, lack of growth can be attributed to the offsetting negative influence of low labor and capital productivity, which result from deficient levels of human capital and inadequate composition of investment. Other constraints to growth in Honduras include inadequate physical and institutional infrastructures.
Although financial stabilization has laid the foundation for growth, structural reform of the economy will determine whether Russia achieves sustained medium-term growth. The next step for Russia is to create an institutional and regulatory environment that fosters investment and promotes new private sector activity. This paper examines the most critical reforms for promoting private sector development: reforming the tax system, reducing red tape and bureaucratic corruption, strengthening the judicial system, and improving capital market infrastructure.
The paper discusses the social protection implications of the weakening financial and administrative capacity of countries undergoing economic transition. The formal sector is shrinking, and unemployment and underemployment are rising rapidly. This is affecting both the revenue base of social protection programs and the ability of these countries to target social benefits. These developments make it imperative for these countries to restructure social benefits, rely more on self-targeting mechanisms to deliver benefits, as well as take immediate steps to improve payroll tax compliance. This is a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment and the author(s) would welcome any comments on the present text Citations should refer to a Paper on Policy Analysis and Assessment of the International Monetary Fund, mentioning the author(s) and the date of issuance. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Fund.